Tag Archives: Jonathan Jones

Patriots Week 14 Report Card, A Very Mixed Bag in the Loss to Miami

Steve Balestrieri
December 11, 2018 at 7:20 am ET


The Patriots went down to Miami and played just well enough to keep a very inferior team in the game long enough for them to steal away a victory on a fluke play on the last snap of the game. Like John Houseman used to say in those old Smith Barney commercials, “They earn it.” And the Pats earned that loss in a game that they should have won.

Some parts of the Pats game was outstanding, others were absolutely terrible. On both sides of the ball. That’s what a wacky game this was. They will get over this one…or perhaps they won’t. They don’t have a lot of time to dwell on it. A trip to Pittsburgh looms next week and don’t expect to see the same Steeler team that lost to the woeful Raiders next Sunday.

So, check out our grades and see how the team fared in this week’s close win.

Quarterback: A-

Tom Brady, save for one colossal mistake at the end of the first half was outstanding. Brady completed 27-43 passes for 358 yards (8.3 yards per pass) with 3 TDs and 0 INTs. His accuracy was very good throughout the game and those bogus hot take artists who regularly spew insipid bile about his arm strength need to watch back-to-back plays in the first half.

Facing a 3rd and 10, Brady lasered a rocket to Julian Edelman for 16 yards and a first down. On the next snap, Brady rocketed a 37-yard fastball down the field on a line where Cordarrelle Patterson made a nice grab for a 37-yard touchdown.  

Brady’s one gaffe was a very costly one. With time running down in the first half, Brady held on to the ball too long with no one open and took a sack. At that point, the clock ran out and the Patriots lost a golden opportunity to add points on the board. It was a rookie mistake, he lost track of how many timeouts they had used and it is something, he’s never done. And it couldn’t come at a worse time. That’s what knocks his grade down somewhat.

Running Backs: D

The Patriots running backs were rendered a total non-factor in this game. Despite the Dolphins having a sieve for a run defense for all of this season, they were a stone wall on Sunday and held the Patriots running backs to an awful 2.6 yards per rush average.

Sony Michel had 20 carries for just 57 yards. He had one nice run at the end of the game that looked like the Patriots were finally going to take over but it was wiped out by a holding penalty. It has been a familiar refrain for him all season. He could probably have close to 50 percent of his yardage added to his total that has been lost on flags.

James White whether by the Dolphins defense or the Patriots game plan was invisible on Sunday. Granted Brady was shredding the Dolphin secondary but when the team goes just 3-6 in the red zone, perhaps, White could have been used a bit more. Rex Burkhead also was invisible, carrying four times for two yards with just a single catch for three yards.

James Develin was solid in his blocking and added another short touchdown run. But his penalty hurt at the end of the game.

Wide Receivers: B

Both Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon had outstanding games on Sunday. Edelman had 9 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown and as always he goes into those dangerous spots over the middle. His score was reminiscent of his TD catch in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks. He had a costly drop however where he began to run before securing the ball, a very uncommon mistake for him.

Gordon was outstanding and is looking every week like he’s getting better and better. He’s a monster on those quick, short slants where he uses his size and speed to get position and then is tough to bring down. He had five catches for 96 yards and added a pass interference call as well as a holding call.

Cordarrell Patterson had two catches for 51 yards including a beauty of a 37-yard touchdown. It was a perfect throw and a very nice catch as he stretched out and snagged the ball for the score.

Chris Hogan had only one target and Brady, under pressure overthrew it badly. It was a play we wrote about this weekend, the back of the end zone pass used to be a staple in the Patriots offense and that was one of the first times we’ve seen it in a long time. And it was open too.

Tight Ends: A-

Rob Gronkowski had a very good game, arguably his best of the year on Sunday. He was targeted eight times and made eight catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. He was taking some big hit and gave the Dolphins a lot of trouble in the passing game. They were convinced that they could cover him with single coverage. They were wrong.

Gronk deserves no criticism for the ridiculousness at the end of the game. He should have never been out there in the first place.

Offensive Line: D+

The offensive line did a tremendous job in the passing game, Brady was sacked just twice and they did a very good job of keeping the interior of the pocket clean where he could step up and throw the ball.

