Is McDaniel not being exactly comfortable yet part of the problem?
“We know what the game plan is,” Branch said. “Every game plan is different. This one was totally different than the ones we’ve had in the past. We were trying to run a lot of different things out of our two-tight [end] set. And we have the personnel to do it with the guys that are in this locker room. We know exactly what we want to do, it’s just all about execution.”
And, as Branch pointed out, it’s about not letting it get to that point.
The Patriots led, 23-10, after a Jets punt and got off to a promising start with two first downs. And then there was a 1-yard run on first down at midfield.
Second down: Play-action bubble screen to Welker that didn’t fool anyone for minus-2 yards.
And then McDaniels doubled down with another one of his patented deception plays: fake jet sweep to Welker, backside screen to Danny Woodhead for another 2-yard loss.
I know Chip Kelly and the University of Oregon have helped the turbo no-huddle — which was nonexistent against the Jets for some reason — but evidently somebody’s watching too much film on the Ducks.
It’s time, again, for the Patriots and McDaniels to stop trying to outscheme the opponent and just worry about themselves.
Step 1: Figure out what exactly it is that you’re good at. Are you a running team? Are you a play-action team? Is it better to spread out the opponent and let Brady be Brady?
Step 2: Drill those plays to the point where the execution doesn’t fail in the fourth quarter.
Because what you’re doing now is not near good enough. The Patriots may be able to emerge out of the slop that is the AFC right now, but they need to be able to count on their offense to close these games out and become a champion.
Brady’s right, it’s only October.
But January is right around the corner, and the Patriots’ offense has a long way to go.