The Morning After: Mac Jones is not the issue, the structure is

A very disappointing home blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills ended with the New England Patriots falling to 6-6 on Thursday night.

There was nothing pretty about this matchup, like the previous two head-to-head meetings with the Bills. The story has been the same as it has all season long: The offense is just plain terrible.

Many want to blame Mac Jones, but he is far from the issue. I firmly believe that any QB outside of maybe the top-three would be struggling in this offense due to how poor the play-calling has been under Matt Patricia.

Here are my leftover notes after having some time to sleep on the game.

List

Winners and losers in Patriots' disappointing loss to the Bills

Matt Patricia needs to go... NOW

Matt Patricia has had some bright spots, but the majority of the season finds him at fault for the offensive struggles. Predictable, non-explosive play-calling has really hurt the Patriots offense, particularly second year QB Mac Jones in an ever-important developmental season.

Patricia seemingly was the center of attention after last night, with multiple players taking shots at the conservative play-calling.

The offensive line, talentwise, should be much better, but Patricia is handling that group as well. Even wideout Kendrick Bourne was blaming the offensive line for the majority of the Patriots’ struggles.

Players like Nelson Agholor, DeVante Parker, Jonnu Smith, Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry have all statistically had one of the worst seasons of their careers.

The Patriots need to do something about this and stop tip-toeing around the fact that the offensive coaching structure is detrimental to this team’s success. Maybe Bill Belichick will mean what he says when mentioning “let’s do what’s best for the team,” and take play-calling duties away from Patricia, NOW.

Offensive line needs more depth

The Patriots in 2023 really need to figure out this offensive line for Jones in Year 3, and they need to be aggressive in doing so. Typically, we see teams aggressively add around quarterbacks entering their third year, and the Patriots need to do the same.

The offensive line needs major adjustments. Mike Onwenu and Cole Strange are young guards, and David Andrews is a good center. Andrews, however, has been dealing with injuries all season long and isn’t as young as the other two. Isaiah Wynn is an impending free agent, Marcus Cannon is on IR, Connor McDermott is a bench piece and Trent Brown has checked out.

The Patriots need to find two tackles to protect Jones, and they need to do it early, even if it means trading draft picks for proven, surefire tackles and then paying them.

If Jones could get one second longer in the pocket and better play-calling, things would be infinitely better.

The defense is still elite

The Patriots defense has been showcasing elite performances week in and week out. Outside of stopping Diggs, the Patriots held the Bills to just seven points in the second half.

Things are clearly working defensively with both scheme and personnel, and the Patriots would be a playoff team if the offense was even top-15. But the Patriots offense is ranked among the worst in the league this season. You don’t even need the stats to see how bad it has been. A simple eye test would suffice at this point.

What hasn’t been said enough was how good the defensive scheme and coaching has been, and the majority of that credit should go to Jerrod Mayo and Belichick.

If the Patriots can be a normal team in 2023, Mayo should be the defensive coordinator, while the Patriots should bring in an offensive coordinator like Bill O’Brien to run things.

Those two moves right there would have the team in a much better place.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire