Patriots Insider: ‘One of the Worst Games I’ve Seen Him Play’

Getty Isaiah Wynn and Cam Newton

When an offense produces just 12 points in a frustrating loss as the New England Patriots did on Sunday, there is plenty of blame to go around. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn earned the bulk of it on a crucial play on the final drive that could have been the difference in winning and losing.

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Mike Reiss Calls Out Isaiah Wynn

In a group of takeaways following the Patriots 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos, Reiss took Wynn to task for what he called “the worst game he’s ever seen him play.” Reiss wrote:

Isaiah Wynn seemed most affected by all the switching along the offensive line. This was one of the worst games I’ve seen him play. To bottom line it, in a 1-on-1 matchup against outside linebacker Malik Reed with the game on the line, you’d expect Wynn to win that almost every time; Reed made the Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Nevada in 2019, while Wynn was a 2018 first-round pick. But on second-and-10 from the Broncos’ 24, with 1:14 remaining, Reed shed Wynn’s block and sacked Newton. At first, I thought Newton held on to the ball too long, but the sack came at about 3 seconds which to me puts it more on Wynn. The play was reflective of an overall tough day for Wynn, who started at left guard and then kicked outside to his more regular tackle spot at the half.

This is the play Reiss is referencing.

The Rust Was Real

While Reiss is spot on in his criticism of Wynn, I’m willing to give the latter and most of the players on offense a pass for their performance against the Broncos. To say the team, and that unit specifically was dealt a tough hand would be an understatement.

It can be hard enough to bounce around between different O-Line positions as Wynn and others were forced to do on Sunday, but I’d imagine it’s even tougher when you have so little practice time to prepare. Because of a string of positive COVID-19 tests, the Patriots were only able to practice one time over a two-week span in preparation for the Broncos game, and Cam Newton was out after testing positive initially.

Wynn, Newton, and even a veteran of Joe Thuney’s ilk were all out of sync in this game. As ineffective as the Patriots’ receivers and tight ends have been all season, even they deserve a mulligan for a dead performance under such circumstances.

Patriots Back to Practice

I’d expect to see a highly prepared and motivated bunch on both sides of the ball against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but specifically, the offense should be playing with a chip on their shoulder. Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are likely using all of the criticism and finger-pointing being done by the media to light a fire under each positional group.

I would not be surprised to see an inspired performance by the offense and that includes Wynn.

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