Morning Sports Update

NFL analyst thinks Patriots’ play-calling is ‘absolutely an issue’

"We're giving the benefit of the doubt to the Patriots on this because of Bill Belichick's track record."

Matt Patricia
Matt Patricia and Mac Jones speak during the Patriots' first preseason game of 2022. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 3-0 on Sunday. Michael Wacha pitched eight scoreless innings for Boston, recording nine strikeouts in the win.

Coming up this Friday, the Patriots will play the Panthers in the team’s second preseason game at 7 p.m.

Also this week, the Revolution face Toronto FC on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

As the Patriots offense turns: With one preseason game out of the way, the Patriots continue to have question marks at a critical position on offense. In this case, it’s not a position on the field, but instead who the team’s play-caller will be.

Given the well-established stakes of Bill Belichick’s decision to replace former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge (both of whom have never called plays on offense), New England’s unorthodox coaching setup will be evaluated with extra scrutiny.


Having watched the Patriots lose to the Giants on Aug. 11 — albeit in a preseason game in which many of the team’s starters, including Mac Jones, did not play — NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck continues to have doubts about the offensive coaching.

“It’s absolutely an issue in my mind when I look at this,” Hasselbeck explained in an ESPN “Get Up!” segment on Monday. “I mean the reality of the situation is I think it’s important for there to be some continuity in terms of seeing the game the same way between play-caller and quarterback.”

Hasselbeck noted that it’s not simply about Patricia (and Judge) lacking experience calling plays, but that neither has any established chemistry with Jones.

“Every experience that I’ve been around where it’s been successful, it’s because the quarterback is seeing the game the same way as the play-caller,” he said. “I think for a second-year quarterback to have a choice between two play-callers that have never been play-callers in the National Football League — going from somebody [who has] been a great play-caller in Josh McDaniels, I think that’s a problem.”

The Patriots open the regular season in Miami on Sept. 11 against the Dolphins.

But before meaningful football begins, New England still has a few more weeks to figure things out.


“We’re giving the benefit of the doubt to the Patriots on this because of Bill Belichick’s track record,” Hasselbeck concluded, “but there is not another team in the NFL that would be approaching it this same way.

Trivia: The Red Sox and Yankees are tied for the most American League wild card playoff berths in history with eight (since the wild card was added in 1995). Can you name the AL team that ranks next on the list?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: This team has done it four times (2001, 2014, 2018, 2019).

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One of the more impressive stats from the weekend: The Red Sox-Yankees game on Sunday tied for the shortest between the two rivals since 1994.

Rafael Devers continues to put himself in elite company in Red Sox history:

Feuding managers: In a hotly contested English Premier League game on Sunday, Tottenham manager Antonio Conte and his Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel got into each other’s face on multiple occassions. The game ended in a 2-2 draw after Tottenham’s dramatic equalizer.

On this day: In 2015, the Red Sox clobbered the Mariners 22-10. Boston chased Seattle ace Felix Hernandez after just 2.1 innings pitched (allowing 10 earned runs).

Jackie Bradley Jr. led the Red Sox from the No. 9 spot in the batting order, going 5-7 on the day with three doubles, two home runs, and finishing with 14 total bases and seven RBIs.

Daily highlight: Rafael Devers not only delivered with a home run in Sunday’s win over the Yankees, he also contributed an incredible defensive play.

Trivia answer: Oakland Athletics


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