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Quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots’ 34-10 blowout loss against the Titans

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The Patriots were embarrassed down in Nashville.

New England Patriots v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Patriots were absolutely embarrassed by the Titans on Sunday. Here are my quick-hit thoughts from the game. If it’s your first time reading, these are my (mostly) unedited notes from the game. I react to plays and decisions in real time and write them down here. I’d say I hope you enjoy them, but after a game like that, I doubt you will. I do, however, hope you find them informative and gain some insight from them.

  • The game starts off with a long return by the Titans, good hustle by Devin McCourty to prevent the touchdown.
  • First play from scrimmage, Marcus Mariota avoids the rush and picks up 24 yards to Corey Davis, who, thankfully, fell down when he caught it.
  • Terrible defense on the first drive, with the Titans being able to do whatever they want. Mariota running is a problem, and if they can’t contain him, they’re going to lose this game.
  • A long pass to Josh Gordon is the only play that works on the first Patriots drive. He also drops two passes after that.
  • The Titans are being very aggressive on the short, quick plays. Could be something the Patriots will look to exploit later in the game.
  • Duron Harmon with one of the worst drops you’ll ever see, but it doesn’t matter because of a pass interference penalty on Stephon Gilmore.
  • The Patriots defense is getting gashed early. Can’t stop the run, can’t stop the pass. This could be a LONG game for the Patriots fans who, like me, made the trip down to Nashville.
  • Next Patriots possession, Brady makes a terrible throw on first down, then Michel comes in and everyone in stadium knows they’re running on second down, they pick up nothing. Then James White comes back on the field and Brady is sacked on 3rd down. Josh McDaniels needs to step up his play calling.
  • More of the same from the Patriots defense as Patrick Chung isn’t able to wrap up his guy and the Titans get the ball deep down the field on the first play. The defense holds and only allows a field goal though.
  • Tough to play much worse than the Patriots did in the first quarter. They’re down 14, but finally on the move. The running game was working at the end of the quarter.
  • A great play call to get White open on fourth down and keep the drive alive.
  • The fullback dive from James Develin for a touchdown, followed by the spike by David Andrews. That one gives the old school football guys a tingling feeling.
  • The Titans follow it up with a three-and-out, and all of a sudden the Patriots have a chance to tie the game.
  • Not sure if it’s a matchup thing with Gilmore and Corey Davis, but Davis had two touchdowns against the Patriots in January, and Davis is consistently beating Gilmore so far today.
  • After a 30-yard pass to Edelman on the first play of the drive, the Patriots stall when Brady misses an open James White on third down. Stephen Gostkowski then misses wide left. Titans ball again. The defense now needs to bail the offense out.
  • So far, the defense has been completely incapable of setting the edge on running or passing plays. And it’s not just one guy: Trey Flowers, Keionta Davis and Deatrich Wise Jr. have all been victimized.
  • A great play by J.C. Jackson to force a punt. Patriots get the ball back with six minutes left in the half.
  • Two straight bad throws by Brady end the drive. Gordon slips on the first, but recovers in time, if the ball was at his numbers, it’s an easy catch, but Brady threw it high. He then throws a tightly covered back-shoulder pass to Gordon on third down when he had James White all along for an easy first down.
  • The Patriots have the Titans in a third and long out of field goal range, and, once again, Gilmore is beat by Corey Davis for a first down.
  • Mariota’s elusiveness is hurting the Patriots. He scrambles around and gets a receiver open, which, helped by another bad missed tackle by Chung, brings up a third and short at the two-minute warning.
  • Not sure if Elandon Roberts was scared of tackling Derrick Henry on his own, but he fills the hole and just whiffs on the last touchdown of the half.
  • Brady now with a chance at the Brady Parlay. The way the offense has been going today, I’m not confident, but let’s see what happens.
  • The drive stalls in ugly fashion with a sack to end the half. Brady throws his helmet in disgust, and I agree with him.
  • Not sure the reasoning of not kicking a field goal in that spot. Yes, you’re down 14, but it at least puts some scoring on the board. It would’ve been a 59-yarder, so it would’ve been tough, but probably more likely than a touchdown on the last play.
  • Overall, a terrible first half against an anemic offense. The Titans have a solid defense, so it’s the defense that really needs to step up.
  • A great job by Tennessee putting Malcolm Butler on Chris Hogan to start the game. The Patriots don’t throw to him anyway, so the Titans don’t have to worry about Butler getting beat.
  • And the Patriots start off the second half with yet another three-and-out. There has been no protection from the line, and they haven’t been able to pick up anything. Once again, it goes to the defense to do something.
  • Throwing to Jacob Hollister on third down when he’s being covered by Kevin Byard is not the decision you’re looking for from Tom Brady. The second half is starting just the same way the first half went. Now all Tennessee needs to do is drive on offense to bring things back to normal.
  • And, right on cue, the Titans drive down the field. They have to settle for a field, but until the red zone found virtually no resistance. Mariota missed a throw on third down that could’ve ended in a touchdown as well.
  • Brady has been off all day, and that throw to Gordon on third down is just the icing on the cake. 3rd and 5 near midfield and you throw into heavy coverage and don’t even give Gordon a chance. Terrible.
  • So Brady catches the pass from Edelman this time, but the grass trips him up and he isn’t able to pick up the first down. After a false start by Marcus Cannon on 4th and 1, Logan Ryan shuts down Edelman to force the turnover on downs.
  • I would break down the rest of the game, how the Patriots quit, and how Mike Vrabel stuck it to Belichick and the Patriots by calling the Mariota throw back when the game was basically over, but you probably don’t care about that, so instead, I’ll just say the Patriots have LOTS of work to do. The offense and defense were both terrible today, but let’s hope it was just an aberration.
  • The good news is that the Patriots have a bye coming up. Belichick can use this game as a wake-up call for the team to get it together. And they come off the bye with a game against the Jets, which should be a good way to start the second half of the season (I realize it’s not really the second half, but what do you want me to call it?).
  • Side Note: I made the trip down to Nashville, and it is a very cool place, and a lot of fun to hang out at. I didn’t enjoy my stadium experience, obviously, but it’s definitely a place that everyone should go visit.

Pat is the host of the Patriot Nation Podcast

Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats