Mac Jones and the Patriots‘ offense did just enough to beat a staunch Steelers defense 17-14 on Sunday.
Still, one glaring statistic stood out in the box score: Both tight ends, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, went without a catch. Smith was targeted just three times, while Henry was targeted once.
Neither Smith nor Henry was heavily targeted in Week 1 — Smith caught three passes for 33 yards, and Henry pulled down two for 20. Both Henry and Jones, however, said in their radio appearances Monday on WEEI that they weren’t concerned by the lack of looks.
“It’s going to come man, I’m not worried about it,” Henry said. “We’re all working through things offensively, and we were able to string a lot of good drives together yesterday.
“It’ll all play itself out. Just here to do my role and be a part of the team, whatever they ask me to do.”
Jones said he reminded both Smith and Henry that it’s a long year.
“This week was a little different, the way we approached it,” Jones admitted. “But no, they’re not complaining or anything. They are happy, they are doing what they are supposed to be doing on every play, and when their plays come, they’ll come.
“And they are great players. Jonnu and Hunter have done a great job. They know their plays will come.”
In Week 1, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne caught just one pass on one target — a 41-yard reception that raised eyebrows given his lack of playing time. Jones noted the variety in play-calling on Sunday.
“Some games it might be a two tight-end game, sometimes we don’t want to do that, it just depends on the game,” Jones said. “They know how to make the plays. It’s just they have to get the opportunity, and when they do, I’ll be sure to hit them. We have plenty of plays for them, it’s just kind of – everybody can get the ball at any time, and we definitely want to find ways to get them the ball too.”
The Steelers’ defense forced four interceptions and sacked Joe Burrow seven times in a Week 1 win over the Bengals. The Patriots kept them away from Jones, however — he was hit just three times and said on both Sunday and Monday that he felt like he was barely touched.
“Sometimes it can look like we didn’t do anything, but sometimes we’re running to spots, opening guys up, doing different things like that,” Henry said. “It’s a complete team game on offense. We need everybody in the right spots, especially on all different routes, and they all correlate. They all work together.
“So we had a lot of guys make some tremendous plays for us yesterday that really stepped up big for us.”
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