The New England Patriots sit at 2-4 after they were unable to take down the Dallas Cowboys in overtime on Sunday.
Sure, the Cowboys shot themselves in the foot on multiple occasions, but Mac Jones, for the most part, went toe-to-toe with Dak Prescott. The rookie quarterback finished 15-of-21 for 229 yards and two touchdowns to one interception.
While Jones and the offense deserve credit for rising to the occasion, most of the postgame reactions will revolve around the Patriots’ defense, and rightly so, as they surrendered 35 points and 567 yards (!) of offense.
It’s pretty poetic that New England’s defense capitulated in a huge game just weeks after they traded Stephon Gilmore to Carolina, no?
Though the secondary wasn’t the only group at fault, the Cowboys clearly game-planned to attack the edge of the Patriots’ defense.
Check out this telling graphic from NextGen Stats.
The Patriots clearly missed Stephon Gilmore vs Dallas on Sunday.
Bill Belichick is renowned for cutting ties with veteran players at the perfect time. We all know how this works, folks. Generally, these players hit a wall after they leave New England, prompting fans and the media to sing Belichick’s praises for being an evil genius.
Nobody would deny that Belichick is an evil genius, and Gilmore could always not pan out with the Panthers.
At the same time, though, Gilmore was a perfect fit in the Patriots’ defense. Over his four years with the Pats, he was a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro. He even took home Defensive Player of the Years honors in 2019.
Unloading that caliber of player — the most important member of your defense — for nothing more than a sixth-round pick was befuddling at the time. After the last two weeks, it looks like franchise malpractice.
In Week 5, they allowed the Texans, who were held to just three points by the Colts on Sunday, to erupt for 22 points and 312 yards through the air. In Week 6, they had zero answers vs the Cowboys despite having countless opportunities to put the game on ice by forcing a three and out or turnover on downs.
Prescott’s 445 passing yards were the most a Belichick-coached Patriots team has ever allowed, including the playoffs.
CeeDee Lamb ate the secondary alive and trolled Jalen Mills after he scored the game-winner in overtime. Cedrick Wilson looked like Julian Edelman they way he was coming up with big third and fourth down conversions.
Sorry, but all of that doesn’t happen if Gilmore’s on the field. He’ll come off injured reserve this week, but he’ll do so in Carolina for the 3-3 Panthers.