The Patriots were absolutely decimated by the Jaguars in the second game of the regular season. There was a lot to see, and most of it was bad. Here are my takeaways from the game:
– Gostkowski missed his 1st quarter FG by 35 yards, but I was more upset about him blowing the kickoff from the 50, perfect chance to pin them deep, and he kicked it into the end zone.
– Tough to look much worse than Ja’Whaun Bentley did when Blake Bortles faked him out of his shoes in the pocket. Other than that play, he was a ghost today. I don’t think they called his name once.
– More friendly fire when Keionta Davis took out Trey Flowers early in the game. Another important member of the team lost, this time on defense, let’s hope he can be back in a week or two
– You could tell early that this was probably going to be one of “those” games. The Flowers forced fumble goes right to a Jacksonville player, Cole makes an insane one-handed catch, and the Jags walk right down the field twice and the Patriots stall twice.
– The Patriots defense looked slow and tired today. Complete 180 from last week.
– Clayborn was a liability on 3rd down. He was repeatedly responsible for allowing Bortles to scramble for a first down
– Speaking of Bortles, if the Jaguars are going to beat the Patriots in the playoffs, he’s going to have to play great. That’s two games in a row where he’s played very well against them, and he was better today than in the playoffs. I still don’t believe he can lead a team to the Super Bowl, but if he keeps up this play, he might just prove me wrong.
– Stephon Gilmore was 1-on-1 against Donte Moncrief quite a few times, and he lost quite a few of those battles, including the first TD of the game. If Moncrief doesn’t drop two late balls, it may have looked even worse.
– The non-call on the punt in the 4th quarter is amazing to me. Two Patriots players moved while a defensive player was in the neutral zone, and the penalty wasn’t called. That’s just inexcusable, and, after overturning a questionable call on the play before, doesn’t make the NFL look great.
– I don’t think it can be overstated. The defense was terrible. It was simple crossing routes that they couldn’t stop. The last touchdown, Westbrook was completely uncovered running across the field.
– The last drive showcased exactly what Patterson gives this offense. A quick screen for 18 yards, and then a fake that brings the entire defense up while Hogan walks in for a touchdown.
– What a kick in the nuts when, with an opportunity to get the ball back at the end of the game, the Patriots allow Bortles to scramble for another 1st down. Just painful to watch.
– The Patriots almost always have one terrible game early in the season, let’s hope this one was that game, and not a sign of things to come.
– We’re on to Detroit.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
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Photo credit: Boston Globe