But in the running game? They were singularly awful. Remember this is a Dolphins team that has been gashed all year long but this was their third lowest total allowed. Only two games against the anemic Jets offense did they allow less. The running backs had nowhere to run on Sunday. This was a matchup the offensive line was supposed to win and should have. They did not.

Defensive Line: D

The defensive line like the offensive line and much of the team was really good in one aspect and absolutely terrible in the other. Trey Flowers was once again terrific, he led the way with two sacks, two tackles for loss and four QB hits. And in the pass rush department, the defensive line had another strong game with 3 sacks and six QB hits.

But the Mr. Hyde part of the game was the run defense which was gashed. While that isn’t on just the DL (read below), they share in the grade as they were consistently pushed around in the running game.

Linebackers: D

The Patriots linebackers after their best game of the season against Minnesota had arguably their worst. They did do a good job of getting after Tannehill in blitzes with 1.5 sacks and a pair of QB hits.  Dont’a Hightower had his first sack of the season and John Simon was particularly effective in his best game in a Patriots uniform.

But in run support they were absolutely terrible, Miami rushed for 189 yards on just 21 carries which averages out to 9.0 yards per rush attempt. Brandon Bolden looked like Barry Sanders in his prime flying through open space for a 54-yard touchdown. No one could get off of their blocks. Elandon Roberts had a rough game, getting bulldozed on the Bolden first TD and then whiffing (how many times do we see this?) on an open field tackle attempt on Frank Gore. Hightower was fooled by Tannehill on the first series with a play fake where he ran for 13 yards.

Secondary: C

The secondary took a step back from their stellar game of a week ago. Kenny Stills was giving Jason McCourty fits all game long until he was eventually replaced by J.C. Jackson. Gilmore was beaten by Brice Butler for a touchdown on a post route that was an excellently thrown ball by Tannehill. But the rest of Miami’s receivers had no more than one catch apiece.

But on the topic of the elephant in the room or in this case a Mastodon, there were breakdowns all over the field which all help create a play which will forever be a New England Butt Fumble moment. Another look at the play, (and it is like watching a car wreck) shows some horrible situational football.

Jonathan Jones is in perfect position to make the tackle and end the game since Miami has no timeouts remaining. But instead, he foolishly tries to make a play on the ball and is then, way out of position.  Jackson and Gilmore appear to be more worried about defending another lateral and run like their feet are underwater. Devin McCourty wasn’t on the field (the only snap he missed all game) and Gronk, who isn’t a defender (more to this below) stumbled trying to get the angle on Drake. Epic fail.

Special Teams: C+

The Special Teams blocked two punts, Albert McClellan blocked both by rushing right up the middle. Ryan Allen’s punting was fantastic and the coverage units easily had their best game of the year. But Stephen Gostkowski’s two misses on easy kicks (an extra point and a chip shot 42-yard field goal) cost the team four points, which would have rendered the fiasco at the end moot. Nuff said.

Coaches: C-

The Patriots coaching staff which prides itself on not beating itself and good situational football failed on multiple accounts here. Why was Gronk in the game at all on that last play. With Miami back on its own 31, Tannehill isn’t throwing the ball 75+ yards in the air and even if he does, the team just signed 6’4 Obi Melifonwu who has a 40-inch vertical leap and can run like a scalded dog. It was unfathomable.

While the decision to go for the field goal was considered the “safe, smart” move, I’d have opted for another shot at a touchdown to put the game away and even if you don’t your forcing the Dolphins to start from inside their 5-yard line. Three points there doesn’t ice the game and you’re just giving them better field position to work from.

Just goes to show, Bill isn’t infallible, he can make mistakes. There were plenty of them to go around. We’re on to Pittsburgh…

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]
Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news.

No “Yeah Buts” Patriots Defense Is Coming Together Right On Time

Steve Balestrieri
December 5, 2018 at 8:40 am ET

With the Patriots win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the Patriots are 9-3 and are currently the #2 seed of the AFC. They can clinch their division with a win over the Dolphins on Sunday, the first “hat and T-shirt” game of the season.

