2. Bill O’Brien
Bill O’Brien was brought in to fix the offense after last year’s disaster with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge running the show.
While the offense definitely looks smoother, the results still haven’t been there. Check out this year-over-year comparison of New England’s offense:
- 2022: 21.4 PPG (17th), 314.6 YPG (26th)
- 2023: 18.5 PPG (22nd), 335.0 YPG (14th)
More yards per game is nice, but the decrease in scoring is alarming. The Patriots still aren’t finishing drives and are leaving too many points on the table, often sabotaging themselves with penalties, mistakes and costly turnovers.
After scoring fewer than 21 points in both games so far, New England needs to step it up in Week 3 against the Jets. The Patriots can’t afford another weak offensive output in a divisional game, especially on the ground.
New England’s running game was supposed to be a strength this year with Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott leading the backfield, but both have been terrible thus far. The Patriots rank 26th in rushing yards and 20th in rushing touchdowns, which largely explains why their offense has been so ineffective.
O’Brien doesn’t have the best personnel to work with thanks to Belichick, but he needs to make do and figure out how to unlock the talent he does have. If not, he might find himself coaching college football again before long.