Cardinals DC Joseph not wrong about Patricia’s play-calling for Pats

Dec 13, 2022, 7:47 PM

Offensive Line Coach Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots looks onward during during the secon...

Offensive Line Coach Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots looks onward during during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Vance Joseph was being factual and also honest.

Speaking on the identity of the New England Patriots’ offense entering their Monday Night Football battle last week, the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator didn’t mean to be controversial.

“It’s a very conservative pass game. Lots of screens … it’s like a defensive guy is calling offense,” he said, then chuckling having realized the truth sounds funny. “It’s how a defensive guy would call offensive plays. Let’s not turn the ball over, let’s get four yards a play, let’s burn clock.

“For the most part, it’s run game, it’s quick game and screens.”

He was not lying.

New England and its fans could have taken it as a shot at Patriots offensive play-caller Matt Patricia, who has a defensive background but before this year joined head coach Bill Belichick’s staff as senior football advisor and offensive line coach.

Joseph, after saying what he did, probably realized his comment could be taken the wrong way.

After the Patriots’ 27-13 win against the Cardinals at State Farm Stadium, the defensive coordinator sought out Patricia.

Patricia on Tuesday after the game said there were no hard feelings between he and Joseph.

“I’ve known Vance a long time,” Patricia said, per CBS Boston. “Very competitive guy, and he’s been in the league a long time. So, Vance is great. (He) was just coming up to make sure, you know, I knew everything was great. And, you know, it was — I think all that kind of maybe got pushed out of perspective a little bit. So, all good. Nothing.”

Patricia has been taking heat for a floundering offense, and his relationship with second-year quarterback Mac Jones has been in the spotlight. Fans of the Patriots fully understood why Joseph said what he did.

And Joseph wasn’t proved wrong.

New England called 12 screen passes on Monday, accounting for 32% of the offensive plays, according to writer Evan Lazar.

Only four times in the past two seasons has any team thrown screens at that high of a rate.

Thirteen of Jones’ 35 pass attempts were behind the line of scrimmage.

Pats fans, despite the score that was aided by two second-half Arizona turnovers, still appear displeased about Patricia’s decision-making.

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