Nothing is guaranteed yet, there are still four games left to play and they could finish anywhere from the #1 seed to out of the playoffs if they drop all four. But is there anyone really out there that can see that scenario?

Things you can set your watch/calendar by:

  • The Pats laying a stinker or two in Sept.
  • National media rushing to be “first” to predict the end of NE’s run
  • Patriots fans screaming on social media every time an opponent completes a pass of more than 10 yards, “They’re trash!”
  • The team slogging thru the midway point of the season stringing together wins
  • Post-Thanksgiving, the team is suddenly among the AFC’s top seeds…again
  • After every win, especially against big opponents, the “yeah buts” come out
  • That “trash” defense begins to come together

Did we miss any? One fan who follows us on social media proclaimed during the Lions game that the team was “going 5-11 as Bill has gutted this team with terrible drafting”, and yet here we are again.

The best thing to watch on Sunday was the work of the Patriots defense. The one constant about the Patriots defense is that it is always changing. They don’t have the one signature aspect that everyone can point to and say, “Team “A” is going to have to deal with this” or that “Team “B” can’t match up with that”. It is, under Bill Belichick a unit that changes from week to week depending on the team and can morph into totally different entities.

Against the Jets, they went to a heavier package trying to stop the running game that was base-heavy. Against Minnesota, they went to nearly all sub-packages, at times having Trey Flowers as the only down lineman, daring them to run, while trying to stop the pass. They did a masterful job of disguising their blitzes and the safety group was moving all around which confused Kirk Cousins to where he was forced to check down time and again to outlet receivers where the defense cleaned them up.

This requires a massive amount of work and study and having players that are smart and versatile, especially the secondary which gets far too little credit. The Patriots have quietly amassed a very talented group in the secondary and they are getting better each week.

Last week, facing the Vikings talented duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, the Pats defense, didn’t do their normal M.O. which is to try to take away their top threat and make you beat them elsewhere, they DID take away both.

Thielen, who had amassed nine 100-yard games was held to just five catches for 28 yards and a 5-yard TD. Diggs had five catches for 49 yards. And right smack in the middle of it all was Stephon Gilmore.

Gilmore is a corner who doesn’t get nearly the credit that he deserves for being the player that he is. Other than the Titans game where he and everyone else played terribly, he’s been lights out since the earliest days of OTAs. Joining him is Jason McCourty, who not only is playing meaningful games for the first time in his career, is also playing some of the best football of his career. Jonathan Jones and the surprising rookie emergence of J.C. Jackson has to be a source of confidence moving forward.

The safety group now has four players that the team can use in just about any situation. Pat Chung and Devin McCourty are both ramping their games up to an extremely high level with Duron (The Closer) Harmon and newcomer Obi Melifonwu providing depth and versatility for the coaches to throw different looks at the opposition.

While everyone south of the North Pole laments the amount of yardage that they allow. But yards passing doesn’t win football games…points do. Otherwise, the Pats would have cruised in the SB against the Eagles. And don’t look now, but that “trash” defense of the Patriots? They’re currently tied with Seattle for 9th best in points allowed with 21.6. Right on time. And the opposing passer rating, they’re currently 6th, with opponents QBs having a passer rating of just 85.9.

They aren’t the most talented group in the front seven, with the exception of Trey Flowers on the defensive line, there are a bunch of workmen who bring their lunch pails to the stadium every day. Lawrence Guy, in particular, has been a great pickup for them.

The Linebacker group is the same. Are Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy All-Pros? Nope but in this defense, they are as valuable as them. Elandon Roberts is someone we frequently criticize but he has the confidence of his coaches and on Sunday was flying around the field which is a good thing. They miss their rookie Ja’Whaun Bentley but who should be even better next season.

Are they now a Top-10 defense? Nope. But they’re competitive and with a confidence level that they feel they can match up and slow down anyone they meet. We all heard the noise (all year) but especially before last week’s game. “They can’t stop Thielen”, or “Diggs will eat them up”, “Who is going to cover Cook underneath.” It was the same when they faced Aaron Rodgers but of course, after that game, there were the endless…yeah buts.

