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Week 2 Patriots vs Jaguars recap and final score: New England’s defense struggles during 31-20 loss

New England falls to 1-1.

New England Patriots v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The New England Patriots went on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars with the driver’s seat of the AFC on the line. However, the reigning conference champions struggled for most of the game and found themselves down 21-3 at halftime. New England showed some resiliency in the early second half but ultimately came up short: the Jaguars prevailed with a final score of 31-20 in their favor.

New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars

Final score

Patriots 20
Jaguars 31

Game Details

Date: Sunday, September 16, 2018

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET

Location: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, FL

SB Nation affiliate: Big Cat Country

TV: CBS, with Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (color commentary), and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter)

Patriots inactives

OT Marcus Cannon

CB Keion Crossen

OG Brian Schwenke

WR Corey Coleman

CB J.C. Jackson

DE Derek Rivers

RB Kenjon Barner

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Patriots starters


LT Trent Brown

LG Joe Thuney

C David Andrews

RG Shaq Mason

RT LaAdrian Waddle

TE Rob Gronkowski

TE Dwayne Allen

TE Jacob Hollister

QB Tom Brady

WR Phillip Dorsett

RB Rex Burkhead


DE Trey Flowers

DT Lawrence Guy

DT Malcom Brown

DE Keionta Davis

LB Dont’a Hightower

LB Elandon Roberts

LB Kyle Van Noy

CB Stephon Gilmore

CB Eric Rowe

SS Patrick Chung

FS Devin McCourty

Live tracker

First quarter

New England wins the opening coin toss and surprisingly opts to receive the opening kickoff.

Patriots’ first possession: New England starts the game well and moves the football all the way to the Jaguars 36-yard line. However, kicker Stephen Gostkowski misses a 54-yard field goal attempt wide to the right.

Jaguars’ first possession: With great field position, the Jaguars are able to march 56 yards in nine plays and take the lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to Donte Moncrief. Two plays before the touchdown, defensive edge Trey Flowers stays on the ground after suffering what looked like a concussion. 7-0 Jaguars

Patriots’ second possession: New England’s second drive does not produce any results. Rookie running back Sony Michel is stopped in the backfield on a 3rd and 1 attempt and the Patriots have to punt.

Jaguars’ second possession: Jacksonville again is able to march down the field, aided by a spectacular catch by Keelan Cole. The second-year wide receiver is also the one to catch a touchdown to end the drive: Bortles finds him from 24-yards out to give the home team a two-touchdown lead. 14-0 Jaguars

Patriots’ third possession: New England faces a third down early during the drive but ultimately converts it. However, the team fails to have similar success on their second third down and opts to punt the football away by the end of the first quarter.

Second quarter

Jaguars’ third possession: The Patriots’ defense finally is able to stop Jacksonville. While the Jaguars found success on the ground, the drive stalled after an offensive penalty set up a 3rd and 17.

Patriots’ fourth possession: Starting at its own 6-yard line, New England’s offense holds the football for the next eight minutes – eventually ending in a 29-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal. The Patriots generally move the football well on their 16-drive series but ultimately fail to come through in the red zone. 14-3 Jaguars

Jaguars’ fourth possession: With not even three minutes left in the second quarter, the Patriots defense allows Jacksonville to march 75 yards in 13 plays to score their third touchdown of the half. 21-3 Jaguars

Third quarter

Jaguars’ fifth possession: After receiving the second half kickoff, Jacksonville marched right down the field again. New England had chances to get off the field twice on third down but was unable to do it. The unit was eventually able to do that in the red area, but not before half the quarter had already passed – and the Jaguars still added three points to their lead. To make matters worse, safety Patrick Chung is declared out with a concussion. 24-3 Jaguars

Patriots’ fifth possession: New England goes nowhere on its first drive of the half and punts the football back to Jacksonville after a three-and-out.

Jaguars’ sixth possession: Stephon Gilmore makes the Patriots’ first big defensive play of the game when he forces a fumble. Duron Harmon is able to recover it and set up New England’s offense near midfield.

Patriots’ sixth possession: New England takes advantage of the takeaway and quickly drives down the field thanks to some solid running by Tom Brady (on third down) and Sony Michel. The drive ends with a seven-yard pass from Brady to Chris Hogan on third down. 24-10 Jaguars

Jaguars’ seventh possession: The Patriots defense again plays sound defense on the next drive, and forces a three-and-out and quick punt – one that sails just 33 yards.

Patriots’ seventh possession: New England starts its final drive of the third quarter with a big screen pass to James White.

Fourth quarter

Patriots’ seventh possession (cont.): The Patriots’ possession stalls on 3rd and 4, and the team settles for a field goal. Stephen Gostkowski splits the uprights from 46 yards out to bring New England’s deficit to 11 points. 24-13 Jaguars

Jaguars’ eighth possession: Jacksonville’s next series also ends quickly: on the second play of the drive, Austin Seferian-Jenkins cannot come down with a pass and instead deflects it into the hands of Kyle Van Noy. Patriots take over at the Jaguars 25-yard line.

Patriots’ eighth possession: New England can’t do anything with the takeaway as Tom Brady gets sacked on the drive’s third play and loses the football. The Jaguars recover and take over.

Jaguars’ ninth possession: Luckily for the Patriots, their defense is able to deliver another stop: Stephon Gilmore stops a third down scramble by Blake Bortles and Jacksonville gets flagged on the ensuing fourth down attempt. Instead, the team punts and sets New England up on its own 9-yard line.

Patriots’ ninth possession: New England starts the series with what initially looked like a close third down conversation. However, it is overturned after Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone challenges the spot. The Patriots decide to punt. Before that, the team almost draws Jacksonville offside but to no avail.

Jaguars’ tenth possession: Jacksonville’s tenth drive is a short one: Blake Bortles throws to Dede Westbrook on a crossing route and the second-year man takes the pass 61-yards for a touchdown. 31-13 Jaguars

Patriots’ tenth possession: A big run by Rex Burkhead and a screen pass to Cordarrelle Patterson set up a 29-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Chris Hogan. 31-20 Jaguars

Jaguars’ eleventh possession: Jacksonville is able to run out the clock as the Patriots defense again allowed its opponent to move the football at relative will.

Quick-hit analysis

While New England had its moments in the third and early fourth quarters, the team played too inconsistent a game to challenge a near-perfect Jaguars team today. The development of the defense has to be particularly concerning: after a strong season opener, the unit struggled to defend crossing routes and keep quarterback Blake Bortles from extending plays with his feet. With the offense unable to get into a rhythm especially early on during the game, the defense failed to help keep the score close.