The New England Patriots lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars by the final score of 31-20. It was an ugly game through and through for New England, so we might to stretch to find some winners. Here’s what we have.
Winner: RB Sony Michel. Michel made his NFL debut after missing the season opener with a knee injury. He had 34 yards on 10 carries and added in 1 catch for 7 yards. It wasn’t a super notable game, but the fact that he was out and on the field shows that he’ll receive plenty of opportunities to produce.
Loser: TE Rob Gronkowski. Gronk collected 15 yards on 2 receptions, with 9 yards coming on the first play of the game. He was quiet in a game where he needed to erupt and carry the offense. The Patriots needed more out of their star tight end.
Loser: WR Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson gained 18 yards on 3 catches with 5 targets- but 18 of those yards game on one play. He added 5 rushing yards on 1 attempt. While Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan had fine enough days, with a combined 86 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8 receptions, the Patriots needed another receiver to step up with Gronkowski not producing.
Loser: CB Eric Rowe. Rowe was benched after two series in favor of CB Jason McCourty. A subsequent injury to DB Patrick Chung forced Rowe back on the field in certain defensive packages and he continued to get picked on all afternoon. Rowe might have lost his starting job as the result of this game.
Loser: DE Adrian Clayborn. Clayborn allowed Blake Bortles to escape the pocket on third down- twice. Repeat offenders are the worst in the eyes of Bill Belichick and Clayborn will be no exception. With Trey Flowers’ availability in question due to his concussion and Deatrich Wise nursing a potential injury, Clayborn will likely still be active next week, but we might see Derek Rivers active and ahead of the veteran in the rotation.
Loser: Patriots third down defense. Jacksonville finished the day converting 9 of 13 third down attempts, which is a major indictment on the New England defense. They broke down at crucial moments and Brian Flores and Bill Belichick have a lot of work to do.
Ultimately, the Patriots have a lot of work to do and there wasn’t much to be happy about. They’re on to Detroit to prepare for the Lions.