NASHVILLE — There are video games when the prolific Patriots offense bails out its much-maligned protection.
Consider it or not, there are additionally video games when the inverse occurs and the New England protection units the tone.
Then there’s no matter we simply witnessed in Nashville.
These clunkers aren’t widespread for the Patriots, they usually definitely don’t occur at this level within the season.
That is when the Pats are sometimes peaking. Previous to Sunday’s 34-10 abomination, the Pats have been 25-1 since 2014 in video games performed between Weeks 5 and 10.
“You better learn from a game like that,” stated Patriots receiver Julian Edelman.
With an upcoming bye, the Pats have an additional week to ponder what precisely went flawed.
The brief reply: Every part.
Listed here are the grades from the Patriots’ worst outing of the season:
Tom Brady was flustered from the start.
He threw behind James White on a slant route to start out the second drive. On a third-and-Four within the second quarter, Brady appeared for White on an out route however tossed the ball into the bottom close to the sideline. He wasn’t underneath strain. It’s unclear if Brady intentionally threw the ball away, or if the cross was that far off track.
Brady pressured the ball to Josh Gordon with little effectivity. He attached with Gordon for a 44-yard achieve on the sport’s first third down. General, he accomplished simply Four-of-12 throws to his gifted wideout.
On a third-and-Four late within the third quarter, Brady heaved up a deep ball for a well-covered Gordon. It was an analogous play to the fourth-and-1 conversion towards the Bears, when Gordon made an acrobatic, game-changing catch. This time, there was nothing there.
Brady had Chris Hogan open on the play as a result of Malcolm Butler slipped as Hogan broke his route right into a slant.
For the primary time shortly, Brady appeared indecisive and outmatched.
RUNNING BACK: D
The Patriots have been always in long-yardage conditions, and their ineptitude on the bottom was a serious cause why.
After a two-game absence, rookie Sony Michel appeared to be establishing a pleasant rhythm close to the top of the primary quarter, as he carried for seven yards and 5 yards on consecutive performs. On the latter, he drove Malcolm Butler backward to realize three yards after contact.
The remainder of his afternoon was uninspiring. Michel slammed the bottom in frustration after Wesley Woodyard wrapped him up following a 6-yard achieve within the fourth quarter. The play was completely blocked, and Michel knew it might have been an extended achieve.
James White was surprisingly ineffective. White was leveled by Kenny Vaccaro on the primary snap and his afternoon didn’t get a lot better from there. His 26 yards from scrimmage was by far his worst output of the yr.
WIDE RECEIVER: C-minus
Julian Edelman confirmed up.
And that was about it.
As nice as Gordon could be, he’s nonetheless inconsistent. He dedicated a drop on a third-down slant route that ended the Patriots’ opening possession, forcing them to accept a area aim.
He slipped on a comeback route alongside the sideline later within the first quarter. On the following third down, Brady seemed for him once more, however Gordon couldn’t get any separation towards Titans cornerback Adoree Jackson.
The numbers look high-quality for Gordon. He wasn’t near his greatest self, although.
Chris Hogan technically was focused as soon as. The Patriots didn’t exploit the Malcolm Butler matchup. They hardly even acknowledged it.
Phillip Dorsett ought to have a case for extra enjoying time going ahead.
TIGHT END: F
With out Rob Gronkowski, this place produced next-to-nothing.
Dwayne Allen allowed a strain, which led to an incompletion, on a second-and-9 at first of the second half.
On the subsequent possession, Titans rookie Sharif Finch smoked Allen off the sting and pressured Brady into one other throwaway.
Allen was injured two performs later when he collided with Trent Brown. He returned for a number of performs earlier than exiting the sport for good.
His alternative, Jacob Hollister, didn’t contribute a lot. Hollister dropped a cross on a third-and-Four slant route. He did make a pleasant fingertip seize for a 17-yard achieve.
OFFENSIVE LINE: D
The Patriots offensive line didn’t assist itself on early downs, so it needed to cope with Tennessee’s artistic pressures on second and third down.
Titans linebacker Jayon Brown beat Trent Brown off the sting for a third-down sack at first of the second half.
Later within the third quarter, Brady took a shot from Woodyard when his safety broke down. The Pats ran play-action, trying to promote a zone-blocking scheme. Because the linemen moved laterally in the identical course, Titans defensive deal with Darius Kilgo slipped between Brown and Joe Thuney for the preliminary strain. Brady evaded him, then absorbed an enormous hit from Woodyard.
LaAdrian Waddle changed Trent Brown (again) within the late third quarter. Waddle obtained roasted by Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo, who stuffed White within the backfield for a five-yard loss.
