Perry: Five bold predictions for 2022 Patriots appeared first on NBC Sports Boston
There is so much uncertainty surrounding this year’s Patriots that, when it comes to predictions, the world is your oyster. Throw anything at the wall, see if it sticks. Because there is a chance that it will get stuck.
Now the problem you may face is when you find it daring predictions. Because anything is possible because there isn’t a consensus view on how things will shake out, making a prediction that the bucks contract is a little harder to make.
Tom E. Curran’s bold predictions for the 2022 Patriots
Does not matter. We are determined in our pursuit daring and so here are five predictions of that variety for this upcoming, unpredictable Patriots season.
Bill Belichick will call offensive plays
At some point. Maybe not for a long time. Maybe not for a full game. But Bill Belichick will certainly have significant input into how the Patriots attack their schemes each week offensively, and it wouldn’t surprise me if at some point he takes over the reins — and the quarterback coaching liaison — from the supposed play-caller. -caller Matt Patricia. (Patricia, by the way, didn’t commit to calling regular season games. When asked about it last week, she said the preseason was the preseason, so we’ll have to wait and see how things work out for Week 1 and after.)
Yes, Mc Jones he will have a lot to say when it comes to which shows are performed and when. He will have the ability to bypass what is signaled in the tangle. But at some point, the bold prediction here is that Belichick will make the mark.
Belichick will move on from the Shanahan run
I can’t wrap my head around Belichick becoming a do-what-we-do coach. It’s clear he wants the Patriots’ identity to be one that incorporates more wide-area runs, which has helped the offenses in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Green Bay take off. But even after spending a lot of time trying to iron out the nuances of these wideband outings this summer, trying to simplify things for everyone involved offensively, it just hasn’t clicked yet.
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If those runs continue to pile up at the line of scrimmage, expect Belichick to step up. He is not afraid to adapt and has no patience for negative runs. Even if that means cutting back on work hours this offseason, if they aren’t productive, Belichick will be moving away from the kinds of projects he hoped would be a staple of this year’s offense.
Jack Jones will be a starter in a month
It’s hard to teach the kind of instincts and ability to change direction needed to be on the football as often as Jones has this summer. Before September ends, the fourth-round pick from Arizona State will start opposite Jaylen Mills. I think so.
Jonathan Jones looks like the option as a boundary corner opposite Mills for now, but perhaps a change in competition — from facing small and shifting corners in Miami this weekend to bigger targets in Pittsburgh in Week 2 — will lead to in a change to the starting line-up. Jonathan Jones could hit inside the usual slot position, opening up an opportunity for Jack Jones to play outside.
A combination of the Joneses and Mills might be a way for Belichick to get his top three picks on the field. Against Miami, having Miles Bryant or Marcus Jones in the slot can make a lot of sense when it comes to keeping up with Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle.
Depending on the numbers you point to, you could argue that Barmore was already sniffing elite territory as a rookie. Consider this: According to Pro Football Focus’ winning percentage stat, Barmore was fifth among interior defensive linemen in 2021 behind only Aaron Donald, Jacob Hargrave, Jonathan Allen and Chris Jones. He was second among all rookie interior linemen since 2006 in total pressures (48), trailing only Leonard Williams of the Jets in 2015.
Barmore had a really strong training camp and figures to continue to be a seriously disruptive force. By season’s end — if he continues to shine against the pass and add some run-game highlights to his wheel — he can be considered one of the game’s best at his position. Daring? Yes. Impossibility? Far from it.
Hunter Henry will lead all tight ends in TDs
Hand up. I have a confession to make. This is not as bold as it sounds. Indeed, Henry led the NFL in rushing touchdowns just last year. He shared that honor with Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews and Dawson Knox. But Henry scored his nine goals in just 10 games. If he can stay on the field, he should reach double figures in scoring, and he certainly has the potential to reach career highs in receiving as well. His chemistry with McJones is strong and Jones’ trust in Henry was evident in the red zone last season.
Nothing Henry has done this summer would lead anyone to believe he will disappear. If anything, Henry only proved to Jones that he deserves to continue to be targeted in tight spots. While there are many questions about New England’s starting offense this season, the connection between Jones and Henry should be solid. That means touchdowns. And a bunch of them.