November 14th, 2018
(Continued on November 27th, 2018)
The Patriots Lose to the Titans in week 10; Recover with a win over the Jets in week 12
The Patriots lost a tough game to the Titans this week, 34-10. This put an end to their 6 game winning streak after falling 1-2 in the first 3 games. This year has been a real struggle for the Patriots. Before this week, the Patriots lost twice. To the Lions, and the Jaguars. Both teams are sitting at the bottom of the division with a record of 3-6. On the other hand, we were able to beat the Chiefs, who were undefeated. How are we able to beat one of the best teams in the league, but lose to two of the worst? There are many things to review as to of why this week wasn’t a good one for the Pats.
The offensive line isn’t doing their job. The line is letting players run right through and put pressure on the ball holder. They simply could not protect Brady against the number 1 defense in the NFL. This effects Brady’s game. If the line cannot protect Brady, the result will be major pressure and he will not be able to complete a pass. That is exactly what happened. Brady was sacked 3 times, and hit 6. Brady completed 21 of his 42 passes (51.2 completion percentage) for a season low.
The Patriots are still missing Rob Gronkowski. Gronk has always been a huge target for Pats to throw to, but still listed as inactive this week. Reports say the Patriots are taking their time, in hopes that 27 days is enough to recover from his back and ankle injuries. He is expected to return after their week 11 bye, and play week 12 against the Jets. Hopefully he will stay
healthy and bring more potential to offense in upcoming weeks. The replacement for Gronk, Dwayne Allen, is more of a pass-blocker than a receiver. The team simply isn’t as strong when the big #87 isn’t on the field.
Marcus Mariota had one of his best games of the season this week. Mariota completed 16 passes in 24 attempts (66.7 completion percentage) with 228 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Patriots defense simply couldn’t keep up with Mariota’s passing. Not only this, but the Titans did a good job mixing up the running with passing. Derrick Henry was able to rush for 58 yards on 11 attempts, scoring 2 touchdowns. The Patriots could not adjust between pass defense and run defense well enough to stop these two players from successful drives.
November 27th, 2018
After the bye week, the Patriots came back strong with a win over the New York Jets. This was an overall much better game and the Patriots made the improvements they needed to come out of top. One huge factor of the Patriots win was the return of Rob Gronkowski. After being out for several weeks, Gronk returned for a 56 yard game on 3 receptions, scoring a touchdown. Gronk is not only a big target, but he is almost always double covered, leaving another player wide open on the field for a possible pass. The offensive line also brought their A-game. They shut down the Jets defensive line and held them to no sacks on Brady. Brady was able to play his game the way he does without pressure. Lastly, the Pats defense held the Jets to only 3 successful scoring drives. This was important and helped the Pats secure the lead. The Patriots do have bad games, but they are able to adjust just like they did from week 10 to 12. After a week off in week 11, they made the improvements necessary to come out on top as planned over the Jets. The Patriots set themselves in a good spot for playoff positioning and are currently sitting in the 2nd seed, one game behind the Chiefs. They have to keep working if they want that bye week they almost always have in the first round of the playoffs.