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Patriots vs. Colts rookie review: New England’s first-year players have an up-and-down day

Related: Patriots vs. Colts snap count report: New England’s pass catchers see a major boost in 27-17 loss

New England Patriots Vs. Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

For the fifth time in their careers in the NFL, the New England Patriots’ rookie players suffered a loss. Going up against the Indianapolis Colts on the road, the Patriots were beaten with a final score of 27-17. Four of the first-year players saw action in the contest, but their performances were quite uneven and not enough to help lift the team to an eight straight win.

With that said, let’s take a look at how the group fared — starting, of course, with Mac Jones.

QB Mac Jones

  • Offensive snaps: 68 of 68 (100%)
  • Special teams snaps: N/A

Mac Jones experiencing some rookie growing pains had to be expected, and he did just that on Saturday against the Colts. The 15th overall selection of this year’s draft ended the game with 26 completions on 45 pass attempts — posting just the third sub-60-percent completion rate of his career — for 299 yards as well as two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Jones’ two touchdown passes helped the Patriots claw their way back into the game after falling behind 20-0. However, the two picks — happening within three attempts separated by halftime — actively contributed to the team finding itself in that hole to begin with.

Jones ended a promising red zone opportunity when Darius Leonard picked off a throw intended for Hunter Henry; he later threw another pick to Bobby Okereke that was turned into a field goal. He then bounced back in the fourth quarter by twice finding Henry in the end zone.

All in all, the game was a mixed bag for Jones and an opportunity to learn.

DT Christian Barmore

  • Defensive snaps: 35 of 52 (67%)
  • Special teams snaps: 7 of 25 (28%)

Serving as the number two interior defensive lineman behind Davon Godchaux, the Patriots’ second-round draft choice had another active day in Indianapolis. Christian Barmore played 35 snaps and for just the second time all season was on the field for more run-game snaps than pass plays.

His performance could be filed under “business as usual.” Barmore was a disruptive player up front for New England, who best not be left one-on-one. And while he was moved back at times by the Colts’ powerful blockers up front, he also stood his ground repeatedly and finished with four assisted tackles — including two for no gain.

RB Rhamondre Stevenson

  • Offensive snaps: 31 of 68 (46%)
  • Special teams snaps: N/A

With Damien Harris out due to a hamstring issue, fourth-round draft choice Rhamondre Stevenson served as the Patriots’ number one running back for the second time this year. But while he gained 100 yards and scored two touchdowns in his first such opportunity in Week 10, his impact was limited against the Colts.

Playing 31 of a possible 68 offensive snaps, the Oklahoma product finished with just 36 yards on 10 carries; he also added a 4-yard reception. Stevenson was not helped out by some inconsistent blocking up front, but he also forced just a single missed tackle — one game after forcing in of them. He also had a fumble, even though it was recovered by teammate Jonnu Smith.

CB Shaun Wade

  • Defensive snaps: N/A
  • Special teams snaps: 2 of 25 (8%)

For just the third time all season, fifth-round rookie Shaun Wade — who arrived in New England via trade from the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year — made the game-day roster. The Ohio State product did not see the field at his listed position of cornerback, though, but instead played his only two snaps in the kicking game.

Wade was on the field for two snaps as a vice player on New England’s punt return squad. He did not register any statistics.

DB Joshuah Bledsoe

  • Inactive

The Patriots activated Bledsoe off their non-football injury list ahead of the game in Indianapolis, but he did not see the field. The versatile sixth-round pick was declared a game-day inactive and therefore has to keep waiting for his NFL debut. Essentially, Bledsoe took over the role of fellow rookie Ronnie Perkins: the third-round pick, who was sent to injured reserve ahead of the game, was deactivated on game day each week.