Time to Start Questioning Josh McDaniels

Posted: September 17, 2012 in NFL News
Tags: , , , , , ,

As a Patriots fan, I do my best to not skew my posts towards them but sometimes I cannot help it. After yesterday’s embarrassing performance against the Arizona Cardinals I feel the need to vent. Being at the game, the one thing that bothered me the most (and there were plenty of things that bothered me) was the offensive gameplan.

Let’s start with the offensive balance. Yes, I know the Patriots ended up throwing the ball 18 more times than they ran it (46-28), but 21 pass plays came in the 4th quarter alone as opposed to only two run plays (and one was Brady kneeling before the final field goal attempt). That means that heading into the 4th quarter, the Pats had ran the ball two more times than they had throw the ball. Think about that for a minute. The New England Patriots, with one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game, were running the ball more than throwing the ball. The same New England Patriots who threw for over 5,000 yards last season en route to an AFC Championship, who added more weapons to throw to this year, were running more than throwing while trailing! Yes, I know Aaron Hernandez went down early with an injury, and yes I know the line was not doing a great job protecting Brady, but give me a break!

Here is the best example of the terrible offensive gameplan yesterday. Around four minutes to go in the 3rd quarter with the Patriots trailing 20-12 and on one of their better drives of the day. Brady had completed 5 out of 7 passes on the drive for 35 yards when a huge 3rd and 6 came up at the Arizona 30 yard line. Already in field goal range, all the Pats had to do was attempt a high percentage pass and kick a field goal if coming up short. Instead, what do they do? They run a toss to 5’8″, 195 pound Danny Woodhead, who was dragged down nine yards behind the line of scrimmage! Of course, not Woody’s fault by any means whatsoever since the line gave him nothing. But to run a play like that on a 3rd and 6 with Tom Brady on your team? Unreal! The loss put the Pats out of field goal range and Zoltan Mesko punted the ball into the end zone on the next play. The Cardinals took over 10 yards past the 3rd down line of scrimmage. I posted the play by play from ESPN.com below.

Now I can go on about what this Patriots offense has turned into since McDaniels joined the team (other than the shellacking of the Broncos in the playoffs last season). Instead, I would rather point out a few other things Mr. McDaniels has to his credit since the record breaking 2007 season in which all he had to do was call Randy Moss streak left, Randy Moss streak right – real difficult to be that team’s offensive coordinator! I will give him credit for a good season without Brady in 2008 but once he left the Patriots he has been downright awful. First, he alienated a franchise QB and the only offensive weapon on the Denver Broncos in Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. Not bad getting rid of Cutler and starting fresh, but his answer to that was drafting Tim Tebow in the 1st round of the 2010 draft. That’s right, Tim Tebow who may bring some excitement with him but is arguably one of the worst starting quarterbacks in recent memory finishing last season with a 46.5% completion percentage.

After the Broncos disaster, what did McDaniels do as an encore? He took an offense that ranked 26th in 2010 and developed them into the 31st best offense in 2011. Granted, they did lose Sam Bradford to injury. But the 10 games they had Bradford weren’t much better as Bradford threw only 6 touchdown passes in his 10 starts last season. Now McDaniels is back with the Patriots and trying to force a balanced offensive attack on one of the most potent offenses of the last half-decade. Belichick and Brady both seem to love McDaniels, and he did bring Brandon Lloyd over here (Lloyd credits McDaniels as being the reason for his recent success). However, I think it is fair as a football fan to start questioning: What the heck have you done for me lately Josh McDaniels?

Source: ESPN.com
  1. Steven Jeffries says:

    A very insightful look at some problems with the Pats. I still like them as the best in the AFC…

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