The Patriots snuck away with a win on Sunday. Jamie Collins put it best in his post-game conference, “They made more plays but at the end of the day, we had more points.” It was an ugly game from start to finish, but it wasn’t all bad
- Mac Jones: The Kid can play and he can play well. Mac n’ Cheese Jones only missed 7 out of 30 throws, threw for 231 yards, a touchdown and a pick. The most impressive was his 4th quarter comeback, taking the Patriots from 22-9 to 22-25. He has built up some really good chemistry with Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Henry. The more we see of Jones, the more there is too like.
- Pats Running Back Core: James White is the veteran leader of that group, but with him down, the other four needed to step up. Brandon Bolden turned back the clock and performed VERY well on screens and runs, Rhamondre Stevenson had some pretty runs, and Damien Harris did his thing (more on that later). They helped bring our rushing game from -1 yards last week to 126 this week. While J.J. Taylor didn’t get a carry, the depth the Patriots have is still very impressive.
- Matt Judon: Judon has been balling out, and frankly the Patriots couldn’t be happier to have him. Two sacks on the game gives him 6 so far on the year. He is the Monster in Massachusetts, dominating O-Linemen and generating consistent pressure. His sacks came in the second quarter to prevent any more Texans’ touchdowns.
- Texans Wide Receivers: Bit of a surprise that the Texans wide receivers would be good considering what they USED to have. Chris Moore, who was recently taken off the Practice Squad, went for 109 yards and a touchdown on only 5 receptions. Chris Conley also performed well, recording 84 yards and a touchdown on 3 catches.
- Davis Mills: I don’t want to take away from the Rookie, cause he really performed well today. Only missing 8 out of his 29 throws, throwing 312 yards and 3 touchdowns, Mills really stepped up. I rank him as Meh, because one flash in the pan game does not make a great player. I’m hesitant to say he’s great, but he has shown potential. If he can keep playing like this, he should develop well and maybe surprise a few people.
- Texans Defense: It’s hard to pin the loss on the Defense, since they did take advantage of a inconsistent Patriots offense. They didn’t come in clutch towards the end, but there were some moments that should give hope to Texans’ fans. Lonnie Johnson’s interception, Justin Reid in general, Terrance Mitchell’s forced fumble and Jonathan Greenard’s sack. Potential is there, but it may take some time before it’s reached.
- Damien Harris Specifically: Harris played well, but he didn’t play great. One touchdown could’ve been two but Harris’ fumble-itis reared it’s ugly head once more. Terrance Mitchell made a great play, but for Patriots fans it hurt. Damien Harris has so much potential, so to see issues with ball control is painful. If the line heals up and they play more consistently on offense, hopefully Harris can break out of this funk.
- Both Special Teams: Jake Bailey didn’t get a chance to shine, but a 58 yard boot isn’t bad. Nick Folk made all his field goals, but missed an extra point. Big Kick Nick isn’t terrible, but he’ll occasionally miss some kicks and that can lead to nasty habits. Ka’imi Fairbairn Was pretty poor on the day going 1/2 on Field Goals and 1/3 on extra points. The Texans punters Cameron Johnston wasn’t bad, punting 3 times and getting 1 inside the 20.
- Patriots O Line: Down Michael Onwenu, Trent Brown, Shaq Mason, and Isiah Wynn all looked lost. New England entered the game with Justin Herron, Ted Karras, Yodny Cajuste, James Ferentz, and Yasir Durant. David Andrews, the only healthy starter, did his thing but the spotlight was on all the backups. They only allowed 1 sack and helped the Patriots get 352 total yards.
- Patriots Defense: Apparently the Patriots defense forgot to show up for the first half. If there was ever a game to show we didn’t need Stephon Gilmore, it was this one. However with Jalen Mills and Shaun Wade on inactive, the secondary was a bit in shambles. With J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Myles Bryant, and Justin Bethel for corners we left a lot open. Jones was still banged up and it was hard to see anyone really step up. Our D-Line was solid, but our Line Backing core didn’t help a lot. Against the run we did fine, but once they passed it they torched us.
- Patriots Ball Control: Interception, fumble, interception, fumble. We lost a touchdown because of a fumble, we lost a drive because of a poorly thrown pick. The constant fumbles and interceptions make it difficult to find answers. No real criticism other than hold onto the ball and make smarter throws.
- Texans O Line: It’s not easy being tasked with blocking Matthew Judon. Allow 3 sacks and multiple pressures made Davis Mills’ life way harder than it should’ve been. The fact that the ground game never really took off left them no option but to pass. If the Patriots secondary wasn’t so bad, the O-line might be under more scrutiny. This Texans offensive line could’ve looked a lot worse if Davis Mills misses more of those throws.
The New England Patriots (2-3) will be home in Week 6, hosting the Dallas Cowboys (4-1). Kickoff will be at 4:25 PM EST on Sunday, October 17th.
The Houston Texans (1-4) will be traveling to Indianapolis to play the Colts (1-3). Kickoff will be 1:00 PM EST on Sunday, October 17th.