Some last ideas on New England’s 22-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins because the Patriots flip their focus to their penultimate recreation of the 2020 season subsequent Monday in opposition to the Buffalo Payments:
— A more in-depth take a look at Cam Newton’s third-down incompletion to N’Keal Harry illustrated how, even 15 weeks into the season, the quarterback and his second-year wideout nonetheless aren’t on the identical web page.
The CBS recreation broadcast by no means confirmed a high quality replay of the cross, which gave the impression to be off-target however nonetheless hit Harry — who’s at his finest in contested-catch conditions — within the arms.
The All-22 coaches movie, nonetheless, revealed Harry had stopped his route at 10 yards, seemingly angling for a back-shoulder throw as he battled for separation with cornerback Byron Jones.
A sideline comeback might need labored in that state of affairs, however Newton wasn’t anticipating it. He threw the ball to the place Harry would have been had he stored operating, and the younger receiver couldn’t alter.
Harry caught one cross on the Patriots’ subsequent possession however was not focused after halftime. He completed with one catch on two targets for 12 yards, halting the momentum he’d constructed over the earlier two video games.
— The Patriots held Tua Tagovailoa to 145 passing yards (5.6 per try), however the rookie quarterback burned them together with his legs on two key second-half performs.
The primary was a zone learn on third-and-1 from the 6. Chase Winovich and Josh Uche each crashed down onerous on operating again Matt Breida, leaving Tagovailoa a wide-open lane to the suitable aspect. It’s not clear which defender ought to have been liable for the QB.
Uche recovered in time to maintain Tagovailoa out of the tip zone, however Salvon Ahmed punched in a 1-yard landing one play later to place Miami forward 7-6.
The Dolphins trailed 9-7 early within the fourth quarter once they once more confronted a 3rd down contained in the Patriots’ 10-yard line — this one a third-and-goal from the three.
A nook blitz by J.C. Jackson prevented Tagovailoa from hitting an open Patrick Laird ultimately zone. However as Jackson, who’d rushed the passer simply 3 times in his NFL profession, bore down on the QB, he jumped.
Tagovailoa sidestepped Jackson, noticed the big hole that had fashioned between defensive linemen Adam Butler and Byron Cowart and shot by it. Exterior linebacker Shilique Calhoun had an opportunity to deal with Tagovaolia on the 3 however whiffed, leading to a 3-yard landing.
Miami tacked on a two-point conversion and by no means trailed once more.
New England’s run protection in opposition to major ball-carriers Ahmed and Breida was a a lot bigger subject — Miami rushed for 250 yards, probably the most by any Patriots opponent since 2013 — however stops on both of those two performs might have altered the result.
— Extensive receivers who’ve extra receiving yards than Jakobi Meyers since he broke into the Patriots’ lineup in Week 7:
Meyers is thirteenth in receiving yards (609) and fifteenth in receptions (48) over the past 9 weeks. Extrapolate these values over 16 video games, and that’s an 85-catch, 1,082-yard season. Solely Julian Edelman (twice), Wes Welker (5 instances), Randy Moss (as soon as) and Troy Brown (as soon as) have matched each of these totals in a single season in the course of the Invoice Belichick period.
Meyers, who misplaced a fumble however caught seven passes for 111 yards in opposition to the Dolphins, additionally ranks tenth amongst certified wideouts in yards per route run this season, in keeping with Professional Soccer Focus.
The Patriots want so as to add a respectable No. 1 receiver this offseason. A high-quality No. 2 wouldn’t harm, both. However Meyers has confirmed he belongs and will proceed to play an essential function in 2021.
— We wrote final week concerning the Patriots’ depressing manufacturing on display passes. They have been no higher in that space on Sunday.
New England’s first two drives culminated in failed third-down screens: one to receiver Damiere Byrd that misplaced 2 yards and one to Meyers that Newton aborted.
Not fooled within the slightest, cross rushers Jerome Baker and Shaq Lawson rapidly started backpedaling towards Meyers on the second. Newton had no alternative however to spike on the ball, and the Patriots punted.
These have been the one display passes the Patriots ran within the recreation. Their final 10 screens have gained a complete of 1 yard: