The New England Patriots’ season finished in disappointment Sunday, with a loss to the Buffalo Bills ending their hopes of an 18th playoff appearance under head coach Bill Belichick.
Although the Patriots have now missed the postseason twice since Tom Brady left and haven’t won a playoff game since their Super Bowl victory in 2018, the 70-year-old Belichick isn’t considering retirement and is already thinking about next year.
“The process will start today,” Belichick said, according to NESN’s Zack Cox.
“Nobody’s satisfied with (finishing 8-9),” he added. “That’s not our goal. We need to improve on that.”
Mac Jones’ future as New England’s starter will be one of the key storylines of the team’s offseason ahead of Belichick’s 24th year in charge.
Following a standout rookie campaign, Jones struggled as a sophomore. He threw for just 2,997 yards and 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions in 14 starts.
Belichick said the Patriots have to give the 24-year-old more help if he’s to return to form.
“Mac has the ability to play quarterback in this league. We all have to work together to be more productive than we were this year.”
Pressure mounted on the offensive coaching staff throughout the season, namely, play-caller Matt Patricia and offensive assistant Joe Judge. Belichick, who opted not to have an official offensive coordinator this campaign, addressed the offense’s regression.
“That’ll be part of the whole process that we go through,” Belichick said, according to Chris Mason of MassLive. “We need to be more productive on all levels: offense, defense, and special teams … But that’s certainly something we need to do: Score more points.”
New England ranked 17th in points per game (21.4), 26th in yards per game (314.6), and 32nd in red-zone touchdown percentage (42.2%) this season.
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