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Six Immediate Reactions Following the Patriots’ Loss to the Giants

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
November 26, 2023 at 5:00 pm ET

Six Immediate Reactions Following the Patriots’ Loss to the Giants(PHOTO: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
Posted: Nov 26, 2023 05:00
🕑 Read Time: 4 minutes

Some immediate reactions following the New England Patriots’ loss the New York Giants:

1) By some miracle, Mac Jones got another opportunity at redemption on Sunday and unfortunately reverted back to a lot of the problems that have plagued him all year.  Jones finished the afternoon 12-of-21 for 89yds and two picks, both of which came in the first half.  His two miscues prevented him from seeing any further action, as he found himself sidelined in favor of Bailey Zappe to begin the second half.

Both of Jones’ interceptions on Sunday were frustrating.  They both again happened with him falling back and throwing the football of his back foot, the last of which came on a 3rd-and-4 where Jones threw into coverage and absolutely should have just thrown it away.

It was another case of him trying to force a play rather than live to fight another down and, unfortunately, that performance knocked him out of the game. It will also likely continue to see his future remain uncertain moving forward.

2) Zappe’s second half started off on a high note, with the second-year quarterback opening the half with an 11 play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by Rhamdondre Stevenson.  Zappe went 6-of-6 for 38-yards over that span as New England did a good job moving the ball down the field.

However, Zappe had his own errant throw on a first down throw to JuJu Smith-Schuster, with Zappe not getting enough on it as the Giants picked him.  The throw was eerily similar to Jones’ turnover, as New York’s defense saw that one coming and baited Zappe into the turnover.

From there, he wasn’t able to put much else together. He finished 9-of-14 for 54-yards and an interception, with the offense converting on just 1-of-6 on third down in the second half, including 0-for-3 in the fourth quarter.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

3) Zappe’s arm strength has never been stellar, but he doesn’t seem to have made much progress between year one and year two.  After seeing his passes get batted down during his rookie season, the former standout from Western Kentucky reportedly spent time during the offseason working on his arm slot and throwing around the line in front of him. However, watching him on Sunday, it definitely feels like it also affected his downfield throws.

We saw that a couple of times Sunday, including on the turnover.  Zappe has never necessarily had a big arm, but he definitely didn’t have as much zip on a couple of the throws he attempted Sunday compared to how he looked as a rookie. So it’s tough not to wonder if his mechanics are still a work in progress after trying to adjust this offseason.

Still, Zappe’s biggest thing – if he continues to start – is to hopefully be better than Jones in terms of not being an error repeater and playing within himself.

Zappe put a lot of the loss on himself after this one was over, but it’s hard to argue that he at least looked confident when he was out there under center.

The only question now is going to be whether he did enough to give him another opportunity to start next Sunday.

4) The tackle on Demario Douglas should be a topic of discussion this week, and if a fine isn’t coming, it’s hard to make any sense of what the league is thinking when it comes to player safety.

Douglas was tackled in the second half on a clear clothesline play where the defender wrapped his arm around Douglas’ neck and snapped him back, with Douglas dropping to the ground, losing the ball and it rolled out of bounds.

He left the field but didn’t return, and his status is likely in question now heading into next week.

It was an ugly play, and it’s shocking there was no flag levied.  Hopefully, at least the NFL gets it right after the fact because plays like that clearly have no place in this league.

5) Give the defense credit.  They played well for the second-straight week, holding the Giants to just 10 points as the Patriots lost yet another game where their opponent was held to a similar margin.

Keion White was a pleasant surprise on Sunday and he’s really been terrific lately.  White got after the quarterback and was a menace there, along with making a couple of tackles after coming back from across the field to finish off plays.

He finished Sunday’s game combining for five tackles along with a sack, and he was seemingly everywhere.

Meanwhile, Barmore has also been solid, with the veteran defensive lineman collapsing the pocket on several occasions along with finishing with a sack and a batting down a pass.  He’s another player who has really grown lately, which has been great to see.

Both have been extremely disruptive and have played a role in what have been some great defensive efforts.  It’s just unfortunate that the offense hasn’t been able to return the favor.

6) Sunday was certainly a frustrating finish for rookie kicker Chad Ryland, who missed his opportunity for a game-tying field goal to force overtime.

Instead, he hooked the ball wide left from 35-yards out, leaving the Patriots on the wrong end of a three-point loss.

Ryland has been a player talked about this season, with the rookie having had his struggles at various moments.  Sunday gave him a chance at making his first pressure kick as a Patriot, and it’s unfortunate that he wasn’t able to convert it.

Overall, it’s a disappointing finish to a game that obviously had a fair amount of controversy coming into it given their situation at quarterback.

For now, the Patriots will head back to Foxboro at 2-9 with their final afternoon game next Sunday before three-straight night games when the Los Angeles Chargers visit Gillette Stadium in a 1:00pm match-up.

READ NEXT:
Sunday Confirms Patriots’ Need to Transition To The Next Quarterback

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.


Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

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