One of the things that Bill Belichick talks about, and one of the hardest thing to do as a coach, is getting a team to “buy-in” to what they’re trying to get across with a team philosophy. We saw that fail in 2009 when he lamented on the sideline in New Orleans that the team wouldn’t do so. Judging from what we saw on Sunday, this team is all-in. What happens from here? Nobody knows, they could run the table or get booted in the first round. “Yeah but what about the Steelers’ offense?” But just this time, for once, sit back and enjoy the ride.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news.

Best Of Social Media Week 13: Vikings vs Patriots

Robert Alvarez
December 4, 2018 at 9:11 pm ET

The New England Patriots entered their Week 13 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings looking to keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs for the top seed in the AFC Playoffs and continue their December dominance into another season.

The Patriots came in at 8-3, while the Vikings, who continue to battle for an NFC Wild Card spot, were 6-4-1.

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Lets get it!

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In the first quarter, the Patriots struck first from an unlikely source, fullback James Develin carrying the ball in from the one for a 7-0 lead.

Another week, another new Tom Brady milestone, and this one was a long time coming.

A Brady five yard gain to put the quarterback over 1,000 rushing yards for his career.

The score remained 7-0 Patriots after a quarter as kicker Stephen Gostkowski added to the lead with a 20 yard field goal to extend it to 10-0 midway through the second.

Despite the Patriots having full control of the game and time of possession, the offense struggled to pull away and the Vikings got back in the game with an Adam Thielen touchdown reception. 10-7 Patriots at halftime.

The score was made possible by a gutsy third down challenge call by Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

In the third quarter, former Viking Cordarrelle Patterson tormented his former team with a big gain.

Unfortunately the Patriots offense continued to scuffle as the Vikings would tie the game at 10 with a Dan Bailey 39 yard Field Goal.

Needing to grab back momentum, Josh “Flash” Gordon came up big.

17-10 Patriots after three quarters.

Leading by seven into the fourth, the Patriots defense continued to dominate the Kirk Cousins offense.

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With 11 minutes to go in the game, the Patriots offense padded their lead when James Develin again scored to push the separation to 24-10.

Under five to play, the Patriots defense forced two big turnovers to end the Vikings night and a 24-10 victory.

By beating the Vikings, the Patriots extended their own NFL record for most consecutive winning seasons to 18 straight (2001-2018), the team also moved to 9-3 through 12 games, for the 13th time under Bill Belichick and the eighth-straight year that the team has started the season with a 9-3 or better record.

Seven of those 13 times, the team has advanced to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots will travel south to take on the 6-6 Miami Dolphins at 1:00 next Sunday.

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Persevere. #TeamW

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W

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Best Of Social Media: Week 9 Packers vs Patriots

Robert Alvarez
November 7, 2018 at 11:04 pm ET

For just the second time ever, Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers were set to square off at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

The Patriots came into the prime time match up at 6-2 and were seeking their sixth consecutive victory.

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Showtime

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Sunday night fight. #LFG #GameDay

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Before the game, the Patriots welcomed the World Series champion Boston Red Sox into Foxborough for a special pregame ceremony on a duck boat.

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The Patriots opened the games scoring first as running back James White continued his hot streak with an eight yard touchdown run for an early 7-0 lead.

A Mason Crosby 29 yard field goal cut the deficit to four after one quarter of play.

In the second, the Patriots offense put together two straight highlight reel plays but could only come away with a field goal by Stephen Gostkowski from 28 yards out. 10-3 Patriots.

Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams responded with four minutes to go in the half to tie the game at 10.

The tie didn’t last long, as wide receiver turned running back Cordarrelle Patterson found the end zone just before halftime. 17-10 Patriots heading into the break.

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In the third quarter, the Packers again responded with a game tying touchdown. This time Rodgers found tight end Jimmy Graham from 15 yards out to knot the game at 17 after three quarters.

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In what became a recurring trend on this night, the Patriots defense made big plays when needed most.

Looking to regain the lead, the Patriots pulled off a some more trickery to keep the Packer defense off balance.

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The Flea Flicker by Brady and Edelman setup James White for his second touchdown of the game and a Patriots lead they wouldn’t relinquish again. 24-17 New England with 10 to play.

Nursing a seven point lead, the Patriots defense stepped up yet again, as Trey Flowers and Adrian Clayborn shut down the cheese offense.

