Patriots: Jonnu Smith’s disastrous day highlights brutal loss to Saints
A ton of things went wrong for the New England Patriots on Sunday, but had a few players been able to merely execute rudimentary tasks, the tone would be a lot different.
Instead, an embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Saints has fans questioning … just about everything except for the tenacious effort by the defense, which has been a hallmark for over 20 years now.
But on the offensive side of the ball? Everything was awful. The offensive line couldn’t open up running lanes or protect Mac Jones. Receivers couldn’t get open. Some couldn’t catch! The play-calling was … bizarre considering it was evident what the Pats would be dealing with from the jump.
But nothing was more glaring than tight end Jonnu Smith’s horrific performance, and he indeed deserves to shoulder a lot of the blame.
Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith arguably cost his team the game vs the Saints.
That play above epitomizes what Jones experienced all day. Constant pressure. Collapsing pockets. He really did the best with what he was given for his lack of NFL experience. You won’t find many Patriots fans faulting him for the Week 3 loss.
Realistically, though, Smith would’ve been forgiven for that drop had he not done this right when the Patriots opened the second half:
He couldn’t handle a good throw in stride from Jones, which was bobbled and scooped up by Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins for the pick-six. That made it 21-3 literally five seconds into the third quarter and just like that the comeback effort becomes nearly impossible after the deficit is extended from 11 to 18. That’s how you open the half after honoring Julian Edelman?
On the next drive? Smith dropped an inside screen pass on a third down play that likely would’ve resulted in a first down. The Patriots offense was booed off the field.
Smith was targeted six times and had just one catch for four yards. He had a drop last week against the New York Jets too, which brings his total to four on the year. For a guy who just signed a four-year, $50 million contract, this is not what the Patriots were envisioning when they brought him in to be a helpful security blanket for Mac Jones.
Instead, he just played a prominent role in costing the Patriots a win. Like we said, a lot of other factors contributed to the loss, but none more glaring than Smith’s errors that came on fairly routine assignments.