In the only way this 2022 New England Patriots could, they lost to the Raiders 30-24 on a Chandler Jones botched lateral return for a touchdown, and fell to 7-7 and out of a playoff spot. Here’s a look at the scoring drives from Vegas this afternoon:
Patriots 0 – Raiders 3 | 12 plays, 42 yards – Daniel Carlson 49-yard FG
Patriots 3 – Raiders 3 | 14 plays, 82 yards – Nick Folk 23-yard FG
Patriots 3 – Raiders 10 | 11 plays, 76 yards – Darren Waller 25-yard TD
Patriots 3 – Raiders 17 | 2 plays, 20 yards – Mack Hollins 5-yard TD
Patriots 10 – Raiders 17 | Kyle Dugger 16-yard interception return TD
Patriots 13 – Raiders 17 | 12 plays, 69 yards – Nick Folk 47-yard FG
Patriots 16 – Raiders 17 | 7 plays, 15 yards – Nick Folk 54-yard FG
Patriots 24 – Raiders 17 | 3 plays, 76 yards – Rhamondre Stevenson 34-yard TD
Patriots 24 – Raiders 24 | 9 plays, 81 yards – Keelan Cole 30-yard TD
Patriots 24 – Raiders 30 | Chandler Jones fumble return TD
Outside of the absolute clown show ending to that game, here are my five takeaways from New England’s disasterous loss in Sin City:
5. New England’s pass rush is top-tier.
Let’s start with the good. The Patriots pass rush, led by Matthew Judon and Josh Uche, has been their bread and butter all season and they continue to improve week after week.
Though they sacked Derek Carr just twice today with Uche notching his 11th, they were able to give the Raiders fits all game and didn’t allow Vegas to win through the air…. Until the game tying drive at the end of regulation.
The run game was a different story, as Josh Jacobs gashed them, but the pass rush did their part once again.
4. The Raiders might be more undisciplined than the Patriots.
We’ve complained about the Patriots mistakes all year, and rightfully so, but the Raiders were the ones that completely shot themselves in the foot on Sunday.
Las Vegas committed 11 penalties for 75 yards and it completely turned the game on it’s head for them. Multiple false starts hindered their offense, and two long defensive pass interference calls allowed New England to grab points and come back from 14 points down at half. They almost blew it.
3. Matt Patricia’s offense has started to become semi-dynamic.
With Jakobi Meyers and Rhamondre Stevenson banged up, the Patriots needed to turn to some different options on Sunday to try and move the football.
Increasing Tyquan Thornton’s snap count and using rookie RB Pierre Strong in 21-personnel as a wide receiver gave the Patriots a bit of a different look for a while and allowed them to catch Vegas off guard. Though this should have happened weeks ago – it was good to see them start to build off of the things they do well.
2. These added wrinkles mean nothing without a functioning support staff.
Putting Pierre Strong in motion to run an RPO off of it literally doesn’t matter if you false start prior to the snap.
The Patriots have zero control of what they’re doing on offense, and that truly showed today. On a drive where they were handed a first and goal on the two-yard line, New England scored twice with both plays being called back due to mistakes.
And don’t even get me started on the final play from scrimmage… Just disgraceful.
1. The product the Patriots have put on the field this season is a fireable offense.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be Bill Belichick – but something has to change.
As I said above, New England held a playoff spot heading into this weekend – and you wouldn’t even know it if you watched them today. Stupid mistakes, false starts, and more inept play calling made it seem like they didn’t even want to be there.
Something major doesn’t just have to change going into 2023, it has to happen before the end of 2022. The fact that they just keep ramming their heads against the wall offensively is embarrassing and it gives me no reason they even want to fight for the postseason the rest of the way.
The Patriots, yet again, are on a short week as they’ll take on the Bengals next Saturday – Christmas Eve – from Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium. Keep it here on CLNSMedia.com for the latest surrounding the rest of this embarrassing season in New England.
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