The place has this staff been all season?
The Patriots shocked the world Sunday with a 29-25 upset win over their AFC East-rival Payments at Gillette Stadium.
It was simply the Patriots’ second win of the season and the primary time they’ve scored greater than 20 factors this season.
Down 25-22, quarterback Mac Jones led the Patriots on an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Jones hit tight finish Mike Gesicki on a 1-yard landing cross.
The largest play of the drive got here on the primary snap, when operating again Rhamondre Stevenson took a catch-and-run 34 yards downfield. Officers threw a flag on the play for ineligible man downfield on middle David Andrews, but it surely was picked up. The Patriots moved the ball to the 1-yard line on a cross from Jones to rookie vast receiver Demario Douglas. Douglas caught the ball on the 1-yard line, however the Payments additionally have been charged with defensive cross interference on the play. The Patriots took the penalty to avoid wasting time on the clock.
The Patriots had practically coughed the sport away.
Up 22-10 with 7:40 left within the fourth quarter, the Payments shortly put collectively a five-play, 75-yard drive in simply two minutes and 4 seconds. Quarterback Josh Allen, whereas getting hit, delivered a downfield strike to vast receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs slid to the bottom, making the catch, however didn’t get touched down. He shortly acquired as much as scamper into the tip zone to make the sport 22-17.
Jones and the offense held the ball for simply 36 seconds on their ensuing drive earlier than vast receiver Kendrick Bourne caught a 9-yard cross from Jones and fumbled the ball away to the Payments.
The Payments took their time with an eight-play, 29-yard drive ending with a 1-yard QB sneak landing from Allen. A profitable two-point try put the Payments forward 25-22.
Following embarrassing losses in consecutive weeks to the Cowboys, Saints and Raiders, the Patriots got here out wanting like a decent NFL staff Sunday in opposition to the Payments.
Jones put collectively a nine-play, 63-yard drive, getting Douglas and tight finish Pharaoh Brown concerned early, earlier than the Patriots slowed down as soon as they acquired contained in the crimson zone. Nonetheless, the Patriots acquired out to an early 3-0 lead with a 30-yard subject purpose by rookie kicker Chad Ryland.
The Payments’ first offensive play was a turnover. Allen didn’t see Patriots security Jabrill Peppers in zone protection and threw an interception on a throw meant for tight finish Dawson Knox.
The Patriots responded with a seven-play, 45-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 2-yard dashing plunge by Ezekiel Elliott to make the rating 10-0. Douglas, as soon as once more, was concerned closely because the Patriots efficiently moved the ball downfield, catching passes of 10 and 16 yards from Jones.
It was the perfect the Patriots had seemed all season.
Jones completed the sport 25-of-30 for 272 yards with two passing touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Patriots did decelerate, nonetheless, Their protection allowed a 13-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a Tyler Bass subject purpose earlier than each groups traded three-and-outs.
Douglas as soon as once more made an influence with a 25-yard punt return, resulting in a five-play, 40-yard subject purpose scoring drive to make the rating 13-3. Bourne picked up 33 of these 40 yards on a catch-and-run.
A gust of wind blew one other subject purpose try from Buffalo’s Tyler Bass vast proper earlier than the tip of the half. Defensive deal with Christian Barmore helped push the try again with a 7-yard sack on the drive.
The Payments acquired the ball to start out the second half and put collectively a powerful 10-play, 81-yard march that ended with an 8-yard landing cross from Allen to operating again James Prepare dinner, slicing the Patriots’ result in 13-10.
The Patriots responded with a scoring drive of their very own. Ryland knocked by means of his third subject purpose after a nine-play, 44-yard drive to make the rating 16-10. Douglas had the largest play of the collection with a 20-yard jet sweep run.
The protection compelled a turnover on downs after key cross breakups from cornerback J.C. Jackson and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley. Jones then led the Patriots on a nine-play, 66-yard scoring drive, hitting Bourne on a 4-yard landing cross. Brown caught his second 25-plus yard catch to assist transfer the Patriots down the sector. He completed with two catches for 51 yards.
Bourne caught six passes on seven targets for 63 yards with the landing catch and fumble.
QB Mac Jones: This was a giant second for Jones, who had simply the second game-winning drive and fourth-quarter comeback of his profession.
WR Demario Douglas: The rookie slot receiver caught three passes for 35 yards, added a 20-yard run and returned a punt for 25 yards.
S Jabrill Peppers: The veteran security had some missed tackles, however he got here up large on the Patriots’ first defensive play with an interception. He’s been a takeaway machine this season, forcing a fumble Week 1 and inflicting an interception in Week 6.
Key personnel modifications: Transferring Mike Onwenu to proper deal with and Sidy Sow to proper guard helped settle what had been a brutal offensive line. Rotating cornerback Jack Jones with Jonathan Jones additionally improved the Patriots’ protection.
Tackling: So many key performs by the Payments have been spurred by poor tackling makes an attempt from the Patriots. That’s one space the place the Patriots may want to return to fundamentals this week.
WR Kendrick Bourne’s fumble: Bourne in any other case performed very nicely however practically gave the sport away to the Payments.