All these good vibes for the New England Patriots after profitable two straight video games? Poof! They’re gone, and so too could be their playoff hopes.
The Patriots dropped a 27-20 decision to the host Houston Texans and slipped to 4-6 on the season.
The final time the Patriots misplaced six video games in a season was 2009. They made the playoffs that season, however had been knocked out in the wild-card spherical (33-14 loss to Baltimore).
The final time they did not make the playoffs was the 2008 season, and to qualify this yr they seemingly will not have the opportunity to lose one other recreation.
With remaining contests in opposition to the Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, that is a tall process.
Which is what made their efficiency Sunday — after a riveting win over the Baltimore Ravens the week earlier than — so disappointing.
Describe the sport in two phrases: Lost alternative. The Patriots began quick by getting a defensive cease and scoring a landing on their first possession, which has beforehand been an issue for them, after which by no means seized management in opposition to a group that entered with a 2-7 file.
Biggest gap in the sport plan, Part I: The Patriots obtained off to an incredible begin on offense, aided by the Damien Harris-led operating recreation, to take an early 7-0 lead. But then they appeared to get away from the run, as Harris (11 carries, 43 yards, TD) went an prolonged stretch of time with out touching the ball in the second quarter. That’s concerning the time when the Patriots began to lose management of the sport.
Biggest gap in the sport plan, Part II: Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson by no means appeared to be disrupted, because the Patriots had been balancing sending an excessive amount of strain and leaving themselves uncovered on the again finish in opposition to the Texans’ speedy receivers. But once they did blitz, Watson made them pay. He was only a step forward of regardless of the Patriots dialed up on protection for a lot of the day.
Promising development: The offense opened up a bit in the second half, with Cam Newton‘s 41-yard landing cross to Damiere Byrd in the third quarter offering a spark. It was simply the second receiving landing by a Patriots receiver this season, and the primary thrown by Newton. The landing was thrown 41 yards down the sector, which was the second-deepest completion for Newton this season (46, to Julian Edelman, in Week 2). Byrd, who has already matched his profession excessive for catches in a season (32) with six video games remaining, was a high performer.
QB breakdown: Newton continues to play the way in which the Patriots want him to — turnover free. It appeared like they had been conservative with him early, focusing extra on the shorter passing recreation, earlier than opening issues up in the second half. Newton, who completed 26-of-40 for 365 yards and one landing, wasn’t as a lot of an element in the operating recreation (3 carries, 6 yards).
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