Coming off their biggest win of the season in L.A, the Patriots don’t make any moves at the trade deadline and shift focus to the Panthers and former teammate Stephon Gilmore.

This past Sunday the Patriots picked up their first win of the year against a non-rookie quarterback. It was however their fourth win of the season and their fourth win this season against a rookie head coach. This Sunday Bill faces off against Matt Rhule in his second year in the league with the Panthers.

Fortunately, because of how the Patriots looked overall as a team last Sunday, upcoming games look a lot more winnable now then they did a couple weeks ago.

Chargers Review

  • Pats nation took over SoFi stadium. You could see and hear the Patriot fans outnumbering the Charger fans.
  • Special Teams played their best game of the season but the defense was ultimately what won them this game.
  • Player of the game
    • Adrian Phillips 2 INTs, 1 TD (named AFC defensive player of the week)
  • Notable Performances
    • Barmore, Harris, Judon, Folk, Olszewski
  • Negatives
    • Another bad game for Jalen Mills, he didn’t play corner last year so it turns out he’s getting exposed at cornerback every week this year.
    • The Patriots have 14 offensive holding calls this year, the third most offensive holding penalties in the league. The two holds that took back touchdowns in this game were both impactful in that the touchdown wouldn’t have happened without the clear penalties made by the lineman on those plays.
    • Poor Timeout Management: Which half? How about both?

1st half: Could’ve used your three timeouts at the end to give yourself a better chance at scoring a touchdown or giving Folk an easier FG than 48 yards. Instead, they do three straight incomplete passes.

2nd half: You lose the first timeout with a challenge loss then burn the other two timeouts before getting to the last six and a half minutes of the game.

    • Unbelievable Goal Line Play Calling: The 3rd and 4th downs in the 2nd quarter at the goal line where they went with back-to-back left corner endzone fades that were nowhere close to being caught. I like the decision to go for it but has to be a higher percentage play, even if you’re running it two times in a row. Especially since you had just gotten some good yards on the ground before getting to that 3rd and goal.
  • Biggest Positive
    • Mac Jones gets a close win in a game where he did not play his best. That’s very good for his confidence as well as the confidence of the rest of the team. Even on his bad days Mac can make just enough plays to win, including a couple scrambles for yards and some long ball completions.

The biggest move in this years NFL trade deadline was the Rams getting Von Miller who’s only guaranteed to play for them this season and that’s it. Truly making it an all-in move for a championship this year which we used to not see a lot of in the NFL but is now becoming more of a popular mindset with some GMs.

I’m never surprised by what the Patriots do at the trade deadline every year whether it be nothing or a move that’s the biggest news in the NFL that week. So, when the deadline came this year, I thought they could totally do something, yet once it passed, I was not shocked to find out that they didn’t.

Trade Deadline Review

  • Needs
    • CB, WR, maybe LB and OL
  • Have to Gives
    • Nothing really besides draft picks
  • Why they should’ve made a move
    • You know this team can compete with top teams in the league right now but typically can’t beat them. Just need a little more talent to get them over the top of some of those teams like the Bucs or Cowboys. Following Brady’s Super Bowl run why not go all out, even get a rental type player, to answer back with a deep playoff run of your own this year? Feels like this team is a piece or two away from really having that potential.
  • Why they were right not to make any moves
    • At 4-4 you’re a playoff hunt team right now. Why rock the boat? If there’s no one you can really afford to lose on this roster for a trade then save your draft picks and continue to build. If you believe that what you have now is enough to win as long as there is consistent improvement, then there isn’t a whole lot to worry about yet.

Panthers Preview

Patriots look to improve to 4-0 on the road entering Carolina as three and a half point favorites. Both teams are .500 so you know the winner of this game is going to feel pretty good about themselves at 5-4. If the Pats drop this one it would be such a step back after all the momentum they’ve picked up from winning two straight.

New England will be facing some familiar faces this Sunday in Sam Darnold, former division rival quarterback, and Stephon Gilmore, former star cornerback for the Pats. After seeing that negotiations went wrong with Gilmore and the Patriots and then knowing that ultimately he ended up taking less money to go play for Carolina, you should know how badly Gilmore is going to want to make an impact on this game.

It didn’t take him long to impact the Panthers, he had a game sealing INT for them just last week.

With Christian McCaffery injured, rookie running back Chuba Hubbard has filled in scoring 2 TDs in his last three games and averaging 68 yards per game in his last four.

The Panthers looked a lot better against the Saints and Texans than the Pats did. However, Carolina did get blown out by the Giants a couple weeks ago. They also have a couple close losses to Philly and Minnesota.

I can see this being another close game like last week was. There aren’t a ton of areas that I give advantage to either side here. I feel a lot more confident about the Patriots after last week and now expect them to win this game when I counted it as a loss earlier in the season. Yet if they don’t win, I’m really not going to be that surprised.

Go Pats.

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