The New England Patriots have put together a surprisingly good season thus far.
It is surprising due to the lack of experienced quarterback play, thanks to an injury to Mac Jones.
Jones has started five of the Patriots’ eight games, while rookie QB, Bailey Zappe has started three.
But, Zappe has been the more effective player this year.
The fourth-round pick in this past draft has thrown for five touchdowns and three interceptions this year.
While Jones has been abysmal, throwing for three touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Some (not so) fun Mac Jones stats:
– He has thrown an INT in every game
– His INT% is the highest in the NFL
– His TD% is 3rd-worst in the NFL
– His COMP%, TD%, INT%, QBR, QB rating, and yards/game are all down from last year
– He is PFF's lowest-graded starting QB
— Dave Kluge (@DaveKluge) November 1, 2022
Despite the inconsistent QB play, the Patriots sit at 4-4 on the season.
Head coach, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots’ defense are a big reason for their success.
Their defense is allowing only 20.4 points per game and have dominated in takeaways.
Of their 16 takeaways this year, 10 have been by interception and six by fumble.
Looking at the standings in the AFC, it seems unlikely that the Patriots will make the playoffs.
In an offensive league, New England simply does not do enough on that side of the ball.
Their passing offense in particular is what is holding them back from being true contenders.
Also, looking ahead at the Patriots’ schedule, it will be hard to see them win the 10+ games likely required to get in.
The Pats still have to play the Bills twice, the Dolphins, the Vikings, and the Bengals.
All teams that have more explosive offenses than New England.
Playing in the AFC East, the best hope for the Patriots making the playoffs is via a wild-card spot.
But, all the pressure is going to be on their defense to carry them that far.