Somehow, someway, the New England Patriots looked even worse than they have this season in Week 5. The offense once again was lifeless, while the defense struggled to stop a mediocre New Orelans Saints defense.
This is the kind of loss that should put people's jobs on the line. And there's a few major changes the team should make ahead of Week 6 as a result.
Changes Patriots Need to Make to Save 2023 Season
1. Bench Mac Jones
It's time to send Mac Jones to the bench.
The third-year pro was not only ineffective once again at leading his team down the field, but an actual liability because of turnovers. Jones tossed two interceptions in Week 5, including a pick-six after he opted to throw through contact instead of just taking the sack in the first quarter.
Jones keeps getting the Patriots into a hole early on in games, which has disastrous consequences. It forces the offense to get into pass-heavy attacks, which is not their strength. That leads to easy stops for opponents and then puts even more pressure on New England's defense.
Unsurprisingly, that unit's made plenty of mistakes. Partly because they're shorthanded, but also because they're gassed since the offense can't put together long drives to eat up the clock.
There is no actual reason for Bill Belichick to stick with Jones after two seriously dreadul performances. It's worth giving Bailey Zappe a start, and even seeing what Malik Cunningham can do in a backup role. While Zappe hasn't been stellar in relief so far, having an entire game to establish a rhythm could do wonders for this offense.
Jones doesn't have to be inactive through the rest of the season, but he needs a major wakeup call. Putting him on the pine is the least Belichick can do to inspire his uninspiring signal-caller.