Mac threw 3 picks and got leveled all day. James White was carted off. Defensive stars like Van Noy and Hightower were non-factors. And Jameis threw all over your secondary. An all-around forgettable day.
Where do I begin? How about with the fact that despite the final score, the Patriots were actually close and could’ve still won this game despite so many mistakes and such sloppy play for most of the game.
The Pats scored their only touchdown of the day on a 22-yard pass that Kendrick Bourne made an incredible play on to stay in bounds and take into the endzone with 9 and a half minutes left in the 4th to make it 21-13 Saints.
To follow, New Orleans had a 13 play, 75-yard touchdown drive to take 6:45 off the clock which pretty much iced the game. Still, given how the Patriots played for nearly the entire game they didn’t deserve to win.
The offensive line not only doesn’t look any better but much worse. However maybe we sort of expected that since they were now facing a real D-line with superstars like Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport to block.
The line being healthy and playing up to their standards is vital for this offense to have success. That sort of contribution from the line can’t come soon enough, for all of our sakes but especially Mac Jones who continues to take a beating week in and week out.
James White was carted off following a 6-yard run where he landed hard on his hip after only playing 6 snaps so far. He was quickly ruled out for the game and then it was announced during this week that he will be out for the rest of the season with a hip subluxation which is a devastating blow to the offense.
After so much hype and talking up of the new tight ends this offseason it is disgustingly disappointing to see how Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith have looked so far this year, including both of them having bad days this past Sunday.
Hunter Henry had an offsides penalty on a 4th and 1 at the Saints 22 which pushed them back five yards forcing them to go for the field goal. You read that correctly, not a false start, an offsides because he just started sprinting and never stopped, doing so way before the snap was supposed to go off.
Meanwhile Jonnu Smith truly can’t catch a ball to save his life. He actually looks like a project tight end that’s just being tried out because he’s big and athletic, not Jonnu freakin’ Smith who scored 8 TDs and put up 448 yards last year for the Titans because if you never saw him play last year, watching him this year you’d be asking yourself if he really knows how to play tight end.
Jonnu Smith ended up with 4 drops, 3 of them being pretty bad with one of them leading to a pick six because he fell trying to catch a wide-open ball and tipped it straight to Malcolm Jenkins. And that was the first play of the second half to make it 21-3 Saints.
Mac Jones is starting to now force balls a little bit and the play calling is going for longer routes. So, are they giving in to some of the noise that they’re going too short, too conservative, too often? Because while doing so led to some big plays it also created some big mistakes that made the difference in the game.
Jones first interception in the second quarter came on a pressured play where he threw just to get rid of the ball as he was hit, only for it to go straight to an open defender in the middle of the field. Common rookie mistake but a tough time for it. The Saints shortly made it 14-0 three plays later. The third interception came from just trying to force it long in the final drive of the game down 2 scores.
You can tell that it was a really bad day for the Patriots on the ground just by looking at the rushing stats and seeing that Mac Jones had the most rushing yards on the team with 28. That’s 14 more than Harris who was second on the team in rushing on Sunday.
Aside from an embarrassingly effortless run on a 3rd and 1 from Brandon Bolden, the problem was mostly with the big men up front. Unfortunately, the failure to run the ball meant we had to make our rookie quarterback throw the ball over 50 times which often isn’t a recipe to win.
It wasn’t any better of a day from the defense either. Famous Jameis controlled the game for most of the day and without a ton of use out of Kamara. The Saints offense looked very well balanced while the Pats d-line struggled to create pressure, the linebackers looked sloppy, and the secondary got beat or left open spaces way too often.
The Saints aren’t perfect and they even gave you some gifts in this game like two missed field goals, including a 36-yard attempt. Still throughout the game not only did New England not take advantage of these opportunities offensively, but defensively, they couldn’t make a stop whenever they really needed to, including the final Saints scoring drive of the game.
It hurts a lot to lose this game since we all know who’s coming into town this weekend. Those of us rooting for the Pats can’t be too optimistic especially considering that the Bucs are probably pretty mad now coming off their loss last week to the Rams.
This feels like a low point of the franchise going into this week’s big game against Tampa but that means this weekend could be a huge turning point with an upset win. Could also mean it’s the last time we see the Patriots in a primetime slot for a while because they are just not a good team right now.
What we know for sure is this Sunday night is going to be a big distraction game. So, if that means the team that is less distracted wins, then why not New England?
“Why Not Us” – Curt Schilling (2004)