2. Get the Run Game More Involved
New England's early offensive gameplan, when the team isn't trailing big, continues to be befuddling.
The Patriots have a legit rising star talent at running back in Rhamondre Stevenson, and they bolstered their backfield by signing Ezekiel Elliott prior to the regular season. It's clear this squad wanted to rely on its rushers.
However, outside of the win, we've failed to see Belichick and co. utilize their RBs properly.
The first drive of Week 5 was yet another example of the Pats' unexplainable run game attack. Stevenson picked up a great gain of eight yards on first down, setting up an extremely manageable 2nd-and-2. Yet, New England then dialed up two straight passes -- both of which were deep attempts, no less -- and unsurprisingly were forced to punt.
It's obvious this passing attack doesn't have the firepower to keep up with electric offenses. In fact, picking up first downs is a major struggle right now. So there's no need to force something when it's not working.
The Patriots have the talent in the backfield to go run-heavy. Stevenson is major playmaker, while Elliott provides a sledgehammer who can excel in short-yardage situations. Both backs can help the team keep drives going and chew up clock; which, in turn, will make things easier for the defense.
Yes, the ground game hasn't been productive in the early going, but that's because New England's getting into big deficits in the first quarter. That makes it even tougher to establish the run when you need home runs instead of singles.
Relying on the passing attack has resulted in this dismal 1-4 start. It's time for the Patriots to shift the emphasis to its backfield instead.