It's feeling like an old song at this point, and it's only week five, but the Patriots are facing a must-win game when they welcome the New Orleans Saints to Foxboro on Sunday afternoon.
After the absolute disaster that was last week's performance against the Dallas Cowboys, the team stressed playing better collective football, with an emphasis on playing tough and ball security, both of which fell short just one week ago.
The most critical aspect they need to avoid is falling behind early and stop making the game more difficult for themselves with self-inflicted struggles. It has been the story of the season so far, and they cannot afford to continue that pattern for the rest of the year.
It will be the ultimate test for Mac Jones, who had the worst game of his career in week four, and the offense will need to step it up along with him. The offensive line has been a consistent issue, which has severely impacted the run game, and the offense in its entirety has been unable to get on the same page despite some integral moves made during the offseason.
The defense will also have some work to do in the absence of two of the most important players on the team, Christian Gonzalez and Matthew Judon. It is expected we will see Jonathan Jones and J.C. Jackson take over the secondary, and Keion White will see an increase in snaps to (hopefully) get after the quarterback, making it a more fascinating game for fans to watch.
This will be another winnable game for the Patriots this season, and they are starting a stretch of games that feel the same way. The good thing is they seem more determined than ever to get the job done.
News and analysis:
DATE: Sunday October 8, 2023
TIME: 1:00 p.m. eastern
WHERE: Gillette Stadium
New England Patriots
- CB Christian Gonzalez - Shoulder
- LB Matthew Judon - Elbow
- DL Christian Barmore - Knee
- OL Trent Brown - Chest
- DB Cody Davis - Knee
- DL Trey Flowers - Foot
- DL Davon Godchaux - Ankle
- CB Jonathan Jones - Ankle
- OL Riley Reiff - Knee
- RB Rhamondre Stevenson - Thigh
- G Cole Strange - Knee
- CB Shaun Wade - Shoulder
New Orleans Saints
- TE Juwan Johnson - Calf
- S Lonnie Johnson - Hamstring
- T Landon Young - Hip
- G Andrus Peat - Concussion
- CB Paulson Adebo - Hamstring
- QB Derek Carr - Right Shoulder
- G/T James Hurst - Ankle
WHAT CHANNEL IS THE GAME ON?
The game this week will be on CBS with Kevin Harlan and Trent Green and can be watched locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4.
For local broadcast info, check out a complete listing of where you can hear 98.5 The Sports Hub with play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci and co-host Scott Zolak here.
You can also download the station's app on your mobile phone or computer here.
For the national radio broadcast, check out ESPN Radio, where Steve Levy and Sal Paolantonio will be providing analysis. For all other ways to listen, click here.
The Patriots are currently favored by just -1.5 heading into this matchup.
FanDuel: Patriots: (-124) Saints: (+106)
DraftKings: Patriots: (-112) Saints: (-108)
WynnBet: Patriots: (-116) Saints: (+100)
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