Patriots hoard, reserves drop after Colts loss in Week 15: Taskforce explodes, N’Keal Harry flashes

The New England Patriots saw their seven-match winning streak broken on Saturday night when they fell Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, 27-17. It was not a strong start for Bill Belichick’s club as they were closed for the first three quarters, but were able to get past Indy by just three points after going 17-0 at half-time. Wednesday. quarter. However, when the tide seems to be shifting in the direction of the Patriots, the Colts are turning back Jonathan Taylor rips off touchdown from 67 yards back effectively eliminating any Patriots return hits.

That loss sent them down 9-5 in the season and no longer the top seed in the AFC. That said, they are still in first place in the AFC East and will have an important game against Buffalo Bills Next Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Before we get into that game completely, though, let’s take a look back at this loss to the Colts and check out how some patriots are trending out of the game.

Hunter Henry is one of the main reasons the Patriots were able to stay in this game for as long as they did. As he has proven to be present for much of the season, a tight finish is a major escape for Mac Jones throughout the evening, especially when New England was in the far reaches of the end region. Henry caught six of his eight goals in a 77-foot team and made two touches in the loss. Those two touchdowns brought Henry’s season total to nine, a new career high.

Henry’s second touchdown was one of Mac Jones’ best throws of the night and showed how much the bond between the two had grown in such a short time. Under pressure, Jones sped into traffic and was able to buffer the ball right in front of a Colts defender and touch Henry, who slid slightly to the right to open the scoring.

Discount: Special Team Unit

One of the biggest problems of the New England night was the special team unit. They systematically collapsed throughout the competition and directly led to a score across the board for the opposition. The first hit comes when the Patriots own the game’s second strike. Jake Bailey is set to hit the ball deep in his own territory and full-back Jakob Johnson could not intercept his defender, who then had a clean line to block. Indy’s EJ speed then picked up the loose ball to score to make it 14-0 just before half-time.

Another big mistake by the Patriots task force came in the second half. The Colts lined up for a 46-yard goal in their first possession in the third inning and Michael Badgley’s kick was on the right, which would keep Indy the lead at 17. However, the special team Special of Patriots Brandon King was called out, which not only gave Badgley another kick, but also brought him five yards closer. He then made a second attempt to give the Colts a 20-0 lead.

N’Keal Harry’s tenure in New England fell short of the first-round feat by any stretch of the imagination, but widespread recipients turned his arguably best display yet in the team’s uniform. Patriots. In the 3rd and 6th games at 2:50 of the 4th round and the Patriots were down 10 points, Mac Jones made a 43 yard pass to Harry, who was able to jump over his defender to catch up. That grab – along with the passer’s rough penalty also enforced during the game – moved the Patriots inside the Colts’ 10-yard line and eventually helped them get a goal.

Harry was also open to what would have been an easy encounter earlier in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots flea’s blink was too slow to evolve for Jones to find him.

Those are the types of plays that the Patriots hope to see with more regularity as they draft Harry back in 2019. Though it’s hard to expect this to be a major turning point for him in his career. future, but it’s a great moment of what could still be untapped potential for young recipients.

It wasn’t a good day at the office for left-hander Isaiah Wynn. He struggles in defending the pass and is unstoppable DeForest Buckner whenever the runner rushes past the Colts lined up above him. In total, Wynn was subjected to four pressures overnight, including a hurl at Mac Jones. Nor did he make an active contribution to the running game. In fact, he was responsible for the loss of yards after he clashed Rhamondre Stevenson.

Wynn was also penalized for a wrong start at the end of the third inning.

Reserve: Mac Jones

This is not the best game for Mac Jones. As Julian Edelman put it on social media in the middle of the game on Saturday night, the 15 overall pick was processed “rookie pain.” The Patriots weren’t able to get many surprises in the first three quarters, and Jones was very confused at the start of this game. New England were ordered to postpone the penalty kick in their opening game because Jones wasn’t looking at the ticking clock, and the Alabama product made an intercept while the Patriots were in the colored area. red right before the break.

On a micro level, this is one of the worst games we’ve seen from Jones this season. So why is his stock trending up? I was impressed with how Jones was able to shake off those early struggles and help the Patriots bounce back in this game with a 17-0 win in the fourth inning. One of the big questions we have about Jones is whether he’s capable of bringing his team back to a game. While he wasn’t able to fully complete the comeback, I credit him for coming close. It’s the kind of character-building game needed for rookies that is growing, and he’s shown promise in a hostile environment.

Discount: Run defensively

New England’s inability to stop the game going was a concern in this game and those concerns were recognized fairly early on in this game. In their second offensive possession in the game, the Colts relied almost exclusively on the running game to go 7-0 and continue to get their way with the Patriots on the ground. In the first half, Indy piled up 122 yards as a team and that only continued into the second half. Of their 275 total fouls for the game, 226 were on the ground as the Colts moved at 5.8 yards each. The disruptor returned in the fourth inning when Jonathan Taylor made that 67-yard touch that essentially helped the Patriots come back up.

This has been the Patriots’ main weakness for much of the season and could become a fatal flaw in the post-season if they don’t fix it quickly.

Sale: Bill Belichick

When any team shows up as slow as the Patriots did to start this game – especially after the bye week – you have to put accountability first. New England’s first-half fortune against the Colts on Saturday went like this: hit blocked by hit blocked back for a touchdown, hit, intercept. For the first time since 2016, the Patriots were shut down at half-time and it was a not-so-special overall performance by the Belichick club. They conceded eight penalties from 50 yards, fouled special teams and the running game was essentially an absent element throughout the game.

There were also some questionable decisions by Belichick in this game, including his calling for a corner kick from the Indianapolis line 7 yards when his teammate was down 13 and had less than 9 minutes to play. fight. While simply taking points is one way to go, the Patriots will still need two properties to take the lead or finish the game. If Belichick continues and succeeds, then a confrontation – which they later have – will give them the lead.

The decision is still controversial, but given the way the Colts were able to control the ball throughout the game, they seemed to have the advantage of possession, which will probably be difficult to get two more possessions. behind the goal. Patriots hoard, reserves drop after Colts loss in Week 15: Taskforce explodes, N’Keal Harry flashes

Subhankar Mondal

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