Patriots Veteran Criticized for Postgame Behavior

Getty New England Patriots Trent Brown

Selective player availability was just one of the storylines around the New England Patriots following their 20-7 loss in Week 1 to the Miami Dolphins.

After the Patriots’ disappointing performance in the season-opener, the team didn’t make QB Mac Jones available to the media. It was out of the ordinary for a starting QB, but his absence was due to a back injury that forced Jones to take x-rays.

The x-rays were negative, but Jones will be re-evaluated once he returns to Foxborough. There was no injury for massive offensive lineman Trent Brown. The veteran tackle simply refused to speak to the media in the locker room following the loss.

Former Patriots tight end and current WEEI personality Christian Fauria took a sarcastic shot at Brown on Twitter.

Brown and many other members of the Patriots’ offensive line appear to struggle to find continuity within the team’s new offensive wrinkles. Brown is believed to have had a “miscommunication” on the second-quarter play that led to Jones being sacked and stripped of the football by Dolphins safety Brandon Jones.

The fumble was recovered by Miami’s Melvin Ingram and run in for a TD. It was one of the two biggest plays of the game. Brown has seemingly taken the challenge of maximizing his potential this season, but he already appears to be frustrated with his or the team’s progress.

Brown and the entire Patriots offensive line has some work to do as they prepare for Week 2 and the rest of the 2022 season.

Is the Patriots’ Offensive Line the Major Problem?

Any time an offense can only muster seven points in an NFL game, there will be questions about various aspects of the roster on that side of the ball. Everything always starts with the O-Line, so there will be questions.

The line gave up two sacks and hit Jones three times over the course of the game. That’s not horrendous when it comes to pass protection. However, the Patriots could not establish the run game the way they wanted to, which didn’t allow New England to create the sort of balanced attack they covet.

New England ran the ball 22 times for just 78 yards, and their top two backs (Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson) had just 17 combined rush attempts.

If the Patriots’ offense is going to get on track, they need to be a strong running team and that wasn’t the case in Week 1.

Looking Ahead: The Pittsburgh Steelers Are Next for the Patriots

The Patriots’ Week 2 opponents are the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike Tomlin’s group is coming off a wild 23-20 win on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime.

The Steelers’ starting quarterback is former No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky. Normally, there would be little concern from a defensive coordinator and game-planner ahead of a matchup with a Trubisky-led team.

However, the Steelers scored 23 points while Trubisky escaped the turnover bug en route to a huge win. The Bengals had multiple opportunities to win the game in regulation and overtime, but an injured long-snapper (Clark Harris) forced a backup (Mitchell Wilcox) into the position.

Wilcox had two bad snaps that led to a blocked field goal and another miss in overtime by kicker Evan McPherson. Otherwise, the Week 2 matchup between the Patriots and Steelers would be a battle between two 0-1 teams. As it stands, the Patriots are on the road against a team riding high after a big win.

The injury bug bit the Steelers pretty hard in Week 1. Pittsburgh looks to have lost all-world edge rusher TJ Watt to what some believe is a torn pectoral muscle. Also, second-year running back Najee Harris went down with an injury late.

It isn’t believed to be serious, but there is still a chance he misses the Week 2 game vs. the Patriots. New England may need all of the breaks it can get.

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