FOXBOROUGH. Mbad. — With out the advantage of movie badessment, an preliminary have a look at which New England Patriots are “up” and “down” in Sunday’s 21-13 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers:
Kickoff protection and punt protection items – The Patriots received the “hidden yardage” recreation decisively, as their common start line was their very own 30-yard line, whereas the Chargers was their very own 20. The punt protection group took benefit of Travis Benjamin’s miscue to provide a second-quarter security, which helped produce a five-point swing within the recreation. Invoice Belichick constructs his roster with as many special-teams-only gamers as any membership within the NFL, and a recreation like this reinforces why because the Patriots decisively set the tone with these items.
Kickoff protection: Rex Burkhead, Brandon King, Patrick Chung, Jacob Hollister, Nate Ebner, Matthew Slater, Trevor Reilly, Jonathan Jones, Brandon Bolden, Jordan Richards, Stephen Gostkowski
Punt protection: Slater, King, Marquis Flowers, Hollister, Joe Cardona, James Develin, Cbadius Marsh, Bolden, Jones, Ebner, Ryan Allen
Rex Burkhead/James White/Dion Lewis – The three working backs land right here for his or her work exterior of the normal dashing clbad, as Burkhead was the group’s main receiver with seven catches (for 68 yards), and White had probably the most receiving yards of any participant (85) on 5 catches. Lewis, in the meantime, had a 71-yard kickoff return. As for why the working backs had been such an enormous a part of the pbading recreation, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn defined, “We tried to remove their deeper threats as a result of in man protection, there have been some mismatches. We knew the backs had been closely concerned of their pbading recreation and we needed to come up and make these tackles. We didn’t all the time try this.”
Nate Solder, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon, LaAdrian Waddle – The Patriots’ beginning offensive line was as much as the duty in opposition to the Chargers’ robust move rush led by Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Whereas the Chargers had three sacks (these aren’t essentially on the road), Ingram and Bosa had been principally held in examine. Additionally, when Cannon left the sport late within the second quarter with an ankle damage, Waddle stepped in and the unit didn’t break stride. “LA gave us half,” Belichick mentioned, referring to Waddle by nickname. The run blocking was a problem at occasions, with gamers noting how the Chargers introduced a security into the field to problem them, however they nonetheless floor it out late.
Elandon Roberts/Kyle Van Noy – Within the first recreation since Dont’a Hightower tore his pectoral muscle, Roberts stepped in and tied for the group excessive with six tackles, exhibiting up with an enormous cease on third-and-2 to power a punt early within the second quarter and at different occasions with well-timed run blitzes. Roberts additionally appeared to stand up from a communication standpoint to maintain everybody on the identical web page, which was important with out Hightower. In the meantime, Van Noy (6 tackles) continues to evolve right into a important piece in the course of the D.
Sal Paolantonio recaps the postgame feedback from Invoice Belichick and Tom Brady discussing an absence of execution and missed alternatives in a 21-13 win over the Chargers.
Tom Brady – The Patriots had been 1-of-Three within the pink zone (not together with a fourth journey after they had been well working the clock with a conservative strategy). As well as, within the third quarter, they began their first drive on the Chargers’ 25 and went three-and-out (three straight incompletions) earlier than a missed area objective. After which that they had a primary down on the Chargers’ 22 on the following drive and settled for a area objective with Brady taking a sack on second down. Not all of that is on Brady, who nonetheless makes a number of distinctive choices and throws, however he’s nonetheless looking for his groove with an entire 60-minute efficiency this season. One play he would really like again got here on a flea-flicker when Chris Hogan had flashed open to his proper however the ball went to double-covered Brandin Cooks over the center as an alternative.
Stephen Gostkowski – Having entered the day 16-of-17 on area objective makes an attempt, he missed extensive left from 43 yards out after which extensive proper from 43. He was profitable on 4 different area targets (25, 36, 43, 26) and an additional level, so it wasn’t all dangerous on a windy day. Of the misses, Gostkowski mentioned, “The primary one I didn’t get good rotation. The second, I badumed I hit fairly good and generally that occurs. The primary one was undoubtedly robust and never my finest kick. The second, I put swing on it. I perhaps kicked at it too onerous into the wind. Generally in the event you get numerous spin on the ball, the wind goes to have an effect on it extra, so that you simply acquired to kick a ball that has rather less rotation on it so it cuts via the wind a little bit higher.”
Cbadius Marsh – On Melvin Gordon’s 87-yard landing run, Marsh was taking part in on the left edge and he acquired caught inside after which was pushed to his bottom by pulling guard Kenny Wiggins. It was hardly the one miscue on the play, however it highlights how the 245-pound Marsh has had some struggles with the all-important accountability of setting a tough edge within the working recreation. Mike Vrabel and Rob Ninkovich spoiled followers with their experience on this space through the years, and Marsh continues to be adjusting to the Patriots’ model of play.