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The Giants and Lions Success Hammers Home Just How Bad the Patriots Offensive Coaching Was

In the normal course of business, I'd never use a Chris Simms video as the jumping off point for a post. Unless he was saying something ridiculous, like one of those ones he used to do every summer when he'd rank the NFL quarterbacks and not put Tom Brady is in his top seven or whatever. And even then, the opinions still warm from being pulled out of his crack were strictly Slow News Day content only. He is the current version of what Bill Belichick famously said of Charley Casserly, "He's wrong more than the weatherman." Though allow me to update that to weatherperson. Because progress.

But let me with remark with regards to the same, while I don't necessarily believe his report that Mac Jones "was telling people he wasn’t happy." Saying "Hey, can you help us with ideas and do stuff like that?" Belichick found out "there were "back-channel conversations" going on behind his back and it got "personal," I not willing to dismiss it out of hand, either. 

In fact, I'm willing to go along with the speculation Tom E. Curran gave to WEEI:

“To me, the bigger issue here is, there’s a ‘Mac-stabbing’ going on,” said Curran. ... “If you look at this situation, someone is telling Chris Simms, ‘Yeah, Mac acts out. Mac is driving us crazy. He might show us up when the television cameras are rolling, but he can be a real pain in the ass. Bill has just about had it.’ ...

"I’d be surprised if the pushback isn’t coming from Joe Judge and/or Matt Patricia. ...

“I really believe this Mac backlash, some of which he deserved, absolutely, for being a dink,” said Curran. “I think some of his teammates might have said ‘cut it out,’ and he did, which speaks well of him and his teammates. But what we’re starting to see pushed forward by some folks in different media circles of, ‘Well, Mac was really a big baby.’ We’re getting a little overboard. I think that’s coming from some place.” 

It might not be fair to Joe Judge and Matt Patricia to accuse them of planting stories designed to paint Mac Jones as a petulant little doosh canoe. And granted, we have no evidence. But following the Dick Wolf template of nailing down a suspect, which are Means, Opportunity, and above all Motive, who better fits the description of the perp we're looking for. Because no two people walking the Earth would have more motivation to make Jones sound like a difficult little Prima Ballerina who's hard to work with than them. 

Which brings me at long last to the premise of the blog. A great point raised by a neutral observer, that can sum up the whole failed offensive coaching experiment this season:

Nothing could drive home the point of what a disaster this choice was better than watching the Giants win a road playoff game last night. Unless you want to argue Mike Greenberg's premise that personnel Brian Daboll got to work with represents a major upgrade from Joe Judge's. That somehow Evan Neal (Pro Football Focus' 207th highest graded offensive lineman) and Wan'Dale Robinson (227 receiving yards) were the missing elements that explain Judge's failures. 

And here are Judge's failures, expressed in numbers:

Won-loss:

  • Judge: 10-23
  • Daboll: 10-7-1 (and counting)

Ranking of points scored:

  • JJ: 31st, 31st
  • BD: 15th

Ranking of total yards:

  • JJ: 31st, 31st
  • BD: 18th

Daniel Jones' passer ratings:

  • JJ: 80.4, 84.8
  • DB: 92.5

Jones' TD%:

  • JJ: 2.5%, 2.8%
  • DB: 3.2%

Jones' INT%:

  • JJ: 2.1%, 1.9%
  • DB: A league best 1.1%

Now let's turn to Patricia in Detroit. Unlike with Judge in New York, you can't apples-to-apples the personnel. But there is this comparison between him and his replacement, Dan Campbell:

Won-loss:

  • Matty P: 13-29-1
  • 2022 Campbell: 9-8 rank:

Ranking of points scored:

  • MP: 21st, 24th, 30th
  • 2022 Dan Campbell: 5th

Then there's the factor that can't be factored with data. Like what Campbell's players think about playing for him. Rookie safety Kirby Joseph, for example:

"When he says something, I buy in. I’m not going to lie. I’ll be like ‘yeah.’ When he comes into halftime like ‘yeah yeah yeah’ turning us up, I’m like ‘yeah coach!'” He just makes me want to run through a wall. … ‘Coach whatever you in, I’m with.’"

Thanks, no doubt, to moments like this:

Mac Jones and every other Patriots offensive player said the things they're expected to say about working with Patricia. But if anyone talked in terms of buy-ins and "yeah yeah yeah" and running through solid objects - either here in 2022 or when he was in Detroit - I most definitely missed it. 

All of which is to point out that, as the season continues for others and gets further behind Patriots fans, we zoom out on the navigation system and gain an even greater perspective of how bad the decision to put these two in charge of an improving offense run by a young and developing quarterback. 

It's enough to almost make you glad there wasn't even some modest level of success, because if Mac was able to work through the challenges of playing for guys who don't know what they're doing, it might have deceived someone into thinking this cataclysm should continue. Better to have the Hindenburg go up in a fireball so we learn to quit filling giant bags with explosive gas. 

And with each week we see teams like the Giants and players like Daniel Jones succeed in January, the more we can appreciate just how epic the failure of 2022 was. Now add to that our offensive coaches might be going around bad-mouthing the future of this franchise just to save face. So a total overhaul is beyond necessary.

Bill O'Brien can't get here fast enough.