Getting the ball back with seven minutes to play, Brady found Josh Gordon deep to put the game away, a 55 yard touchdown reception and a 31-17 victory, their sixth in a row.

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GREATNESS.

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Hey Tom. Good game. #12 #also12

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LET’S GOOOO.

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#ForTheGram

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W

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No one’s catching the ⚡️! #PatsDub

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Naw son

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Best Of Social Media: Week 7 Patriots vs Bears

Robert Alvarez
October 22, 2018 at 8:31 pm ET

The New England Patriots entered their Sunday afternoon tilt with the Chicago Bears seeking their first road win of the 2018 season. Under Head Coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots had never started a season 0-3 in road games.

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Play to win.

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Windy City. #Execute

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Always up to the challenge. #Gameday

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In the first quarter, the Patriots got the ball first, as Brady and the offense moved swiftly down the field for the games first touchdown.

The Bears responded with a Cody Parkey 46 yard field goal, but a special teams fumble by Cordarrelle Patterson setup the Bears go ahead touchdown. 10-7 Chicago after one.

The momentum continued to shift Chicago’s way into the second quarter, when running back Sony Michel also turned the ball over on a fumble in what appeared to be a serious knee injury in the moment.

Reports Tuesday later came out saying the injury was “not serious”.

The fumble led to the Bears second touchdown of the game on a running back Jordan Howard two yard run to extend their lead to 10 at 17-7.

Needing to weather the Bears 17-0 scoring run, kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson redeemed his fumble in a big way, returning the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. The Patriots deficit was trimmed to 17-14 at the ten minute mark of the second quarter.

Following a Bears punt, wide receiver Josh Gordon continued his streak of highlight reel receptions. The catch helped setup running back James Whites go-ahead touchdown pass from Tom Brady and a 21-17 halftime lead.

In the second half, quarterback Mitch Trubisky continued to show off his running ability as the Bears regained the lead again courtesy of Tarik Cohen. 24-21 Bears.

Following a 29 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to knot the game up at 24 all, the Patriots special teams unite came up big again courtesy of Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy.

A 31-24 Patriots lead after three quarters following the first blocked punt return for a touchdown in team history for over 20 years.

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With the Bears driving to open the fourth quarter, cornerback Jonathan Jones made an incredible leaping interception of Trubiski for the teams second pick of the day.

The pick gave the ball back to Brady, and he made the Bears pay following this deep 55 yard pass to Josh Gordon that setup James White for another touchdown. A 14 point 38-24 lead with 8:40 to go in the game.

 

The turnovers continued to hurt the Patriots however, as Tom Brady endured another hard luck interception by way of a dropped pass that gave the Bears life.

The Bears cashed in as Trubiski found Trey Burton to make it a one possession game with 4:13 remaining.  38-31.

The Bears had one more chance to send the game to overtime, but it fell just (a yard) short.

The Patriots would escape Chicago with their fourth consecutive win to move to 5-2 on the season. They’ll head to Buffalo for Monday Night Football Next.

 

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W with my man @thatlguy! #GrindOn

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Opportunity..

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WATCH: Jonathan Jones’ Daughter Celebrates His Interception

Robert Alvarez
at 8:28 pm ET

Just when it appeared the Chicago Bears had an opportunity to tie the Patriots early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, cornerback Jonathan Jones hauled in a clutch one-handed interception off quarterback Mitchell Trubiski intended deep pass to receiver Anthony Miller.

As the play unfolded, a phone camera caught Jones’ 3-year old daughter watching her father make the catch on television and her reaction was priceless.

Best Of Social Media: Week 5 Colts vs Patriots

Robert Alvarez
October 7, 2018 at 4:30 am ET

Coming off a short week, the New England Patriots entered Thursday nights matchup with the Indianapolis Colts seeking to continue their dominance over their rivals and get back above .500  on the season.

The Colts came into the game winless in their last seven meetings against their AFC rivals, losing by an average of 19 points per game.

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Focus

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And it begins… #LFG

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Mood. #GoPats

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Thursday nightlights #patsnation #darkside

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Legends.

