Heartbreaking is the only way to describe the New England Patriots’ 19-17 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It was an emotional night following a week of stories about Bill Belichick and Brady. It was a chaotic atmosphere filled with mixed emotions and a high level of energy. The perfect conditions were created by the rain at Gillette Stadium for an unforgettable Sunday night game.
It all came down to Nick Folk’s 56-yard field goal that bounced off the goal post with less than a minute remaining. Folk had a streak of 36 consecutive makes and he was a few inches away from erupting the crowd and extending the streak to 37.
The main storyline of the game was the battle between Mac Jones (the future Hall of Famer) and Tom Brady (the future Hall of Famer). Jones was outplayed by the future Hall of Famer for the most part. The rookie threw for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception — with a 78 completion percentage. He also happened to tie Brady’s longest streak of consecutive completions with 18.
Mac Jones 18 consecutive completions is the most by a rookie over the last 30 years
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) October 4, 2021
What was even more impressive about Jones’ performance is the lack of a Patriots rushing attack. New England won the game with a negative-one rush yardage, which is a record in Belichick’s tenure as head coach.
Brady finished the night throwing for 269 yards and his most impressive moment was on the final drive where he set up the game-sealing field goal. Brady was unable to communicate with his receivers on the final drive and the Patriots’ defense was a constant problem throughout the night.
Speaking of defense, Mathew Judon and J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones and Christian Barmore were just a few of the many players who made a significant contribution. Judon was the Patriots’ most defensive player, as he has been throughout the season.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 4, 2021
Jakobi and Kendrick Bourne remain the Patriots’ best offensive weapons. Meyers finished the game with eight catches for 70 yards and Bourne totaled five receptions for 58 yards. Meyers also had a two passes for 45 yards — one of which was a beautiful dime to Nelson Agholor.
— PatsPropaganda (@PatsPropaganda) October 4, 2021
Jakobi Meyers: 4-for-4, 88 Yards, 2 TD in his career as a passer. https://t.co/LL8K5rh9ZN
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 4, 2021
The Patriots will be bringing back Stephon Gilmore in Week 7. They’ll have more cohesiveness as they work together. There is still optimism in this loss, and the Patriots will have a lot more success next week against the Houston Texans.