Patriots

Patriots Talk: Mac Jones shouldn't have to carry the load

Patriots

Not much went right for the New England Patriots in 2020, when the team finished 7-9 in the first year of the post-Tom Brady era.

They sure could run the ball, at least. The Patriots were fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per game last season, averaging 146.6 yards per game on the ground.

Fast forward to the present, and the team combined to actually lose yardage in Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, netting out to -1 yards on eight carries.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Mac Jones shouldn't have to carry the load | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

While the tradeoff has been competent quarterback play from rookie Mac Jones, the two shouldn't be mutually exclusive. Why are the Patriots having so much trouble running the ball?

"I'm seeing a lot of people who can't block. I don't think it's that complicated," Perry said, noting the blame goes beyond just the offensive line.

New England is averaging 3.5 yards per rush as a team through four games, 29th in the 32-team NFL. James White is on injured reserve and out for the season, the team traded Sony Michel to the Los Angeles Rams prior to the season and Rhamondre Stevenson has hardly been seen since losing a fumble against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.

JJ Taylor also lost a fumble Sunday against the Buccaneers. Given the lack of personnel available, he and Stevenson can't remain in the dog house much longer, right?

 

"You have to have someone other than Damien Harris," Curran said.

Perry added, "you can always find another running back."

Also discussed in this episode: Cam Newton's role in the running game last season, plus an interview with Kyle Van Noy.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube.