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New England Patriots links 10/02/23 - Cowboys beat Patriots with a stick

Daily news and links for Monday.

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New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
Bailey Zappe sees his first action in 2023
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

How we feeling this morning? I can take a loss and be disappointed — where the team plays hard but the opponent has a better game. Watching the Patriots on Sunday was not just a loss, it was downright demoralizing. A soul-sucking debacle from beginning to end. Mac Jones Frankensteined into a Sam Darnold-Zach Wilson creation before our very eyes. Receivers were blind to the first-down marker, defenders forgot how to tackle, running backs were just plain forgotten, turnovers, cough-ups, watching Myles Bryant cover CeeDee Lamb (ack!) bad injuries to good players... the list goes on.

Usually I can find the positives in a bad performance. The problems can be identified and the loss isn’t an indictment on the entire team. I’m struggling today. The only solution I have in the immediate aftermath is to throw that whole mess out and take the year week-by-week. No sweeping declarations for what lies in store for the rest of the season and expectations reset back to zero.


  • Post Game Notes: Patriots at Cowboys. Patriots extend streak to 23 straight games with a sack; Kyle Dugger has career-high 15 total tackles; Bailey Zappe sees first action in 2023; More.
  • Gamebook: Full Patriots-Cowboys stats.
  • Evan Lazar’s Game Observations: In the first three games of the season, Jones mostly played with good poise despite an offensive line that routinely put him under pressure. But, on Sunday, Mac played non-competitive football by losing his wits in a way we’ve never seen in his 36 starts in a Patriots uniform. /Good points here.
  • Mike Dussault’s Instant analysis following Sunday’s loss: It was the kind of lopsided decisive loss not often seen around New England and one that could leave a long-term mark if the team doesn’t find a way to bounce back.
  • Post Game Quotes: Patriots and Cowboys.
  • Press Conferences: Bill Belichick - Mac Jones - Deatrich Wise - Bailey Zappe - Hunter Henry - David Andrews.


  • Taylor Kyles shares his takeaways from the loss in Dallas as major mistakes from Mac dig the team an early grave.
  • Alex Barth gives us 7 takeaways from the Patriots’ ugly, ugly loss in Dallas. 1. Getting behind the sticks early, literally and figuratively.
  • Chris Mason issues 9 takeaways from blowout loss at Jerry’s World. 1. Mac has a nightmare day; 2. Judon could be the biggest loss. More.
  • Zack Cox shares seven thoughts on the disastrous loss to the Cowboys. The Patriots lost two of their best players to injury, benched their starting quarterback after a ghastly performance and suffered their most lopsided defeat of the Bill Belichick era.
  • Matt Dolloff coughs up how Mac Jones and the Patriots were flat-out embarrassed by the Cowboys.
  • Mike Reiss reports the Patriots lost CB Christian Gonzalez to a shoulder injury, while a source told ESPN that Matthew Judon has a bicep tendon tear.
  • Mark Daniels reports Matthew Judon could miss months due to injury. The plan is for Judon to have an MRI on Monday.
  • Alex Barth tells us how Bill Belichick characterized pulling Mac Jones in the 3rd quarter, declining to call it a “benching”: “I didn’t think there was any point in leaving him in the game.”
  • Mark Daniels writes Mac Jones is coming off his worst game in the NFL but his teammates are still behind him.
  • Karen Guregian takes stock of Mac Jones serving up a stinker yesterday and says there will be serious questions about Jones’ poor decision-making and ball security issues.
  • Mark Daniels suggests if you want to point the finger at someone for the team’s problems, start with Bill Belichick.
  • Karen Guregian relays Mac Jones discussing what went wrong against the Cowboys, ‘It wasn’t my day today . . . I’m disappointed in myself.’
  • Nick O’Malley highlights what Bailey Zappe said after taking over for Mac Jones.


  • Trevor Sikkema (PFF) NFL Week 4 game recap: Cowboys 38, Patriots 3. Rookie spotlight: Patriots rookie S Marte Mapu recorded two tackles and one solo stop for a 60.0-plus overall grade after PFF’s first review of the game.
  • NFL Nation (ESPN) NFL Week 4: Big questions, risers, fallers and takeaways. Patriots: Can Mac Jones rebound from the worst game of his career? Stock up after the loss: P Bryce Baringer. It goes without saying, but when the punter is one of the bright spots, it was a nightmare day. Stock down after the loss: Cornerbacks.
  • Albert Breer (SI) Ten Takeaways: Broncos and Vikings save their seasons; Plus, Matthew Stafford praises Puka Nacua, the Titans are alive, the Bills knocked the Dolphins off schedule and much more. ‘Mac Jones was pretty bad against the Cowboys, but, really, he hasn’t been the problem, so much as the problem’s been around him’.
  • Peter King (ProFootballTalk) FMIA Week 4: Saturday in Deion Sanders’ Colorado and a dominant Sunday for Bills.
  • Around the NFL ( Week 4: What we learned from Sunday’s games. 2. Mac Jones benched after latest dud. Jones turned the ball over three times, leading to 18 Dallas points, and completed only 12 of 21 attempts for 150 yards before being sent to the bench in favor of Bailey Zappe with 3:41 left in the third quarter.
  • Dante Koplowitz-Fleming ( NFL stats and records, Week 4: Bills, Josh Allen re-establish divisional dominance; Stefon Diggs ties record.
  • Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Bill Belichick: Mac Jones remains starter.
  • Charean Williams (ProFootballTalk) Ezekiel Elliott has mostly forgettable day in his return to Dallas.
  • Gilberto Manzano (SI) Fact or Fiction: Bills are the best team in the NFL (Fiction), and Bears are the worst (Fact).