December 8, 2023


“I feel everybody thought that was the most effective factor for us to do presently.”

Mike Onwenu was a distinction maker at proper deal with on Sunday towards Buffalo. (AP Picture/Kyusung Gong)

After weeks of futility, Mac Jones and the Patriots offense on Sunday was the most effective it’s regarded in … properly, nearly a 12 months.

Jones delivered within the clutch after the Payments erased a double-digit Patriots lead within the fourth quarter, finishing six of seven passes for 70 yards in beneath two minutes of play en path to his second profession game-winning drive.

New England’s run recreation averaged 4.0 yards per carry, with Demario Douglas’ lone contact on the bottom resulting in the Patriots’ first rush of 20 yards this season.

After not reaching the purple zone in 29 straight possessions earlier this month, six of New England’s 9 drives towards Buffalo made it inside the Payments’ 20-yard line.

The Patriots completed Sunday’s 29-25 win over Buffalo with 364 complete yards of offense, a breath of recent air for personnel grouping that went 10 quarters with an offensive landing at one level in 2023.

In fact, it’s seemingly asking loads for Jones to finish over 83 p.c of his go makes an attempt (25-of-30 towards Buffalo) on any given Sunday.

However as New England tries to construct some momentum off of Sunday’s victory, the best avenue towards attaining constant offensive manufacturing lies within the trenches — particularly with a reworked offensive line that cleared a path towards a much-needed win in Foxborough.

And if the Patriots’ O-line desires to proceed profitable battles on the line of scrimmage, Mike Onwenu wants to stay round at his new put up at proper deal with.

It ought to come as little shock that New England’s run recreation and Jones’ exact aerial assault lastly took off on a day the place the Patriots’ large males up entrance didn’t falter.

“The offensive line’s play in the present day was what actually stood out to me,” HOnes mentioned postgame. “They made all the things work — run recreation, passing recreation. I had a pair performs the place I dropped my eyes, and that’s not on them, it’s on me.”

Sunday marked the sixth time in seven video games that New England rolled out a brand new beginning five-man unit on the O-line. However the outcomes had been spectacular, particularly with Invoice Belichick making the decision to shift Onwenu from guard to deal with.

As noted by 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Alex Barth, Onwenu solely allowed one stress and 0 sacks over all 60 of New England’s offensive snaps towards Buffalo, along with his 98.5% effectivity charge standing as the best mark amongst Patriots proper tackles this season.

The appropriate-tackle place has been a revolving door of futility for New England this season, with free-agent pickups in Calvin Anderson and Riley Reiff hampered by accidents and poor play — and backup choices like Vederian Lowe additionally laboring when pressed into service.

With Onwenu holding his personal, the ensuing domino impact led to constructive outcomes throughout the five-man unit.

Rookie Sidy Sow, now slotted again over to protect, posted an 86.4 PFF grade towards Buffalo — the second-highest mark amongst proper guards in Week 7. 

New England solely relinquished one sack to Buffalo and gave up seven complete pressures towards a Payments protection that routinely doled out harm this season due to a potent go rush. 

After one more uneven offensive output in Week 6 towards the Raiders, Invoice Belichick acknowledged on Monday morning that Onwenu’s shift again to proper deal with was put in movement days prior.

“There are a selection of issues concerned. I had an excellent dialog with Mike after the Raider recreation and finally, I feel everybody thought that was the most effective factor for us to do presently,” Belichick mentioned. “So, went with it. He had an excellent week and thought he did an excellent job for us.

“Mike performed there his rookie 12 months. He’s a wise child, understands in all probability all of the completely different positions on the offensive line, fairly good elementary participant and clearly has obtained good power.”

It’s been an uneven 12 months for Onwenu, who put collectively lackluster returns at occasions throughout his snaps at proper guard whereas battling again from offseason ankle surgical procedure.

However as long as he can maintain his personal at that vacant spot at proper deal with, Onwenu affords up hope that arguably probably the most obtrusive flaw on New England’s offense is because of be remedied within the weeks forward.

“I’m type of detached,” Onwenu mentioned Monday of enjoying between guard and deal with. “I’ve performed the place earlier than. So it’s nearly adjusting after which going week-to-week with the staff that we’re enjoying.

Nothing particular, extra so simply getting the reps that I want or simply getting the seems to be that I want in apply to really feel snug to play there on the surface. … I’m actually simply approaching it wherever I’m at. I don’t select the place I play. On the finish of the day, I’m informed the place I will probably be. We’ll simply see the place that occurs to be.