Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Can The New England Patriots Win With Brian Hoyer?

Brian Hoyer

As the Patriots and Mac Jones mull injury decisions, in light of his severe high ankle sprain, all eyes are on journeyman backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. With the timetable return for Jones still uncertain, Hoyer is the primary option at the position for the Patriots to lean on as they try to salvage their season.

But is Hoyer up to the task?

Brian Hoyer’s Track Record

In his last 11 starts, Brian Hoyer has not won a single game. Granted, those starts date as far back as 2016, spread between the Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, and Chicago Bears. So, while Hoyer has not had much stability, moving from franchise to franchise, he still is an NFL-caliber backup quarterback. And that experience will likely serve Hoyer well if he is to be the cog in New England’s offense until Jones returns.

Throughout his career, Hoyer worked with many different head coaches, offensive coordinators, and playbooks. Picking up this new-look Patriots offense should be second nature to him, but the question is if he can produce enough offensively for the Patriots to win games. Mac Jones is a rising talent in the NFL who, in only 20 games, has shown flashes of great quarterbacking.

Playing up to that kind of performance is no easy task, but if Hoyer can make the throws he needs to, game manage, and take care of the football, there should be opportunities for the Patriots to win some games.

The Schedule Ahead For New England

In the next five weeks, the Patriots will play the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears. With the exception of the Packers, the Patriots will not be facing off against particularly impressive teams. Each team they play has some good pieces on both sides of the ball, yet none of the teams measure up to what New England faced against Miami and Baltimore.

Fans should not pencil in any wins, but the Browns, Lions, Jets, and Bears all have quarterback issues of their own. Are they any greater than the Patriots quarterback issues? Perhaps not, but it speaks to a broader point about the NFL writ large. Every team has weaknesses, and no team is unbeatable. Whether or not the Patriots will exploit those weaknesses remains to be seen.

The Patriots Keys To Success

Running The Football

To help Brian Hoyer, the Patriots will need to run the football. A lot. Taking the pressure off Hoyer and controlling the clock can be accomplished by running the football effectively. This season, the Patriots have averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry and just over 115 yards-per-game. If the Patriots can continue that level of production running the ball, they should help open up the playbook for Matt Patricia and Joe Judge while also setting up play-action.

Minimizing Giveaways

Mac Jones, through only three games, turned the ball over six times, and Nelson Agholor had his second fumble of the season against the Ravens in Week 3. Entering Week 4, the Patriots are (-4) in the turnover differential, the 29th worst in the league. For the Patriots to have any success with Hoyer in the foreseeable future, the Patriots offense will need to take care of the football and not squander good field position or momentum with costly giveaways.

The Defense Must Start Stepping Up

Perhaps most importantly, the Patriots defense will need to play lights-out. With Mac Jones on the mend, New England will need to lean on their defense to make stops and force turnovers. Through three games, the Patriots have only allowed 23.7 points per game. For the Patriots to compete this season, they will need to likely hold teams south of 20 points to give their fractured offense a chance. If New England can muster up a good defensive scheme in the next several weeks, they give their offense a fighting chance at not only staying in games but also winning them.


More Posts

Send Us A Message