Ah, that was a tough one to take. A great game to watch, exciting, nailbiting, encouraging, but crushing at the same time. Let’s have a quick recap of the Patriots ups and downs from the loss to the Bucs on the night Tom Brady returned to Gillette Stadium.
Mac went toe to toe with Tom Brady on a night where he did little wrong, but he continues to be let down by his offensive line. Jones took plenty of hits and also overcame an early interception to finish with 31/40 275 yards – 2 TDs – 1 INT. I think this game really told me a lot about Mac’s character, not awed by the occasion, he just put his head down and worked, and almost helped the team win. Not without some rookie errors, but another positive performance.
I thought the position group as a whole deserved mentioning, they all chipped in with decent performances. Jakobi Meyers led the group with 8 catches for 70 yards, another solid performance by him, barring a fumble which went in the Patriots favor, he was reliable again for Mac. As I said last week, with James White out for the year, Meyers will be crucial in Mac’s development.
Elsewhere, Bourne and Agholor chipped in with some important catches, Bourne specifically was able to get hot in the first half and managed to get open a fair bit.
Another good game for Judon, who was the only player to really put any pressure on Brady, getting to him a number of times and recording a sack. Judon, who can’t be missed with his trademark long red sleeves is leading the pass-rush attack and as I said after the Saints game, he’s the only FA addition who’s earning the money he’s been paid.
I thought the secondary played well, they managed the limit the GOAT to just 269 yards and kept one of the best pass-catching attacks out of the endzone all night. Jonathan Jones did a good job covering AB for most of the night, even when he was struggling with a tight calf. Elsewhere J.C. Jackson did a good job covering Mike Evans and all in all, I was pleased with the group’s contribution. With Gilmore potentially returning in the next few weeks, this performance was something to build on for sure.
We’ve been screaming for one of the depth-option backs to get more involved in the offense, Taylor got his chance and blew it with a fumble. Again the ball security issues arise, troubling stuff, don’t be surprised if he’s inactive next week.
It’s not getting much better, is it? The line wasn’t great again, couldn’t help establish the run, and offered hardly any substantial protection for Jones. Mike Onwenu got benched after multiple holding penalties on the same drive and Durant stopped hardly anything from the right side. Teddy K came in and did ok at left guard for a while. To add further headaches to the line questions, earlier today both Isaiah Wynn and Onwenu were placed on the COVID list, likely ruling them out of the game in Houston next Sunday. Can Trent Brown return this year at all, please?
I’m being a little picky here, but Gunner gets on the list for his muffed catch that fortunately hit the endzone pylon to avoid catastrophe. I still hold out hope Gunner will get hot again like he did last year in the return game, but with the microscope on ball security, we can’t have that.