3. He’s Not a Great Fit
As I alluded to above, New England just isn’t a great landing spot for Zeke at this stage of his career. The weak offensive line is a major concern, and he’s also suddenly thrust into a completely new environment halfway through the preseason. After spending his entire career in Dallas playing alongside Dak Prescott, he now finds himself in a different part of the country with a less experienced quarterback, a new OC and a notoriously tough head coach to play for.
Zeke only has a few weeks to learn a completely new playbook and get up to speed in Bill O’Brien’s offense, which many of his teammates are still learning as well.
He also finds himself in a much less potent offense than the one he left behind in Dallas. Whereas the Cowboys ranked fourth in points, 11th in total yards and ninth in rushing yards last year, the Patriots ranked 17th, 26th and 24th in those same categories. Things are expected to improve under O’Brien, but the ceiling is only so high without an elite quarterback and top-tier playmakers.
With a weak receiving corps and Mac Jones’ throwing issues, New England may resort to running the ball a lot this year. That doesn’t bode well for Zeke, who’s already struggling to handle a reduced workload. It also means he’ll likely face a lot of stacked boxes with opposing defenses anticipating the run, making life even harder for him as he struggles to get around his porous offensive line.
If Elliott had signed with a team that could better hide his flaws, I’d feel better about his chances for a rebound, but plugging him into a mediocre offense is simply asking for mediocre results.
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