New England Patriots offensive lineman Trent Brown liked a social media post calling for the return of Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo to Foxborough amid troubles surrounding current quarterback Mac Jones.
In the frustrating defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Patriots quarterback Jones threw for 112 yards on a paltry 41.9% completion as the offence toiled en route to a 30-24 defeat. Receiver Jakobi Meyers will take the headlines for the inexplicable way the Patriots lost the game, but the New England offence faces plenty of question marks going forwards.
With just three games remaining, the 7-7 Patriots sit narrowly outside the AFC playoff picture and will need help to reach the postseason. According to Football Outsiders’ DVOA (defence-adjusted value over average) efficiency basis, the Pats offence is 25th while it is ranked 25th and 17th in standard total yardage and scoring respectively.
These struggles could be attributed to Matt Patricia’s inability as an offensive play-caller as well as a struggling receiving corps and offensive line, but much of the blame has been placed at the feet of Jones. The 2021 first round pick has struggled in his second season and speculation is rife regarding a potential reunion with NFL icon Brady, who has endured a torrid season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The rumours have been ramped up in the fallout of the loss to the Raiders, with offensive tackle Brown liking a social media post showcasing a quote from ESPN sportswriter Bill Barnwell suggesting which quarterbacks New England should pursue in 2023. He refers to seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady alongside Brady’s former backup and current San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Garoppolo.
“The Patriots have to at least call Brady’s people to inquire whether he would like to return to New England to finish out his career. …They could also pursue Garoppolo,” the post stated.
In the likes on Instagram, Brown’s profile was highlighted as having liked the post. Ultimately, the jury is still out on whether Jones is truly the man to lead the franchise going forwards - but it’s not a great look for Brown and the offensive chemistry.
Brown has traditionally been a high-level tackle for the Pats, but he is enduring one of the worst years of his career. On the other hand, Jones has undoubtedly struggled. He ranks 29th in the NFL in Expected Points Added/Completion Percentage Over Expected composite.
The former Alabama star led the Patriots to the playoffs in 2021 while also being named to the Pro Bowl - but it’s been a different story in 2022. Through 11 games, Jones has thrown for 2,310 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions, and his passer rating has dropped 10 points since last season to sit at 82.6.
The Patriots could now miss out on the postseason for the second time in three years, so they will be desperate for a win when they welcome the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals to Foxborough on Saturday.