The Patriots watched their probabilities of doubtlessly pulling off a fourth-quarter comeback towards the Commanders slip by their fingers.
Trailing 20-17 within the ultimate minute of Sunday’s recreation, Mac Jones regarded like he was going to have New England in a spot to at the least tie the sport. The Patriots quarterback bought the crew to the Commanders’ 41-yard line with 38 seconds left, solely needing eight extra yards to get inside Chad Ryland’s career-long subject purpose distance.
However on second-and-8, Jones’s go to JuJu Smith-Schuster went proper by the veteran wideout’s fingers, winding up in Commanders security Jartavius Martin’s fingers as a substitute. The Patriots didn’t have any extra timeouts left, permitting Sam Howell and the Commanders to kneel the ball as soon as to finish the sport.
Patriots coach Invoice Belichick appeared to absolve Jones of blame for the Patriots’ ultimate offensive play.
“I feel that was actually the learn, you simply don’t wanna lose the ball there,” Belichick instructed reporters when requested if he was OK with Jones’s learn on the play. “We’re in subject purpose vary. Certain, it’s an extended kick, however the ball will get tipped up within the air and it’s an interception.”
The drop by Smith-Schuster exemplified the Patriots’ offensive struggles this season, falling to 2-7 with the loss. They solely recorded 327 yards of complete offense towards a Commanders crew that allowed the fourth-most yards yards per recreation within the league getting into Week 9.
Smith-Schuster completed with a team-high six receptions, posting 51 receiving yards because the Patriots performed with depleted receiving corps. The interception was Jones’s solely turnover of the sport. The Patriots quarterback accomplished 24 of 44 passes for 220 yards, including a landing as his try and get a second-straight fourth-quarter comeback win at house fell brief.
Smith-Schuster’s drop was additionally the second pricey drop of the sport by a Patriots receiver. Late within the third quarter, Jalen Reagor dropped a deep go from Jones that might’ve both put the Patriots in scoring place or resulted in a landing.
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