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In the first quarter, Tom Brady wasted no time getting his favorite target involved for the first time since Super Bowl LI as Julian Edelman hauled in the first pass of the night.

Brady found Cordarrelle Patterson for the second week in a row to put the Patriots on the board first at 7-0 after one quarter.

For the second straight week, the Patriots pash rush came out strong, getting in Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s face and causing disruptions early.

In the second quarter, the trademark “Brady Leap” touchdown made its first appearance in four seasons as the Patriots jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

After a Colts field goal to cut the deficit to 14-3, the Patriots under two-minute scoring came through again as Brady found James White to extend the lead to 21-3 with 1:34 to go in the half.

The defense continued to make plays as Patrick Chung recorded an interception of Luck that led to a Stephen Gostkowski 45-yard field goal to bump the Patriots lead to 24-3 at halftime.

Chung’s celebration after the pick may have been more memorable.

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In the second half, tight end Rob Gronkowski continued to re-write the Patriots record books.

In the third quarter, the Patriots struggled with some ugly drops that led to Colts interceptions.

The Colts would cash in on one of them as Luck found his tight end Eric Ebron to cut the lead to 24-10 at the 9:40 mark of the third quarter.

Needing to regain momentum, Devin McCourty delivered with a familiar play.

The Colts made things interesting to start the fourth quarter when Luck found Eric Swoop for another score to make it a seven point game at 24-17.

Needing to reclaim control, enter Josh “Flash” Gordon.

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For the first time in his Patriots career, Josh Gordon put the Patriots back ahead two scores with an incredible “Moss-Like” catch that brought the lead back up to 31-17. The touchdown was Brady’s 500th for his career.

Leading by two scores, the Patriots defense stepped up again, with Jonathan Jones snatching a pick.

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Hell yeah @getitonjones31

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The interception would lead to a Sony Michel game sealing 34-yard touchdown run to put the Patriots up 38-17.

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A garbage time Eric Ebron touchdown made the score 38-24, but the Patriots would walk away with their eighth consecutive win over the Colts and move to 3-2 on the season. A date with the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs awaits them Sunday night October 14th.

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2 of 3!! Sensei!!

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W

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Back home. #W

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Patriots Down Colts 38-24 in Sloppy TNF Win, 3 Up-3 Down

Steve Balestrieri
October 5, 2018 at 6:49 am ET

Is the rivalry back on? For the first half of tonight’s game, it certainly didn’t seem so as the Patriots throttled the Colts to a 24-3 advantage at the break. But the team played a very sloppy third quarter and the Colts narrowed the lead down to a single score before the Patriots behind a strong game from Tom Brady pulled away to win 38-24 in front of a packed house in Gillette Stadium.

The Colts, however, were equally as sloppy and the game was mired with five turnovers and after being treated to several good Thursday Night Football contests, fans were given more of what we’ve come to expect from these mid-week games.

Julian Edelman returned to his first game action since the Super Bowl against the Falcons and didn’t seem to miss a beat. The Patriots made sure he was immediately targeted on the first play from scrimmage. Edelman had three catches on the first drive where Brady went 9-9 and finished it off with a TD pass to Cordarrelle Patterson.

Edelman finished the game with seven receptions for 57 yards and was back returning punts as well. On the Patriots second drive, as they were again moving, Brady hit him wide open down the sideline and he dropped it. It was a scenario that would return…for both teams.

Brady had a record-setting night and broke two milestones with just one pass. In the fourth quarter after the Colts had pulled within seven at 24-17, Brady led the Pats on a very nice drive and at the Colts 34, with seemingly all night to throw, he aired it out to Josh Gordon for a 34-yard touchdown. It was both the 500th of Brady’s career making him just the 3rd player to do so, but it also broke another record. Gordon’s TD reception made him the 71st player to catch a TD from Brady, breaking the record he shared with Vinny Testaverde. He finished 34-44 for 341 yards with three TDs and 2 INTs.

The Colts were a banged up team on Thursday and couldn’t even field a full team of 46 active players, they could only dress 44. Please remind us NFL about how important player safety is again. And while the Colts defense is much better, and yes they were missing several players, the Patriots could have easily, should have easily dropped 50 on them.

