December 6, 2023


It’s disheartening to see how senseless the Patriots have change into.


  • Receivers let Mac Jones down on the largest performs, and different remaining ideas from Patriots-Commanders

  • J.C. Jackson, Jack Jones refuse to talk to media after obvious benching in Patriots’ loss to Commanders

Welcome to the Unconventional Evaluate, an on the spot response to standouts, stats, and story strains from the Patriots’ most up-to-date recreation . . .

It’s finest for the Patriots’ long-term future to lose as a lot as attainable from right here on out. However have they got to be so exasperating whereas doing so?

The Patriots are devoid of top-notch expertise, particularly with Matthew Judon, Christian Gonzalez, and Kendrick Bourne misplaced to harm. We all know this. That actuality is simple sufficient to face. What’s onerous to just accept is that the Patriots make psychological blunders compounding their bodily failings over and time and again.

A Mac Jones cross thuds off JuJu Smith-Schuster’s fingers — whereas inside game-tying discipline aim vary — for a game-ending interception. Mack Wilson Sr. commits a foolish offside penalty on fourth and a couple of, giving the Commanders a primary down late within the fourth quarter. The particular groups models provide you with new and ingenious errors every week.

The Patriots are nowhere close to a superb group. They’ve trailed by double digits in seven of 9 video games this season. They’re truly attempting to win! But they’ll lose as a rule due to a expertise discrepancy. It’s disheartening to see how senseless they’ve change into.

Some additional ideas, upon instant assessment . . .


Gamers urged within the Unconventional Preview: Christian Barmore, Demario Douglas, Terry McLaurin.

Rhamondre Stevenson: This has been a baffling season for Stevenson, a 1,000-yard rusher a yr in the past who appeared sure to proceed rising as one of many league’s finest backs. He entered Sunday with simply 302 yards, two touchdowns, and a Marion Butts-like 3.2-yard dashing common. He’s appeared extra like his ‘22 self currently, including to the suspicion he was combating by way of an harm earlier within the yr. He lastly broke free, breaking off a 64-yard landing run within the second quarter, the Patriots’ second landing in a span of three minutes, 20 seconds of recreation clock. That gave the Patriots a 14-10 lead and appeared to sign that Stevenson – who hadn’t had 60 dashing yards in a recreation this season – was due for a giant day. However one other unusual factor occurred. The Patriots, devoid of weapons, nonetheless have been — I don’t know, reluctant? Hesitant? — to make use of him. He ran onerous — he had a very nifty transfer with just below two minutes left within the third quarter, when he dodged a Commanders lineman within the backfield and trucked security Kamren Curl on a 7-yard acquire. However he ran simply 9 occasions, ending with 87 yards, whereas getting 4 extra touches on receptions that totaled 42 yards. That utilization is mindless.

Ja’Whaun Bentley: The Patriots dressed seven gamers who performed for the 2018 Tremendous Bowl champs: David Andrews, Matthew Slater, Deatrich Smart Jr., Jonathan Jones, Lawrence Man, Joe Cardona, and Bentley. Bentley performed simply three video games that season, his first, earlier than touchdown on injured reserve. However he is among the few present Patriots whose constant performances remind you of higher occasions. Bentley, who has been coping with a hamstring harm, was glorious, racking up 13 tackles (10 solo) and sacking Sam Howell twice within the fourth quarter, as soon as on a 3rd and 6 halfway by way of the ultimate interval. Bentley is a tricky, dependable participant who is aware of his function and deserves higher.

Terry McLaurin: The Commanders had enviable stability of their passing recreation, no less than amongst their receivers. McLaurin had 5 catches for 73 yards and Jahan Dotson 4 for 69, together with a 33-yard landing seize with 6:51 left within the third that tied the sport at 17. McLaurin had a broader impression, making back-to-back catches for 26 and 36 yards on a late third-quarter drive that ended with the go-ahead discipline aim and the sport’s remaining factors. The fifth-year receiver additionally blocked Kyle Dugger out of the play on Brian Robinson’s first-quarter landing run. He looks as if a participant Invoice Belichick would respect, and now I’m obligated to say but once more that he was drafted 44 picks after N’Keal Harry.


You imply a grievance past all the things I’ve already complained about? All proper, do that one on: Patriots receivers Tyquan Thornton and Jalen Reagor mixed for 2 catches for 18 yards on 10 targets. I’m not as on top of things on NFL analytics as many, however I’m fairly positive a mixed 1.8 yards per goal just isn’t good.

Reagor was unhealthy, which doesn’t deviate from the scouting report at his earlier stops in Philadelphia and Minnesota. He dropped a wonderful deep ball by Jones within the remaining minute of the third quarter. I’d suspect he could also be Nelson Agholor in disguise, however Agholor was higher.

Thornton was worse. He was horrible. He didn’t combat for a primary down on a third-and-10 catch early within the recreation, and on the following fourth and three, Jones’s cross in his course fell in full. Three straight early drives ended with incomplete passes aimed his means, and I’m unsure he noticed the sector after the 11-minute mark of the second quarter. He appears worse than misplaced. He appears hopeless. Arduous to consider that is the participant everybody was raving about throughout his early days in 2022 coaching camp.


Predicted rating: Patriots 20, Commanders 19

Last rating: Commanders 20, Patriots 17

Davon Godchaux continued his unheralded sturdy season, ending with 9 tackles and recovering a Brian Robinson fumble within the second quarter after Jahlani Tavai – one other on the transient listing of Patriots worthy of extra heralding — punched the ball free . . . Jonathan Vilma’s efficiency on CBS’s broadcast was as mistake-prone because the Patriots’ passing recreation. Amongst his many transgressions: he mentioned Stevenson was one of the best working again you’ve by no means heard of, circled the unsuitable participant whereas highlighting Kyle Dugger’s interception, and, most annoyingly, blamed Mac Jones for Jartavius Martin’s late interception that ricocheted off JuJu Smith-Schuster’s fingers … Neither Jack Jones nor J.C. Jackson began, and there was loads of thriller as to why. I’m simply going to imagine they have been being punished for making Rex Ryan toes jokes.