For the second straight week, the New England Patriots got flat out embarrassed - this time in a 34-0 skunking to the New Orleans Saints. It was another poor game from Mac Jones and the offense around him, which resulted in the QB being benched for Bailey Zappe yet again.
New England now falls to 1-4 on the season, with serious question marks about the direction of this team.
Here’s everything that went down from Gillette Stadium.
Final Score: (1-4) Patriots 0 : 34 Saints (3-2)
The Patriots won the coin toss and deferred, putting Derek Carr and the Saints on the field first to begin Sunday’s contest. New England started with Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings along the edge, with Myles Bryant and Jonathan Jones at cornerback. The Saints started with two straight touches for Alvin Kamara, before Carr hit Michael Thomas for 14 yards on third-down. After Carr and Kamara picked up another first-down on back-to-back runs, Shaun Wade then broke up a pass to Michael Thomas before Ja’Whaun Bentley got home off a simulated pressure for a sack on third-down. New Orleans then punted.
Jabrill Peppers fair caught New Orleans’ punt at the six-yard line, which is where Mac Jones started the Patriots first drive of the game. After an eight-yard rush by Rhamondre Stevenson to start the drive, Jones fired an incompletion to Kendrick Bourne off play-action, before failing to hit Hunter Henry on third-and-two down the field. New England then punted, where a low snap from Joe Cardona led to just a 26-yard punt.
The Saints started their next possession in New England’s territory, but were not able to take advantage of the field position. A false start set New Orleans up with a third-and-nine, where Carr’s pass went off of Jimmy Graham’s hands. The punt from New England’s 39-yard line bounced into the end zone.
New England’s second drive of the game ended with disaster, as Jones saw a repeat of last week’s game against Dallas. Trying to do too much while under pressure on third-down, his pass was intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu who returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. [Patriots 0 : 7 Saints]
Trailing 7-0, two touches to Ezekiel Elliott and Ty Montgomery set New England up with a third-and-seven. Under pressure, Jones lofted a pass downfield to Demario Douglas who hauled it in for a 24-yard gain. The play stood after review and an unnecessary roughness added on 15 more yards. That was all the success New England’s offense found, as Chad Ryland then pushed a 48-yard field goal wide left.
The Saints began at their own 38-yard line following the miss, where Carr connected with Thomas on third-and-11 for a 26-yard completion. Two plays later, Carr then found Rashid Shaheed for 25 yards to move the ball inside the 10. On third-and-goal, Kamara plunged it in for a score. [Patriots 0 : 14 Saints]
Finding themselves again in a double-digit deficit, the Patriots started their next drive on their own 17-yard line after a Montgomery return. They quickly went three-and-out, as Jones fired a jump ball incompletion to DeVante Parker on third-down. New England punted, which featured another poor snap from Joe Cardona.
Starting at their own 41-yard line, rookie Kendre Miller broke free for a 33-yard catch and run. The Saints then worked themselves inside the 10-yard line on a trio of runs, where Carr then found Chris Olave for a score. [Patriots 0 : 21 Saints]
The Patriots picked up a pair of first downs after two straight touches on the ground to Elliott and then an illegal use of hands penalty on New Orleans. The offense then stalled, as Jones’ third-down pass again fell incomplete down the left sideline to Parker.
Baringer’s punt started New Orleans at their own 16-yard line, where they needed just a handful of plays to march across midfield. Following the two-minute warning, Carr lofted a third-down pass down field to Olave but the receiver was not able to get both feet inbounds. New Orleans punted.
Taking over at their own 18 with 1:03 left int he half, Jones hit Parker to start the drive along the sideline for 14 yards. Jones then connected with Bourne over the middle for 15 yards before Bourne drew a 14-yard pass interference on the next play. New Orleans then got home for a sack to push the Patriots back, where Jones was then sacked again on third-down. They punted after a New Orleans timeout.
The Saints took a knee after just a 10-yard return.
New England’s opening drive of the second half followed a similar script of the first half. On third-and-one, they attempted to fake the “Tush Push” with a pitch that Stevenson was not able to corral. The Saints recovered on the New England 29-yard line.
Injury update: WR Demario Douglas (head) has been downgraded to out; OL Mike Onwenu (ankle) is questionable to return.
Following the turnover, New England’s defense held as Myles Bryant got home on third-down for a sack. Blake Grupe’s 54-yard field goal was good. [Patriots 0 : 24 Saints]
New England’s offense finally hit a downfield play as Jones hit Bourne for 28 yards off play-action on the first play of their next drive. Then facing a fourth-and-three at New Orleans’ 40-yard line, they decided to punt back to the Saints.
Following the punt, the Saints couldn't get much going backed up inside their own 20. Two runs and a short completion led to a punt.
Back with the ball, Mac Jones and the Patriots stayed in neutral. A first-down run was blown up before Jones’ third-down pass was incomplete to Gesicki.
Baringer’s 57-yard punt - and a hold on New Orleans - pinned the Saints at their own five-yard line. On a then third-and-eight, Kamara burst through the middle for 10 yards. On the next third-and-seven, New England brought pressure but Carr quickly found Thomas for 13 yards. A handful of runs by Kamara then set the Saints up near midfield, where Carr sailed a third-down pass forcing a punt.
On New England’s first play of the next drive, Jones hit Ty Montgomery off play-action. But, Montgomery was hit as he made the catch which resulted in the ball being airborne, and the Saints hauled it in for an interception.
New Orleans began at the New England 31-yard line following the INT, where Miller picked up a first down on two straight touches. Then inside the 10-yard line after a Kamara 10-yard catch and run, Carr tossed a pass to Foster Moreau for a touchdown. [Patriots 0 : 31 Saints]
Bailey Zappe took over at quarterback on the Patriots next drive. After back-to-back handoffs, Zappe overshot a wide open Hunter Henry down the left sideline on third-down. New England punted.
The Saints again started inside their 20, where they kept it on the ground with rookie Kendre Miller. On third-down, Carr’s pass to Miller came up short of the sticks resulting in a punt.
Back with the ball, New England faced an opening third-and-one where Zappe sailed another ball to a wide open Kendrick Bourne. On fourth-down, Stevenson was then stopped short of the sticks.
Following the turnover on downs, Olave was not able to corral Carr’s third-down pass in the end zone. Grupe’s 53-yard field goal was then good. [Patriots 0 : 34 Saints]
A false start from Kendrick Bourne (his second of the game) pushed New England behind the sticks to start their next possession. An incompletion to Montgomery and two straight Elliott touches then led to another punt.
Jameis Winston came in for the Saints with 4:07 remaining, where New Orleans kept it on the ground three straight times and punted.
Injury update: LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (shoulder) is questionable to return.
Zappe’s pass with 2:10 left to Bourne fell incomplete. Following the two-minute warning, a third-and-five pass to Gesicki was broken up along the sideline. Going for it on fourth-down, Zappe was forced out of the pocket where a pass to Montgomery fell incomplete.
The Saints took over at their own 17 with 1:50 left in the game, where they took three knees to end the game. [Patriots 0 : 34 Saints]