The Edelman drop certainly cost them points and Brady’s two interceptions were both in the hands of Patriots receivers who dropped them. Chris Hogan had a Brady pass right in his hands at the 23-yard line and into Mathias Farley’s hands ending another scoring drive. On the ensuing drive, Brady hit Rob Gronkowski down the seam that would have given the Pats a 1st and goal at the five. Instead, the ball was ripped out, (seemed more like a fumble) and Najeh Goode returned it to the 20.

However, also on the plus side was the solid game by Sony Miche who racked up 98 more yards on 18 carries and he’s getting better and better. His 34-yard touchdown was a nice one where he got free on good blocking and then burst down the sideline untouched for the score.

Andrew Luck seems all the way back from his injury and his arm strength which some were questioning before the game, seems fine, thank you very much. He dropped some dimes all over the field and lasered a few passes into tight window coverage as well. Luck finished with 365 yards passing with 3 TDs and 2 INTs, but after throwing 62 passes on Sunday, he threw 59 more last night and they desperately need a running game or he’s going to get killed out there.

Eric Ebron had a huge game for the Colts and had his way all night long, despite being a bit gimpy himself at times. He finished with 9 catches for 105 yards and 2 TDs. Nyheim Hines had a solid game for Indy, he got 45 yards on the ground on 15 carries and added 45 more thru the air on seven catches.

The Patriots defense had a solid first half and was gashed pretty well by Luck in the final 30 minutes. The Colts short passing game kept the chains moving as Indy rolled up 439 yards of offense. These are some troubling developments and much will have to be cleaned up considering their next opponent. The defense has 10 days to prepare for Kansas City’s passing game, and they have a lot of work to do.

So who was up and down tonight?

Three Up:

Tom Brady – The Patriots QB was his normal, unflappable self against the Colts, and he seemed to be able to carve them up at will. The Colts were only able to stop the Patriots passing game on the drops/interceptions in the second half.

And to break two big milestones on one pass was pretty special. His touchdown pass to Gordon was reminiscent of a TD that he threw in 2007 to Randy Moss against Miami. That broke the record he shared with Testaverde. And it was also his 500th, making him just the third player (Brett Favre, Peyton Manning) to do so. Drew Brees is next on the list with 496. Brady as always gave the credit to his teammates.

“Things like that, milestones and so forth, there are so many people who contribute,” Brady said. “I just think of all the people who have really worked hard. A quarterback doesn’t throw them to himself. He needs people to catch, and block, and the defense to make plays, and coaches to coach. These are all great team awards. Pretty cool.”

Sony Michel/James White – The Patriots 1-2 punch at the running back position was huge again for the team. Michel gave them 98 yards on the ground, including the 34-yard touchdown and one catch for 12 yards. White, on the other hand, was a thorn in the side of Indy’s defense catching 10 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. He just two carries 0 yards, but one of those was a key 3rd and 1 conversion on the Patriots first drive of the game.

The duo was fantastic and they each bring something to each element of the offense. Michel will eventually become a bigger factor in the passing game and we know White is able to contribute in the running game.

We wrote earlier this week that with Edelman back and teaming him with Gronk and Josh Gordon would open up some room for White underneath. Tonight’s game was a testament to that.

Jason McCourty – The Patriots cornerback has continued his strong play this season and he was very solid again tonight. He made two excellent plays, back-to-back breaking up passes including one in the end zone to Zack Pascal.

J-Mac also had a nice play where he knocked the ball out from Pascal again and Jonathan Jones intercepted it to seal the game. The very next play, Michel rolled in from 34 yards to put the Pats back up by 21.

Considering the way, the summer started, it looked like J-Mac was on the bubble. Now, that thought seems a bit ludicrous.

Down:

Devin McCourty/Pat Chung – The Pats safety had an up and down night, he made a couple of big plays that helped turn the ball over to the Pats. He broke up a pass intended for Hines on a key third down stop and stripped the ball from Jordan Wilkins after a short gain and took the sting out of the Hogan drop/pick

And yes, he was given fits all night by Ebron who had the biggest game of his career and was constantly in trail. But the touchdown that Ebron scored against him was scheme driven. He was playing inside leverage and Ebron broke outside….oops. Great play call by Indy.

