The New England Patriots offense has struggled mightily for most of the season, and the frustration among the players seemed to reach a boiling point Thursday night in a 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was seen on the Amazon Prime broadcast yelling at somebody on the sideline, demanding that the team throw the ball down field. He also used at least one four-letter word that we can't repeat.
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This moment kind of summed up what was a dreadful night for the offense, a unit that scored only 10 points, racked up just 242 total yards and converted three of 12 third-down attempts.
What does James White think of Jones' sideline tirade?
The legendary Patriots running back agreed with Jones' comments, but White also thinks it's not a good sign for the offense as a whole.
“It’s definitely a problem, for sure, when your quarterback is coming to the sideline and he’s not necessarily agreeing with the play-calling, or the design of the plays that are being called,” White explained on The Ringer's "Off the Pike" podcast. “There was definitely a whole lot of quick game being called. Defenses after a while, they get a hold of what you’re doing. If you’re throwing slants and pop passes, they’re going to get a bead on it. Eventually, you’re going to have to switch it up a little bit and take some shots down the field."
White added: "It's hard to play against defenses like that. They are really good. If you continue to throw short like that, they're fine with that, they'll just break on the ball and let you get that gain of two or three (yards). It's going to be tough sledding. Eventually, you're going to have to challenge those defensive backs because they've been beat. They're there in coverage a lot of times, but guys are making those contested catches on them. Just give your guys a chance. You have guys who can make those plays.
“I think what he was saying, obviously I agree with it. Maybe I wouldn’t have done it like him, but he’s the guy playing. He’s frustrated. I’m sure the entire offense is frustrated. It’s not just (Patricia). I think it’s the entire offense as a whole has been completely inconsistent aside from Rhamondre (Stevenson). He’s been the only consistent guy on that offense all year long.”
Jones wasn't the only player who voiced his frustration over the offense.
Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne had some candid comments at his locker after the game.
“We gotta get the ball downfield," Bourne told reporters in the locker room after the defeat. "I think Mac needs more time. He’s obviously running around, so it’s hard to get the ball downfield when you don't really have time to throw. No knock to the line, it's just what we need to work on. The receivers can't do anything if the ball can't get downfield. If we can't throw it past five yards, it's just going to be a long game.
"We have plays but we can't get to them. We're calling them, but it's not working. ... Hopefully we can get Mac more time so he can make the plays."
The Patriots need to figure out their offensive issues ASAP or they could find themselves with a near-impossible path to the playoffs, potentially as soon as next week.