Patriots Prove What Happens Is Right and Leftover Thoughts from Titans Blowout – CBS Boston

Via Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – You hear it all the time in sports – If only it didn’t have this, things would be different. It is often the lament of the loser.

It’s basically a story around the Patriots of 2021 over the course of six weeks. If only Damien Harris hadn’t messed with Miami. If only Nick Folk and Tampa’s on-field goal had gone six inches to the right. If only they’d won that on the fourth down against Dallas or defended better in the third and 25th or if Mac hadn’t thrown that sixth pick. If only Trent Brown were healthy. If only this, that, or the other, the Patriots could be 5-1.

Yes some truth to that line of thought, obviously, but as we all know, you’re just what your profile says you are. And reality has shown that the Patriots were really floundering, the defense was broken, the execution and the game called for. to be a little go. And so they are 2-4.

What has happened since then has made them a rare case of a group that actually proves those pseudo-reality scenarios to be prophetic. They won six consecutive games, turned the whole season around, became virtual locks to reach the knockout stages and have an official spot to become the No. 1 seed at AFC.

And while the reasons for that winning streak are numerous, sometimes it’s really as simple as making games while the other team doesn’t.

To wit: The Titans made mistakes early on, committing two penalties in a game after getting through three rounds to start the game. Instead of the Patriots starting at their own 31-yard line, the Patriots started at the Titans’ 37-yard line after the first and second legs. That’s a 32 yard position for the team to perform better.

Then on thirds and tenths, LaBrandian Boldtomlinson did a play. He’s on the limit, tiptoeing up the left sideline to find his way to the club for a fresh downhill.

Brandon Bolden picks the point first. (GIF from

Good design and good blocking? Sure. But the reason the leash moved was because Bolden made a play.

Then, in a jump jump that he really doesn’t have much experience in catching, Kendrick Bourne climbed up and past Kevin Byard to actually in the rainbow from Mac Jones before hitting his toe and falling out of bounds. .

Bourne performed a play. Bolden performed a play. The Patriots led 7-0.

Contrasted with a play that was taken but nevertheless spoiled by Ryan Tannehill midway through the second half. With Chester Rogers toasting Myles Bryant, it looks like the Titans are ready to take the lead. But Tannehill decided to throw his pass to Skipjack’s.

Ryan Tannehill’s throw-in was not completed. (GIF from

Feels like a big one. This was followed by Randy Bullock’s second doink in a nine-minute period added to the thread.

Of course, you might say this is confusing. After all, Jones missed out on a spacious Hunter Henry with a similar style. Well, obviously, games are determined by more than a handful of plays.

But over the course of 60 minutes, from early catches to forced fumbles to underrated rehabs all the way to kickers, the Patriots simply performed much better. compared to their counterparts on Sunday. That’s why the skewed final score is no coincidence.

Let’s highlight some of the thoughts left over from that 36-13 win.

–We always do the Mac Jones dance. He actually had some bad throws on this pitch, but luck was on his side and he avoided any ugly throws. In fact, he has set a new career high in passing yards with 310 while ranking his one-game second-best passer with 123.2.

The bad ones were so obvious – the swoop, the Henry miss, the close intercept – and needed no in-depth analysis. So I’m going to mark a throw that I really like: First and 10 at the 37-yard Tennessee line, early in the second half. Nothing flashy, just a confident pitch past the midfield, direct to Jonnu Smith, to score 16:

Mac Jones to Jonnu Smith (GIF from

It was really a simple throw. For me, it’s confidence and comfort on the striking screen, something that has clearly grown over the years. Considering he started his career with about 6,000 hits every Sunday, the ability to get through that and get to this place is impressive.

–People love to say that you can’t hit anyone anymore, that the NFL has lost all its physicality, that it’s basically chess football, etc., etc., etc. The Patriots’ defense sometimes offers a solid counterpoint.

I offer you: Kyle Dugger on Cody Hollister:

Kyle Dugger hits Cody Hollister. (GIF from


Next I give you: Adrian Phillips on Dontrell Hilliard.

Adrian Phillips beat Dontrell Hilliard. (GIF from


Of course, the latter being wiped out by a new age that is implementing a rough passer penalty proves the claimants’ point of view. However… the problem here is that Patriots can hit hard.

–Stephen Gostkowski being a random local guy is a pretty cool development.

He’s already halfway to becoming Casey Affleck character from SNL.

–I’m telling the truth: I didn’t know that Janoris Jenkins changed his name to Jackrabbit. I follow the NFL but sometimes a story passes you by. I suppose that’s fitting, given the name itself.

–Hunter Henry has seven touchdowns this year. Kendrick Bourne now has five children. Nelson Agholor has three.

Last year, during the whole season, the captain in the encounters had… three. Rex Burkhead. Triple touch down. (In 10 games played not less.)

Certainly, quarter-final play is taken into account. But the fact that the three leaders this year are all rookies is no coincidence.

–This is good.

It’s true that he wasn’t really “within the coverage” in Sunday’s pick. But at this point, if you’re denying the fact that Jackson has some sort of magnetic magic on football, you’re talking like the wind, mate.

–If you think Matthew Judon is excited on the field, you should see how excited he is when asked about his jacket. Fast-forward this video to the 10 minute mark:

The guy likes his jacket. Must respect it.

– The match was more or less over when this happened, so I didn’t notice until replaying. But Trent Brown bouncing like a ball in Damien Harris’s touchdown run looks like a joy. For him, anyway.

–We ended some of the panoramic looks later this year, so let’s keep this trend going. The Ravens beat the Browns in one of the most entertaining boring football games ever played on Sunday night, thus keeping Baltimore in the top spot in the AFC. I don’t think that really matters, for two reasons:

1. Week 12 has ended.
2. No one in the AFC is so good.

The second point is the larger point. That’s why the Patriots have an equal chance of winning the Super Bowl when they don’t win the playoffs. The top of the AFC, for example, seems to be filled with good but flawed teams.

They all had a shameful loss or two. New England lost to Miami and New Orleans at home. Baltimore was completely blown away at home by the Bengals and lost en route to Miami. The Titans were defeated by the Jets and Texans (!!!). The Bills lost to the Jaguars (!!) and the Steelers. The Chiefs – who have lost to Ravens, Chagers, Bills and Titans – have no shame.

They all have moments that make you doubt their championship contenders, moments that make you show your inner Michael Bluth and say… surname?

But, well, one of them must make it.

At this point, you still have to be an optimist to think that the bye first leg will be for the Patriots, mainly because of how difficult their next three games will be. With a Colts sandwich wrapped in a Buffalo Bills bread – and with one of those cakes baked on Monday night in Buffalo, where fans will create an atmosphere of total hysteria – it’s It’s been a tough road for patriots. There are some positives built in, such as an extra day this week to get them ready for Monday night and bye then before Saturday night’s game in Indy, then giving them an extra day to spend. Prepare for the day at home with Buffalo. They are all winnable games… but also, they are all loser games.

We’ll see how the Patriots get out of it. Even if they go back with 1-2, they will still be in line to go through 11-6 if they can take on the business against the mighty Jags and Dolphins. And obviously, now they have a better shot than that.

If you say any of this out loud in late October, you’ll be laughed out of the room. Exactly. This is unbelievable.

But the Patriots have been true to their word and their belief that they are not a 2-4 team. And here they are. The next six weeks will be very exciting.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley. Patriots Prove What Happens Is Right and Leftover Thoughts from Titans Blowout – CBS Boston


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