The New England Patriots lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, but there is no need to panic.
The New England Patriots lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in their Week 2 matchup, 31-20. In a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game, New England did not look very good on either side of the ball.
The defense struggled to stop Blake Bortles and the Jaguars’ offense, giving up over 400 total yards. New England struggled in pass coverage, especially their linebackers on crossing routes. Starting cornerback Eric Rowe also got benched in the game after allowing three catches on three targets for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Getting off the field on third down was also an issue for the Patriots defense. Jacksonville converted 9-of-13 third attempts, three coming from Blake Bortles scrambles. Even when the defense did make a play, forcing a fumble and picking off Bortles, the offense struggled to put points up on the board.
Tom Brady played solid with limited receiving options, but the Patriots’ running game was basically non-existent. Sony Michel was the teams leading rusher, totaling 34 yards on 10 carries. The entire team averaged 3.4 yards per carry in the loss.
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"“There was a lot of things we could have done better today. There’s a lot of them,” Belichick said postgame. “Long list.”"
While the game left a sour taste in many mouths and have other crowning the Jaguars as the AFC’s best, there is no reason to panic for the Patriots. This is a thing that seems to happen every year.
Remember back in 2014 when the Patriots dynasty was over after a 33-20 Week 1 loss to Miami and a Week 4, 42-14 blowout loss to Kansas City on primetime? Then Belichick moved “on to Cincinnati” and New England won seven straight games and went on to win Super Bowl XLIX.
Or even looking back last season, when Kansas City dominated the Patriots in the season opener and then had communication issues in a Week 4 loss to Carolina. New England rebounded quite nicely, finishing 13-3 and reaching the Super Bowl.
"“I would say the main thing is just realizing that we got a long way to go,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon said. “Obviously, we had a good week last week, and this week is not the same as last week, so we just see we’re nowhere close to where we want to be at from an execution standpoint, how we want to play this defense and how we want to be on defense. We can use this as a learning tool for growth and to figure out where we want to make changes at and what we need to continue to get better at to be the defense that we need to be.”"
While there is a lot to be done, the Patriots have the experience of turning things around early on in the season, especially with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick still in the building.
"“We’re confident,” cornerback Stephon Gilmore said. “We still have to learn from our mistakes, watch the film because it’s a copycat league. Who we play next will probably try the same stuff, so we have to correct it, get better and that’s what football’s about.”"
There is no need to freak out yet for the Patriots, as they are prepared for history to repeat itself. The Patriots next test will come on Sunday Night Football as they travel to Detroit to face former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s Lions.