3 Patriots takeaways from disappointing Week 3 loss to Saints
After having a dominant win over the New York Jets in Week 2, the New England Patriots suddenly crashed back to earth in Week 3 action. They failed to keep up against a dynamic New Orleans Saints team as they sustained a 28-13 loss to drop down to a 1-2 record.
Many flaws can be spotted on the Patriots’ end which led them to lose the game and Bill Belichick will certainly need to go back to the drawing board and fix his team’s errors as soon as possible. It will certainly be a busy week for New England as they have to prepare for a tough matchup against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Week 4 proceedings.
Here are the three takeaways from the Patriots’ Week 3 loss to the Saints:
3. James White’s injury will be a big blow to New England’s offense
Running back James White isn’t particularly known to be a potent scorer but he can certainly provide valuable contributions to the team whenever his number is called on the field. In their first game against the Miami Dolphins, the Wisconsin talent came out with 49 receiving yards and 12 rushing yards.
He then exceeded his performance in their tilt against the Jets where he led the receiving unit with 45 yards to go along with 20 rushing yards and a scoring drive for the Patriots. Unfortunately, White landed awkwardly in the second quarter of their game against the Saints where he sustained a hip injury and had to be carted off the field.
The 29-year-old finished the game with only six yards on a lone catch and is expected to be out indefinitely. Apart from his pass-catching abilities, his veteran leadership and experience as a three-time Super Bowl champion will surely be missed by a new-look Patriots team that is still finding its identity on the field. New England lost a valuable offensive weapon and his fellow backs in Damien Harris and J.J. Taylor are both expected to step up for the foreseeable future.
2. The Patriots’ offensive line had many errors
Mac Jones had a rough day against the Saints and the team’s offensive line had a major part in his struggles on the field. The entire unit was seemingly disjointed and miscommunications on their respective assignments on screen passes and running schemes were evident all game long.
Due to the lack of time to decide in the pocket, Jones was forced to throw several bad passes and also absorbed 11 hits from an active Saints defense. Additionally, he had no other choice but to use his legs and run the ball out of desperation as he led the team in rushing with 28 yards.
Jones, as talented as he is, will never find himself in a good position to smoothly orchestrate the offense if the offensive line struggles to provide pass protection for him in the pocket. Hopefully, Isaiah Wynn and the rest of the unit can regroup and finally take a step forward in the weeks to come.
1. Mac Jones still has a long way to go
As mentioned, the offensive line’s performance is crucial as it also dictates Mac Jones’ ability to perform on the field. Given the circumstances, the Alabama product attempted to throw long balls against the Saints after relying on short passes in their first two games.
However, their schemes just didn’t work out as they expected them to. Jones’ weapons in Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor also had several drops which eventually paralyzed their aerial attack. Unfortunately, the offense’s rough day came in the same game where they had to deal with an impressive Saints defense which ultimately hindered them from being in a position to win.
Jones was far from efficient on the field as he completed 30-of-51 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown for the Patriots. He also ended the game with three total interceptions recorded which isn’t a good sign for any team that is wanting to get a win. New England has long prided itself on winning the turnover battle and they didn’t do that against the Saints.
It is unfair to entirely put the blame on Jones who had to deal with the circumstances that he found himself in. However, it is safe to say that he has promising potential and that he can definitely work towards polishing his skills and have better performances in their coming games. Hopefully, his continuous his development as a QB1 in the league who can eventually lead the Patriots to win more games moving forward this year and beyond.