Patriots players say Colts LB tipped off their offensive play originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Why did the New England Patriots’ offense manage just 203 total yards and one touchdown Sunday?
If you ask some of their players, that’s partly because the Indianapolis Colts knew what was coming.
According to MassLive’s Mark Daniels, “several offensive players” on the Patriots “could be heard talking about (linebacker) Shaquille Leonard calling out his play calls” in the locker room after New England’s 26-3 win.
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“A Patriots starting offensive lineman said Leonard occasionally called out what the Patriots were going to do on certain plays, such as outside runs and screen passes,” Daniels wrote.
The Colts have a former Patriot standout on defense in cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who shared his Patriots information with Indy quarterback Sam Ehlinger ahead of Sunday’s matchup. But New England is believed to be running a different offense under play-caller Matt Patricia than it ran with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels when Gilmore was with the team.
Either way, it’s not a good sign for the Patriots if Leonard called out their plays, suggesting New England may have tipped him off with certain tendencies, formations or pre-snap calls.
The Patriots’ offense has a laundry list of problems right now, starting with terrible play from its offensive line, which allowed Mac Jones to be sacked four times and take seven quarterback hits on Sunday. Matt Patricia’s squad has just two touchdown drives in its last two games (one of which covered just two yards after New England recovered a blocked punt), averaged a paltry 3.3 yards per play against the Colts and now ranks 26th in the NFL in yards per play.
Thankfully, the Patriots have a Week 10 bye before a rematch with the New York Jets in Week 11. Based on how Sunday went, much of that time should be spent fixing their many offensive issues.