At the positioning of their finest comeback, after they sprung to lifestyles from a 28-3 deficit midway by technique of Expansive Bowl LI and made it out champions, the New England Patriots possess been uncharacteristically dreary on Sunday night time.
Either aspect of the ball possess been disagreeable in their worse-than-the-field-ranking-looks 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans.
The defense, which had given up four passing touchdowns by technique of its first 11 video games, surrendered four to Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins and gave up bigger than 14 aspects for appropriate the second time this season. The offense would possibly perhaps perhaps muster nevertheless a field goal for the first 44 minutes and Tom Brady accomplished decrease than 50 percent of his passes. On high of it all, kicker Kai Forbath omitted an additional level in his first sport with the team.
“It appropriate wasn’t accurate ample in any dwelling, and so that they possess been the easier team,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged. “Somewhat considerable sums it up.”
Safety Devin McCourty added, “It comes down to that week, you advance to play Sunday, advance to make and play neatly. We did not create that tonight, and once we create no longer create that, we’re love sensible at handiest.
“I ponder that’s any team. Any team would possibly perhaps perhaps beat any team in this league. And even as you create no longer advance and make at the good of your skill and play at a high stage, you’ll likely be able to fall sufferer to getting killed or no longer playing neatly and losing.”
New England outgained Houston by 172 yards, tallied 13 extra first downs and three extra third-down conversions and averaged extra yards per play. However the Patriots misplaced the turnover battle (one to none) and their statistical accumulation turned into once too microscopic, too leisurely. New England turned into once down 21-3 and 28-9 before the Patriots strung together snappy, ambiance friendly scoring drives in the fourth quarter.
“Now not easy to get at the support of and advance support,” Brady acknowledged after the game. “Put ourselves in a pretty deep gap, and also that you just can well perhaps perhaps no longer create that on the road.”
That gap came courtesy of a Brady interception in the first quarter on which rookie receiver N’Keal Harry turned into once beat on a slant by Texans corner Bradley Roby. Given the immediate field, Houston scored against New England’s supposed Boogeyman defense on the following pressure. The Patriots would no longer ranking on any of their subsequent five drives, reaching easiest up to now as Houston’s 39-yard line.
After the loss, Brady did no longer set the blame for the passing offense’s woes (24-of-47 in complete, 7-of-19 at the half) on the expertise of his unproven receiving corps, moderately the team’s total “execution.”
“I ponder we’re all looking to create a accurate job available,” Brady acknowledged. “I could give them credit ranking, they played neatly. We did not originate ample plays.”
The QB added, “We’re combating. We’re making an strive as laborious as we are able to. With any luck we are able to originate ample plays and be the good we would possibly perhaps even honest additionally be. All remains to be viewed. … Guys made some plays tonight. We’ll scrutinize if we are able to manufacture on it and create better subsequent week.”
Next week brings Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs to Foxborough, a matchup against one in every of the game’s most dynamic offenses and quarterbacks and a invent of opponent that has been New England’s Achilles’ heel this season.
The Patriots possess easiest given up bigger than 14 aspects to two offenses this twelve months — Watson’s Texans and Lamar Jackson’s Ravens — and each and every of those video games against MVP candidates at QB resulted in New England defeats.
In Mahomes, New England is probably going to face one more such take a look at, though the Patriots, at 10-2 and with their grip on the AFC and the division loosening by the week, can no longer possess ample money to focal level on their opponents. Salvation lies within.
“Let’s scrutinize if we are able to get to a accurate assert and set ourselves in a accurate assert,” Brady acknowledged of his attitude in the direction of the upcoming week. “We possess bought a sturdy one this week. It is a protracted flight home. We’ll strive to put together and get support at it.”