- Christian Barmore: On the stat sheet, he only has 1 tackle and 2 passes deflected. However, 2nd-Round draft pick Christian Barmore has been special at the nose tackle position. Barmore has 17 pressures through 7 weeks, and has won 12.6% of his pass rushes (highest amongst rookies). Christian Barmore is, to put it simply, a pressure cooker. He brings the pressure and cooks the quarterback. The stats can tell a story, but the film fills the holes that aren’t on the stat sheet. Barmore is a defensive rookie of the year candidate on pressures alone.
- Patriots’ RB Depth (Again): Once again having 5 runningbacks prove beneficial. Sure White is out with Injury, but the other four can easily fill in the blanks. This time around it was Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson and vet Brandon Bolden. Stevenson was responsible for 106 total yards (62 rushing, 44 receiving). He averaged 6.2 yards on the ground and 22 in the air. Bolden recorded 88 total yards (54 rushing, 34 receiving). He averaged 6.8 yards on the ground and 11.3 in the air. Damien Harris had an off game recording 30 yards on 15 carries, while he did score, Stevenson and Bolden picked up the yardage slack.
- Patriots’ Defense: Everything about the Patriots defense was off the charts. 3 total interceptions, a pick six, 3 tackles for a loss, 8 passes deflected, 3 QB hits, 1 sack, and 59 total tackles. Mr. Int himself J.C. Jackson had 2 picks for 88 yards and a score. Matthew Judon recorded another sack making that 9 on the year, which puts him tied for 3rd place in the league. The Patriots seemed to be playing a lot of Cover, leaving Sam Darnold to once again see ghosts. Darnold recorded a QBR of 3 and a Passer Rating of 26.3. The Boogey Men and the Ghosts are back to haunt the NFL.
- Stephon Gilmore: As far as revenge games go, sure they didn’t win, but that wasn’t the defenses fault. Gilmore recorded 2 tackles and an interception. Even though he was traded away, a lot of Patriots fans are happy for him. That interception kind of felt like a going away present for Gilmore.
- Brian Burns and Haason Reddick: These two have formed a tandum that should bring a lot of hype to Carolina. They combined for two sacks against the Patriots, inclding 9 total tackles, 3 QB hits, and 1 tackle for a loss. Simply put the defense Carolina is looking good, especially when it’s led by these two.
- Hunter Henry: Hunter Henry is having a solid season, nothing flashy but real consistent. The biggest thing is he has formed a chemistry with Mac Jones. Catching 2 out of 3 for 19 yards and a score isn’t the most amazing stat line, but if you’ve been watching it does tell you one thing. When it comes to the Redzone there are two guarantees: Damien Harris can get as many yards needed and Mac Jones is going to look for Hunter Henry.
- Christian McCaffrey: An injured CMC is not going to have a mind blowing game, obviously. I didn’t expect 100 yards from him, but he did provide 100 total yards. 52 on the ground and 54 in the air, even a dinged up CMC can run well. He wasn’t really supported by a great passing game, but once he heals up he should be ship shape in no time.
- The Panthers Offense: CMC aside, nothing went well for the Panthers’ offense. 3 interceptions, dismal quarterback play, it looked like they got the ball spiked in their face. No receiver passed 60 yards, no runningback pased 60 yards, and it took all 4 quarters for Darnold to surpass 100 yards. This was a wake up call for Carolina, don’t waste a talented defense with an atroscious offense. Here’s hoping Cam Newton can reignite the fire.
- Conservative Patriots’ Play Calling: 4th and 1 is an area of weakness for New England. They’d rather tuck their tail and punt than go for it. They got away with this in this game, but in bigger games this conservative approach will hurt them. Going for field goals while up 21-6 is understandable, but in one of these games McDaniels needs to get a bit bolder.
- Mac Jones: Again he didn’t hurt his team, but with the flashes of greatness we saw, we expect more. Throwing a touchdown is good, missing only 6 throws is good, averaging 7.7 yards a completion is good. However losing a fumble, throwing a pick, and failing to surpase 150 yards is really dissapointing. The offensive line did not help, but Jones needs to learn to help himself. A passer rating of 85.2 is great in Arena football not the NFL, same goes for a QBR of 27.1. Mac Jones needs to play at a higher level more consistently.
- Damien Harris: 2 yards per carry, now he’s hurt, Harris had a bad week. Hopefully he can recover and return to his former self, but this game was rough. 15 carries for 30 yards, his longest being 8, and only 1 score. The Patriots have the depth but with a bull dozer like Harris down, a lot of pressure will be brought onto the others to develop. You can chalk this game up as the game where the Panthers were ready for Harris, but not everyone else.
- Ball Control: 4 interceptions and 5 fumbles on the game. That is bad. The Panthers and the Patriots need to hammer home the importance of Ball Control. Not much else to be said.
The New England Patriots (5-4) are at home hosting the Cleveland Browns (5-4) on Sunday, November 14th at 1:00 PM EST.
The Carolina Panthers (4-5) will be traveling to take on the Arizona Cardinals (8-1) on Sunday, November 14th at 4:05 PM EST.