New England (3-4) did what they had to last Sunday but it won’t mean anything if they lose to the Chargers this weekend. Now they have a chance to build on a win and start a winning streak.
The Pats essentially saved their season in their past couple wins. Now their next win is what can really create some excitement around this team if it comes this Sunday against a good challenge in the Chargers.
An uncharacteristic week for the new look Patriots in which they had zero turnovers and scored on nine of their ten offensive possessions. It’s been a while since we’ve seen that sort of efficiency out of the Pats but how serious can we take that when it comes against such a mediocre team?
You can’t fault the Patriots this week but until they can look like this against a good opponent it’s too early to get your hopes up on them. But when you look at just this game, there’s a lot to applaud.
Positives vs Jets
- A convincing win (54-13) like this should have the team feeling much better than they did coming off the Jets win earlier in the season in which they mostly scored on field goals. They came out very flat the following week against the Saints
- Great day in the red zone – 6 for 6 redzone efficiency
- Hunter Henry scores a touchdown for the fourth straight week. Last tight end to do that for the Patriots… Rob Gronkowski
- Changes made on the offensive line, Ted Karras at LG and Michael Onwenu at RT, makes them look way better overall as a unit. Way more success running the ball and protecting Mac Jones this week
The negatives from this game didn’t quite hurt the team on Sunday but they could impact them later on in the season including this week in Los Angeles.
Negatives vs Jets
- The Pats ran three trick plays, they all went pretty well, but did they really need to this week? Given how the game was going all it does at that point is just provide footage for other teams.
- This week wasn’t much of a test for Mac Jones who often checked down and threw screen passes because the Jets just flat out not covering Brandon Boldin made things a lot easier for him. He didn’t really throw down the field too often. We saw that more from Kendrick Bourne on trick plays and Brian Hoyer at the end of the game. I didn’t hate bringing in Hoyer in a blowout but do admit it could’ve been a chance for Mac to get more reps throwing the long ball, or maybe they wouldn’t have called those plays with him still in.
- You can still see there is a weakness at corner even against a pretty bad Jets offense and that they were hurting without Jonathan Jones. Jalen Mills right now seems like the biggest problem on defense but overall, the defense does look better without Hightower in the lineup but you can only say so much given the opponent. Next week is much more of a test.
- The injury report does not get any lighter this week. Jonathan Jones missed the Jets game and is reportedly out for the season with a shoulder injury. Jonnu Smith has a shoulder injury and a questionable return. Devin McCourty also has a questionable return with an abdominal injury. Harvey Langi sprained an MCL and has a questionable return as well.
Location: SoFi Stadium – Inglewood, CA
Time: Sun Oct 31st – 4:05 PM EST
Keys to Beating the Chargers
- Success on the ground – No team has allowed more rushing yards this season than the Chargers. If ground and pound can work for the Pats it’ll put a lot less pressure on Mac Jones going up against one of the top pass defenses in the league. Damien Harris is coming off a good game and will need to have another one this week.
- Defense needs to get pressure on Herbert – It’s vital for the Patriots to not allow Justin Herbert a lot of time to get rid of the ball because of the struggles at corner right now. Herbert’s eventually going to get open looks so they need to give him as little time and as little of a pocket as possible. I think it’s safe to say the Chargers will come out heavily throwing in this one.
- Make the tough decisions when you need to – Bill knows how big of a win this week would be to get to .500 and get a lot more faith in this team from the fanbase. Now’s the time to make the bold calls that win you games rather than the safe calls that put the other team in a position to win. You can’t rely on this defense in big moments. I honestly believe you will need to break into the 30s to win this game and that you will also probably need a big 4th down conversion or two in order to really be in control of the game down the stretch.