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This season looks lost for the Patriots, so here’s a wish list to make them better next year

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The hangover from the Las Vegas disaster continued into halftime against the Bengals, with Pat still yet to score a point and looking as rotten offensively as he has at any point this season. rice field. He couldn’t undo the damage at half points. Like the season itself, it was most of the story, but ultimately not enough.

Director Bill Belichick said, “It’s a competitive game, something to work on, and it’s just not enough. A disappointing result.”

“It’s kind of painful to lose alone, but it’s even harder when you lose a game you really needed to win to get where you wanted to be,” reiterated receiver Jacobi Myers. We have great leadership in the room and we know a lot of the great talent, the young players we know who can play and are hungry to play. But at the same time, I had to try to keep them motivated.”

What’s on the Patriots’ wish list for next season? Are you listening, Santa?

• Improved coaching. Replaces Matt Patricia as offensive coordinator. Go ahead and throw a wake-up call to special teams coach Kam Accord (Is Matthew Slater ready to move into coaching?).

• A larger role for Kendrick Bourne. Bourne’s misuse this season has been his second offensive misconduct, a baffling dereliction of duty by Belichick, Patricia, Joe Judge, and others involved in Bourne’s disappearance. You could almost feel the presence of dear, late Josh McDaniel as Bourne successfully jet-swept Sunday for the first glimpse of an effective offense against the Bengals.

• Get an offensive playmaker! It was Sunday when they were making chunk plays against a very good Patriots defense, not to mention Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon and the sublime Joe Burrow. When they weren’t dodging defenders, they were running on top of them instead. . Even Patriots castoff tight end Devin Asiasi recorded his two catches for the Bengals on Sunday. Wow.

Where’s the potential for Pat’s game-breaking excitement? Even clubhouse cancer desperate signings like Josh Gordon and those whose off-field issues made him unreliable were absolutely not supportive. Brady was frustrated by the lack of weapons around him.

Mac Jones doesn’t have Brady’s résumé or cash, but as a quarterback who tends to lock his favorite targets, game breakers over Myers are tight end valves like Henry and Smith he tends to look for. It is suitable to complement the

Jacobi Myers caught a deflected pass and ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.John Turmacchi/Globe Staff

• Lockdown cover corners. The successive departures of Stephon Gilmore and her girlfriend JC Jackson are still heartbreaking and baffling. Marcus Jones was a great addition in so many ways, but it’s clear that height is a disadvantage when it comes to one-on-one coverage.

• Restore this defense. What a waste of a great defensive unit this season. Matthew Judon is elite, Josh Uche has another sack on Sunday, Kyle Duggar has proven his worth, and Devin McCourty has it on with his 34th career interception. , there is a desire to keep McCourty off the retirement list for at least one more season. He’s having too much fun to finish it.

• Improved Mac Jones. Yes, he played better later on Sunday. But it’s hard to imagine him playing worse than his first two quarters. The football half was so bad that TV commentators Boomer Esiason and Bill Kauer both called for Bailey to bench him in favor of his Zappe. It was so bad Burrow threw two touchdowns before Jones threw a pass.

Jones responded to the late call, praising him for doing his part to get the Patriots back into the game and compressing some impressive passes as the game progressed. I think he can be a reliable and effective game manager with enough occasional great plays for , but until he gets better coaching (and maybe handles his emotions a little better), he’s I am stuck in neutral.

In the NFL, neutral is the same as retreat. Read our report on Bill O’Brien’s possible return. Bill O’Brien would greatly improve Patricia/Judge’s mishaps.

• Red Zone Violation. Red zone violation.

Yes, long list. But it is necessary. The Bills, who held the lead against Chicago, are still in the lead. The Dolphins, fueled by the development of young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, are not going anywhere. The Jets, who have quarterback problems of their own, are no joke of his once.

The Patriots have a lot to do in the offseason.

Read more about the Patriots loss against the Bengals


Tara Sullivan is a columnist for The Globe Theater. Her contact is her [email protected]. follow her on her twitter @Globe_Tara.

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