Down Go the Patriots (Again)

By Alexandria Evans

The Patriots are far beyond panic mode at this point.

The Sam Howell-lead Washington Commanders took down the flailing New England Patriots this Sunday in Foxborough. After a taking a 10-0 lead in the second quarter, the Commanders slowly started to unravel, giving Mac Jones and the Patriot’s offense a chance to claw their way back into the game. A 14-yard touchdown pass from Mac Jones to Hunter Henry did just that early in the second quarter. Just three minutes later, Rhamondre Stevenson cut through the Commanders’ defense scoring a 64-yard touchdown. The Patriots led 17-10 in the early third quarter.

The Commanders, however, weren’t finished, and returned the favor with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Sam Howell to Commanders’ receiver, Jahan Dotson. Washington later took the lead again with field goal, upping the score to 20-17.

After trading punts later in the fourth quarter, the Patriot’s offense had a shot to win or tie the game with a little under three minutes left in the fourth. With 30 seconds left, Mac Jones’ short pass intended for JuJu Smith-Schuster was tipped and then intercepted by Jartavious Martin, sealing the game for Washington.

After the game, fans and media put their two cents in regarding the Patriots ongoing problems. Contrary to popular belief, Mac Jones isn’t the sole problem in New England, as the team has serious issues on all sides of the ball. With the way this team has looked over the past few weeks, it’s difficult to place the blame on one person, as the entire team has been producing subpar results. Mac Jones seems to agree, as he expressed his frustration in his postgame interview. 

Jones stated “…it’s tough” to remain confident when the team is performing so poorly. He refrained from placing blame on anyone in particular, and even made an effort to defend JuJu Smith-Schuster’s game-ending interception. 

The loss has also highlighted more doubts about Bill Belichick, and reiterated conversations about his time in New England coming to an end. When asked about his job security, Belichick dodged the question, stating that he would “control what he could control” and that his main focus was on the Patriots matchup versus the Indianapolis Colts next week in Germany.

Questions still loom in New England, with playoff hopes quickly becoming a thing of the past. After making no moves or roster improvements before the trade deadline, the Patriots are continuing to send mixed messages. Though we’re only halfway through the season, the Patriots season seems very much over with. New England currently sits at 2-7 with a last place spot in the AFC East.