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MORSE: 15 Observations from Patriots Week 15 Loss to Colts

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
1 month ago at 12:22 pm ET
Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Season

MORSE: 15 Observations from Patriots Week 15 Loss to ColtsGrace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Patriots came out flat, falling behind 17-0 before they finally woke up and made it a game.  It was a little bit too late and a long TD run by Jonathan Taylor sealed the deal in a 27-17 loss.  Indy dominated the line of scrimmage early in the game and played a more physical game than the Patriots.

Here are some observations from Saturday night:

  1. The Patriots played as they did early in the season. They made silly mistakes like Illegal motion, holding, offensive pass interference, illegal man downfield were penalties that killed drives.  That was eight penalties for 50 yards.
  2. Jakobi Myers’s drop of that long pass in the 1st series set the tone for the team. He was targeted 12 times but only had 6 catches.  That ended the 1st drive ad the Colts came right down the field on the next drive for a TD.
  3. The OL had 4 motion penalties. This was a result of the crowd noise, combined with the movement by the D line late in the 40-second play clock.  The Patriots were using a silent count because of the crowd noise.  The OL reacts to the DL movement.  Indy was waiting until late in the play clock and moved laterally, which is not offsides.  This was pointed out by Matt Cassel in the NBC Sports Boston Post Game Show.  This was the 1st road loss by the Patriots after 7 wins.  The Patriots have one more road game vs Miami to end the regular season.
  4. Mac Jones played like a rookie in the 1st half.  Indy did exactly as Bobby Okereke said they would.  They loaded the box with 9 or 10 men and Jones does not react to what he sees in pre-snap reads.  He has been taught not to react to what he think he sees.  He is supposed to react post-snap  Too often he is not reading and reacting as he should have.  The Leonard Interception was a great play by one of the best defenders in the league.  That’s 3 or 7 points they lose.  The Bobby Okereke interception was a late throw.  Bolden was open.  The second half was much better and he nearly brought them back.  He threw for 299 yards with 26 completions on 45 attempts 2 TDs and 2 INTs.
  5. Jones and Slater both stated in post-game press conferences that the team had a bad week of practice. There was low energy at practice and it looked like they had low energy starting the game.
  6. Missed a great opportunity on the flea-flicker. Jones threw the ball to Meyers who didn’t appear to be the prime receiver on the play.  He looked surprised the ball was thrown at him.  N’Keal Harry ran a great route and was wide open for a TD if Jones had gotten him the ball.
  7. Speaking of N’Keal Harry, that was a great catch late in the game for 43 yards. He is the only Patriots receiver that caught a 50/50 ball.  The play that knocked Harry out of the games was 1.) Defensive Pass Interference when Sendejo hit Harry before the ball got there. 2.) Why was that not targeting/headshot on a defenseless receiver?  Why couldn’t New York officials buzz in and enforce the rules as they did on the fight?
  8. The loss of Ja’Whaun Bentley early in the game with an ankle injury had a huge impact. I don’t think Indy would be able to run as much as they did if Bentley was in the game.  Also, the three 4th down sneaks by Carson Wentz would not have been successful, especially the last one.
  9. Isaiah Wynn could not have had the worst night. He is a turnstile.  Wynn even had a tackle of Rhamondre Stevenson.  I can’t believe they picked up the 5th year option on Wynn which is guaranteed for $10M next year.
  10. Patriots Special Teams really let the team down. That was the team’s 3rd punt blocked on the season and this time it was for a TD.  Then later, Brandon King jumps offsides on an FG attempt that went wide.   How does he do that?  That’s 10 points the Special Teams gave to Indy.  I wonder what the game would have been like if the score was 10-3 at the half instead of 17-0?
  11. How do you leave Darius Leonard unblocked?  That resulted in a tackle for loss.  It appeared to be a missed assignment.
  12. I didn’t agree with the Belichick decision to kick a Field Goal. Michael Owenu’s movement penalty killed that drive, making it a 3rd and 6 instead of 3rd and 1.
  13. The Patriots’ defense actually played well. Outside of the 67 yard TD run at the end of the game, they held Jonathan Taylor to 103 yards rushing on 28 carries (3.67 yards per carry).  They held Carson Wentz to 5 completions on 12 attempts for 57 yards and a TD.  The Patriots stopped the Colts’ streak of scoring a TD on their 1st drive of the game.
  14. Hunter Henry had a great game but he also missed another big opportunity because he didn’t get his head around quick enough.  He now has 9 TDs on the season, his personal best.
  15. The dual ejections turned out to benefit Indy more than the Patriots.  Missing Dugger down the stretch hurt the Patriots.  Pittman being tossed didn’t matter since the Colts were not passing anyways.

Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Season


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