Former NFL QB Blasts Patriots: ‘Most Predictable Offense in the NFL’

Bill Belichick Matt Patricia Mac Jones

Getty New England Patriots coaches Matt Patricia and Bill Belichick speak with quarterback Mac Jones.

Although he became infamous for stepping out of the back of the end zone, Dan Orlovsky has become one of ESPN’s most prominent stars thanks to his ability to break down game film and provide unique insight.

On Wednesday, December 21, the NFL quarterback-turned-TV analyst took some time to focus on the New England Patriots and their underperforming offense. And Orlovsky didn’t hold back in his criticism of a unit led by first-year coordinator Matt Patricia.

“This is the most predictable offense in the NFL right now,” he said on NFL Live. “Last week, this team was under center for 23 snaps. Twenty-two of those 23 snaps were runs.”

Orlovsky also pointed out that the Patriots passed the ball on all but three of their 34 shotgun snaps against the Las Vegas Raiders.

“This is a small microcosm of what has been going on this season,” Orlovsky explained.

After finishing sixth in scoring in 2021 (27.2 points per game), New England ranks 17th with an underwhelming average of 21.4 points per game. Just moving the chains has been extraordinarily difficult for a unit that includes two of the league’s highest-paid tight ends, veteran wideouts DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne, and the running back tandem of Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris.

Only the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, and Denver Broncos have converted a lower percentage of their third-down attempts than the Patriots (34.1%).

Bill Belichick’s decision to entrust Patricia with calling plays for the first time in his career has backfired, with starting quarterback Mac Jones expressing frustration about the direction of the offense. And considering Belichick has discussed opposing defensive players knowing the Patriots’ plays, it shouldn’t be a major surprise that New England has struggled to score in 2022.

As Orlovsky put it, “If I know it, you don’t think the teams you’re playing don’t know?”

Patriots Offense Faces Tough Final Stretch

At 7-7, the Patriots essentially have to win out to have a chance to earn a postseason berth.

Could that happen?

It’s impossible to rule out a Belichick-coached team catching fire at the right time. However, given how inconsistent New England has looked throughout the 2022 season, the odds of a 3-0 finish look slim.

After all, the Patriots’ final three games come against teams that are firmly in the running to represent the AFC in the 2023 Super Bowl. Between the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills, Belichick and his staff have a trio of talented opponents to game plan for–and almost no margin for error.

Will Bill Belichick Bring Matt Patricia Back in 2023?

Based on how the first year of the Patricia-as-OC era has gone, Belichick may have no choice but to admit he miscalculated by putting a longtime defensive coach in charge of calling offensive plays.

Of course, Patricia’s future with the franchise could be based on how Robert Kraft responds in the aftermath of what looks like a lost season. Instead of watching his team compete for a seventh Lombardi Trophy, the 81-year-old owner has watched the Patriots make costly mistakes and lose several winnable matchups.

Will New England’s ongoing offensive struggles convince Kraft to intervene and give Belichick an ultimatum about Patricia’s role? Or will he still let the second-winningest coach in NFL history make all football-related decisions?

If the Patriots continue to live up to Orlovsky’s label as the most predictable offense in the NFL, it might make Kraft’s decision a little easier.

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