Patriots’ offense bumbling along

ickers of nits would insist that Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets was one neither team deserved to win.

It took 59 minutes and 55 seconds for a touchdown to happen. Appropriately enough, neither offense could claim its parentage.

The Jets offense was hideous. The next time someone gripes about Mac Jones’ shortcomings, just say “Zack Wilson.”

Speaking of Mac Jones, statistical record Sunday was pretty good. But he quarterbacks an offense that suffers from an amazing inability to reach the end zone.

Or maybe there is an invisible doggy fence at the goal line of whatever end zone towards which the Pats are driving.

Regardless of whatever shiny numbers are highlighted on a stat sheet, an offense that fails to score a touchdown in any given four quarters has failed. The game of field position means something only if favorable starting points are launching pads to touchdown drives.

CBS TV announcers Kevin Harlan and Trent Green tried their best to hypnotize viewers into believing they were watching a defensive showdown for the ages. They fooled no one who didn’t wish to be fooled.

The one highlight worth watching came as the Jets’ Braden Mann launched his 10th punt of the dreary day. Patriots kick returner Marchus Jones caught it at his own 16 yard line and weaved his way through the Jets as if they were traffic cones.

Maybe players on the Jets punt team were as anxious as anyone were as anxious as anyone to get out of the wind and cold. Had anyone interrupted Jones’ TD return that clueless soul would have become a pariah.

Overtime? The last thing that game needed was another 15 minutes of nothing.

But the Patriots will wake up Monday morning at 6-4, in the thick of the playoff race. And how many folks dared pose that thought three months ago?

Miami is 7-3, Buffalo is 7-3, the Pats are 6-4 and the Jets are 6-4. If all four stay at that pace the entire AFC East would qualify for the NFL playoffs.

Up next for New England: A Thanksgiving Day trip to Minnesota, who fell to 8-2 Sunday after an embarrassing 40-3 drubbing by the Dallas Cowboys.

After taking a tongue-lashing as they relive that wretched performance, they may regain a spring in their step as coaches cue up video of the Pats offense futilely stumbling their way to the goal line.

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