Ezekiel Elliott is clearly fed up with Patriots suspected tanking after latest loss

Dec 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott (15)
Dec 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys rushing attack has picked up over the last month, largely due to Tony Pollard's newfound burst and ability to make defenders miss. On the whole, though, it's clear Pollard hasn't had the season fans expected of him after the Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliott in the offseason.

It's been an adjustment (to say the least) watching Elliott in a Patriots uniform. Elliott's been a bright spot in an otherwise dreadful Patriots season. They're on a beeline for a top-three pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and could have a new coach and quarterback next year.

Despite the lost season, Elliott's kept his head down and done his job. After New England's most recent loss against the Chiefs last Sunday, though, Elliott couldn't help but express frustration with the offense's approach while trailing.

Elliott felt as though the Patriots should have pushed the envelope after the Chiefs scored 20 unanswered points to take a 27-10 lead in the third quarter.

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“I think we could have went a little faster, just definitely being down three scores in that last quarter,” Elliott said, via NESN. "But I don’t know. It’s not up to me.”

The Patriots have been suspected of "tanking" on social media. They've been oddly passive when in a position to tie or take a lead, so it's no surprise where that discourse stems from. Sunday was the latest example. New England went three-and-out on three successive possession after the Chiefs went up 27-10. That includes punting on 4th and 3 from their own 42 and 4th and 4 from their own 33.

Elliott's frustration likely stems from the fact that the Patriots scored a touchdown -- a pass from Bailey Zappe to Hunter Henry -- on 4th and 2 in the first half. Bill Belichick attributed the passive approach to New England's injuries.

They were down to their third-string left tackle and lost Henry and left guard Cole Strange. Neither player returned to the game, but what did the Patriots have to lose? Instead of losing by four or five scores, Belichick can hold his head high and say he lost by three -- at home -- to the mighty Chiefs?

It's no wonder Elliott strayed from the buttoned-up "Patriot Way" and spoke his mind. There was zero reason for the Pats to be running a slow-moving offense (huddling, subbing, no hurry-up) down 10 points with four minutes left.

Elliott recently stated his interest in re-signing with New England. Maybe the former Cowboy was just posturing to the media. With more games like last Sunday, though, you have to wonder if Elliott will change his mind by season's end.

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