However, it wasn’t D-Mac’s greatest game but it wasn’t the worst as some fans would think. Chung struggled to contain Ebron as well. Tip your hat to him and get back to work on the KC gameplan I guess. Chung otherwise was strong with 11 tackles, a pick, and a QB hit. 

Jonathan Jones- The Pats nickel corner had a pretty rough night. He seemed a tad slow off the snap all night long and was getting beat consistently and was resorting to a lot of grabby work which can result in a flag fest. Something that was mentioned in the broadcast.

The Colts picked on him pretty consistently all night. We’ll have to rewatch the tape later today but it didn’t look like Jones’ best night either. But as with McCourty, Jones did get the pick on the interception.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news

Best Of Social Media: Week 1 Texans vs Patriots

Robert Alvarez
September 11, 2018 at 3:23 pm ET

At long last the New England Patriots season opener arrived on Sunday against the upstart Houston Texans and young quarterback Deshaun Watson, who just a year earlier, gave the Pats a thriller at Gillette Stadium.

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Let’s go boys. #GameDay

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GAME DAY MOOD!

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In the first quarter, the new look Patriots defense made an immediate impact, with the help of a healthy Dont’a Hightower.

The Patriots scored first, as tight end Rob Gronkowski logged his first Gronk spike of 2018.

7-0 Patriots.

Before the end of the quarter, the Texans scored a Ka’imi Fairbairn 42 yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3.

To open the second, the Patriots offense continued to look crisp, as quarterback Tom Brady found James White for a 12 yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.

Deatrich Wise and the Patriots defense continued to step up, bowling strikes along the way after sacks.

https://twitter.com/Patriots/status/1038851827071049728

Stephon Gillmore continued to keep Watson out of the end zone.

Just before the half, Gronk caught one of the more bizarre balls you’ll ever see.

https://twitter.com/WAD1980/status/1038857378551095296

The catch setup Phillip Dorsett’s first touchdown of the year and a 21-6 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Brady and Gronk continued to connect deep. With this reception leading to another Gostkowski field goal and a 24-6 lead.

With under two to play in the third, the Texans finally found the end zone when Alfred Blue ran it in from the one on Watson’s first successful drive of the afternoon. 24-13 Patriots after three.

In the fourth quarter, Doresett continued to impress, setting up another Gostkowski field goal to extend the lead to 27-13.

Nursing a two touchdown lead, return man Riley McCarron made things interesting following a muffed punt that lead to a Bruce Ellington five yard touchdown reception from Deshaun Watson. 27-20 Patriots.

So with the Texans down just seven, Ryan Allen and the special teams unit delivered as Houston was unable to tie the game and the Patriots would go on to win week 1 27-20.

 

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12 & 99.

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W

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Week one ✔️

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The 2018 New England Patriots On Social Media

Robert Alvarez
August 2, 2018 at 6:03 pm ET

The following list is a reference point for the 2018 New England Patriots social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.

(NOTE: Most Snapchat account links only available within app and are not listed publicly)

Ryan Allen 

David Andrews

Ja’Whaun Bentley

Braxton Berrios

Brandon Bolden

Tom Brady

Kenny Britt

Rex Burkhead

Marcus Cannon

Patrick Chung

Adrian Clayborn

Duke Dawson

Phillip Dorsett

Eric Decker

Nate Ebner

Julian Edelman

Danny Etling

Trey Flowers

Marquis Flowers

Mike Gillislee

Stephon Gilmore

Rob Gronkowski –

Lawrence Guy

Duron Harmon

Dont’a Hightower

Jeremy Hill

Chris Hogan

Jacob Hollister

Brian Hoyer

Cyrus Jones

Jonathan Jones

Ted Karras

Harvey Langi

Brandon King

Devin Lucien

Shaq Mason

Jason and Devin McCourty

Sony Michel

Malcolm Mitchell

Cordarrelle Patterson

Derek Rivers

Elandon Roberts

Eric Rowe

Christian Sam

Danny Shelton

Joe Thuney

Vincent Valentine

Kyle Van Noy

LaAdrian Waddle

James White

Deatrich Wise

Isaiah Wynn