4 Patriots Still on Thin Ice After Their Bye Week

Patriots fans are desperate for their team to show signs of life, which is why these individuals must figure out how to get off thin ice during the bye week.
Head coach Bill Belichick is one of four Patriots on thin ice after their Week 11 bye.
Head coach Bill Belichick is one of four Patriots on thin ice after their Week 11 bye. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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3. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR

Can we decide that it's time to end the JuJu Smith-Schuster experiment?

The Patriots' $33 million man has been a shell of his former self this season. A former 1,400-yard player, Smith-Schuster has barely even passed 140 receiving yards this season, sitting at 22 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown through eight games.

And while some of this falls on Jones' lackluster play under center, blame must be spread around.

If the 26-year-old wasn't getting any opportunities, that'd be one thing, but that isn't the case. Smith-Schuster plays the third-most snaps among New England wideouts and just played 68 offensive snaps against the Colts — one back of the game-high shared by four offensive linemen.

But what did Smith-Schuster do with that playing time? Catch his only target for 9 yards. His 49.8 offensive grade on Pro Football Focus in Week 10 was also only better than four players on the team, and two of them were Zappe and backup tackle Vederian Lowe.

If Smith-Schuster isn't ready to step up, I'm in favor of shutting him down for the year in favor of giving more opportunities to rookie wideouts Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte. After all, the Patriots can save $5.36 million by trading the veteran WR before June 1 or $8 million in a deal after that date.