October 1, 2023


“I do know no one likes ethical victories, particularly up in New England.”

Mac Jones put collectively some robust returns in Invoice O’Brien’s system as Sunday’s recreation went on. AP Picture/Michael Dwyer

The Patriots opened their 2023 common season with a loss on Sunday, as Mac Jones and New England’s offense have been unable to orchestrate a late-game comeback en path to a 25-20 loss to the Eagles.

A loss is a loss, particularly in a recreation the place New England had two possibilities within the fourth quarter to orchestrate a game-winning drive towards the reigning NFC Champions.

However depend former NFL QB and present CBS analyst Boomer Esiason amongst those that have been inspired by the Patriots’ play on Sunday, particularly on the offensive aspect of the ball. 

“I do know no one likes ethical victories, particularly up in New England on a day that you simply’re honoring your finest participant within the historical past of the game, however I’ve to inform you, I noticed glimpses of hope, particularly on offense with Invoice O’Brien calling the performs and placing Mac Jones in a extremely great spot,” Esiason mentioned throughout his weekly look on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Present” on Monday morning. “And fairly frankly, the protection performed, I believed, actually, very well. 

“And if it weren’t for that pick-six by Darius Slay and perhaps the fumble by Ezekiel Elliott, general I might say that I might give the slight edge to the Patriots outplaying the Philadelphia Eagles, though the scoreboard didn’t present it.”

The Patriots acquired off to a disastrous begin towards Philadelphia, falling right into a 16-0 deficit earlier than the top of the primary quarter. Most of that was self-inflicted by the Patriots, beginning with Slay’s 70-yard pick-six on New England’s first offensive drive of the night.

New England’s very subsequent offensive play led to catastrophe, with Elliott’s fumble giving the Eagles possession on the Patriots’ 26-yard line. 5 performs later, Jalen Hurts hit DeVonta Smith on a five-yard move ultimately zone to place one other landing on the board.

However Jones and the Patriots righted the ship as the sport went on.

Jones completed the sport 35-for-54 for 316 yards and three touchdowns, with six totally different gamers recording no less than 30 receiving yards within the loss.

Invoice O’Brien’s revamped offense created points for the Eagles’ protection by the use of a rotating assortment of varied schemes and formations that allowed Jones and Co. to push the tempo and transfer the ball with some authority.

And though New England’s final two fourth-quarter drives stalled, the Patriots got here near delivering a knockout blow towards Philly, particularly if rookie Kayshon Boutte managed to maintain each ft in on a important fourth-down play within the pink zone.

“That efficiency yesterday by the New England Patriots would give me hope if I have been a Patriot fan, particularly the passing recreation,” Esiason famous. “You understand, Mac throws an amazing ball to Boutte, however he simply can’t get a second foot down. It will have been apropos to win the sport on the finish of the sport with Tom Brady in the home, however sadly, Boutte couldn’t maintain his second foot down.”

Even with a sluggish begin and a lackluster end, New England confirmed loads of promise on an offensive unit that was usually sputtering underneath Matt Patricia in 2022.

There have been even higher returns on the defensive aspect of the ball.

Six of the Eagles’ 11 non-kneel down possessions featured zero first downs, whereas just one traveled greater than 50 yards. Philadelphia solely averaged 4.1 yards per play on Sunday and transformed simply 4 of its 13 third-down alternatives.

With a stout protection already in place, New England might be in good condition in a aggressive AFC East if its offense finds a option to construct off of a few of the constructive good points made towards an excellent Eagles staff.