A few Sunday’s ago, there was a reunion on the television screen. It had everything you could ask for too. The champs coming into New England, one of today’s marquee franchises. The opposing quarterback, making his first start against his old team after 20 years of wearing the Nautical Blue and Red. Shades Joe Montana coming back to San Francisco as a Chief or Michael Jordan playing the Bulls as a Wizard. The incumbent quarterback, a rookie, showing flashes of what may be to come in the future. The record for most passing yards in NFL history was broken. Ex Patriots like Ty Law, Randy Moss and Teddy Bruschi were there. It was a good game.
Unlike in week 3, there was a lot to take away from this game. Outside of the narratives surrounding Brady’s return, Mac Jones made a strong attempt of making the night about him completing over 70% of his throws for the third game this season. What may be the most Brady like quality of Jones thus far is his ability to spread the ball around to multiple receivers. Six different players have at least 13 catches so far this season with Jacoby Myers leading the way with 27. Keep an eye out for Kendrick Bourne, who has 11 receptions from 13 targets for 154 yards and a touchdown the last two games. It seems like we are leaning into a pass heavy offense as the running game looks to be non-existent. Right now, New England throws 68.53% of the time ranking third behind Tampa and Pittsburgh. Large contrast to last year where the Patriots ranked third in rushing.
Hasn’t translated into points however. Game was close, missed field goal in the rain and all but once again we couldn’t break 20 points for the third game of four.
Our defense showed some life, led by Mathew Judon who has been as advertised all year. His 4.5 sacks is tied for sixth in the NFL. His consistent pressure on the edge was a factor against Tampa and going forward should pose problems with teams who don’t double him. By not scoring, the defense has massive pressure to hold opposing teams to less than 20 points in order to win. Worked well on Sunday, but when it mattered we couldn’t get a sack or a turnover. Five turnovers in four games isn’t good enough.
Next four games: Houston (we won… barely), Dallas, Jets and Chargers. By Halloween we may be 3-5. My prediction, Patriots will be 4-4. Let’s see how it turns out.
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