The Runner Sports

Patriots Escape Sloppy Thursday Night Thriller With Win

If I’m being honest, as is the case with most Thursday night affairs, neither team deserved to win this game. The New England Patriots only won because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made several mistakes, and the Bucs lost because they made several mistakes. That being said, a win is a win in the NFL, and after a heartbreaking last-second loss to Carolina, the Pats very much needed it.

What Went Right for the Patriots

Well good news, the defense looked much better this week. Granted a huge part of that was due to poor games on Jameis Winston and Nick Folk’s parts, with Winston missing several easy throws and Folk missing 4 FGs, but hey, baby steps. The defense greatly limited the number of big plays this week aside from when they went into some prevent at the end of the game, which is a positive step for them.

The running game also looked the best it has all season long, grinding out 23 carries for 113 yards, a marked improvement from recent weeks.

Also a big shoutout to Stephen Gostkowski, who continues his resurgent 2017, hitting on all 4 FGs, including kicks from 45 and 48 yards out.

What Went Wrong for the Patriots

One could argue almost everything went wrong.

The O-Line played horribly yet again, allowing Tom Brady to get hit far too many times.

The D-Line once again got almost no pressure on the opposing QB.

The overall lack of discipline reared its ugly head once more, best exemplified by Brandon Bolden making a huge error where he jumped too early on a punt, giving Tampa Bay a fresh set of downs.

The passing game also never fully got it going, despite Brady throwing for 300+ yards. Part of that, of course, was the poor play of the O-Line and both Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman being out; passes were dropped, and Brady should have been picked off twice in this game, not just once, but the defender dropped the would be Interception. The offense also stalled pretty badly in the red zone, albeit this was likely due to Gronk’s absence.

Really, the Patriots had no business winning this game. Were it not for Folk missing on 3 FGs and a very bad start to the game by Winston, the Patriots would be 2-3 right now.

What’s Next for the Patriots

New England now gets 10 days to prepare for a road game against the division rival New York Jets. The Jets haven’t exactly been great this season, but then neither have the Patriots. Still though, with 10 days to prepare and to correct things on both sides of the ball, and the return of Gronkowski to the lineup, it should be an easy win for the Pats.

Phong Ta

Phong Ta

Grew up in both Boston and Memphis

Love the NFL, mainly the Pats, but Titans are slowly coming up

Also part-time Fantasy Football Expert on the side
Phong Ta