Marcus Cannon’s false begin turned a fourth-and-1 right into a fourth-and-6. That was an enormous miscue.
DEFENSIVE LINE: D
Dion Lewis gained 35 yards on his first six carries.
Danny Shelton acquired pancaked on the primary play on Tennessee’s second drive, a 12-yard Lewis run.
Trey Flowers, Keionta Davis, and Deatrich Sensible all struggled with containment at totally different occasions. Flowers received moved inside simply on an 11-yard Lewis run. He additionally did not include when Derrick Henry bounced outdoors for a 10-yard achieve a couple of performs later.
Likewise, Davis couldn’t set the sting on David Fluellen’s 13-yard scamper.
The Pats not often pressured Marcus Mariota, whose capacity to throw on the transfer — typically with out setting his ft — made a serious distinction.
On an important third-and-14 on the finish of the primary half, Flowers took on two blockers on the inside, Adrian Clayborn looped round Flowers, and Kyle Van Noy blitzed in the identical lane. Mariota sensed Van Noy and Clayborn coming, and he moved to his left and related with Corey Davis for a 20-yard achieve. It was maybe the most important play of the afternoon.
This unit struggled proper out of the gate.
Dont’a Hightower obtained worn out on Lewis’ 12-yard run. Kyle Van Noy struggled to get off a block on Henry’s 10-yard run within the first quarter. Van Noy provided little resistance on Henry’s 10-yard landing run.
There was some constructive: Hightower blasted by means of the road, discarded tight finish Luke Stocker, and blew up Lewis for a five-yard loss.
Elandon Roberts recorded his first sack of the yr. He whiffed on a chance to stuff Henry on the objective line late within the first half, although.
DEFENSIVE BACK: D-minus
Stephon Gilmore performed his first substandard recreation of the season and all the protection suffered.
Gilmore, who had been working at an All-Professional degree, was commonly torched by Corey Davis. He was flagged for 2 move interferences on the second collection, though the latter was declined as a result of Davis nonetheless corralled an over-the-shoulder 23-yard landing catch.
Patrick Chung was in man protection towards tight finish Jonnu Smith for Tennessee’s first landing. On the subsequent collection, Chung uncharacteristically missed a deal with towards Smith alongside the sideline, permitting the athletic tight finish to realize 20 yards after the catch.
Devin McCourty received beat on third down by tight finish Anthony Firsker through the Titans’ end-of-half landing drive.
The Titans had their method with the Pats when dealing with zone protection, too. Davis discovered area over the center for a 27-yard achieve within the second half.
Jason McCourty performed properly towards Titans receiver Tajae Sharpe, for what it’s value.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F
New England’s kick protection has been terrible.
They’re perennially on the prime of the league in that class, however they presently rank fourth-worst, permitting 26.Four yards per return.
Darius Jennings’ 58-yard runback on the opening kickoff energized the Titans.
Tennessee additionally began two drives in Patriots territory after punt returns, leading to 10 factors. The second was an odd sequence, because the Patriots’ protection obtained thrown out of whack when Adoree Jackson muffed the punt. Matthew Slater and Nicholas Grigsby acquired snarled with each other. Jackson returned it 12 yards and 5 extra have been tacked on due to a Chris Hogan penalty for ineligible participant downfield.
The Titans started the drive on the New England 37-yard line and shortly scored to seize a 24-10 halftime lead.
The defensive recreation plan was high quality. There was no proof to recommend that Gilmore would have struggled so badly towards Davis. And the Patriots have been clever to drive Mariota to beat them together with his arm. He’s an inconsistent passer. However like Blake Bortles in Week 2, he had the most effective days of his profession.
Up entrance, the Patriots might have tried alternative ways to generate strain. They by no means rattled Mariota.
The Pats fell behind 17-Three virtually instantly, so their offensive gameplan in all probability was adjusted. They have been one-dimensional on Sunday, and the one dimension wasn’t even good.
The reverse move to Brady on a crucial third down was a peculiar play name. McDaniels drew up a stupendous name on an early fourth-and-short, utilizing Cordarrelle Patterson to freeze the protection with jet-sweep motion and throwing in the other way to James White.
Aside from that, this was not McDaniels’ greatest stuff.
HEAD OF THE CLASS
Julian Edelman: The one man who received open.
Jason McCourty/Jonathan Jones: Strong recreation from each within the secondary.
Dion Lewis: Nobody has ever had extra enjoyable beating the Patriots.
BACK OF THE PACK
Tom Brady: One landing move prior to now three video games. Not trending in the appropriate path.
Patrick Chung: Struggles on the primary two drives killed the Pats.
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