Ryan L. Fox
Last week, the New England Patriots were down late against the Texans 33-28 before pulling off an amazing comeback win. Unfortunately against the Carolina Panthers, the Patriots were in another fight as they clawed back to tie the game late. But unlike last week against the Texans, the home team wasn’t so lucky.
The Pats opened the game off with first possession of the ball and proceeded to score the game’s first points on a 31-yard field goal by kicker Stephen Gostkowski to go up 3-0. The Panthers kicked their own field goal later on to tie things up as 3-3 going into the second quarter.
The Pats were able to pull away in the second quarter thanks to a 2-yd TD pass from QB Tom Brady to WR Chris Hogan. The Panthers answered with their own score, a 43-yd TD pass from QB Cam Newton to RB Fozzy Whittaker, to tie things at 10-10. After another Gostkowski field goal, the Panthers scored on another TD pass from Newton, this time to WR Devin Funchess, to take a 17-13 lead. A 58-yd field goal by Gostkowski before halftime pulled the Pats within 1 as both teams went into the locker room, the Panthers up 17-16.
The Pats got a big break to begin the third quarter as Panthers RB Johnathan Stewart fumbled the ball and Pats LB Elandon Roberts recovered at the Pats 7 yard line. However the Pats were forced to punt and the defense then allowed a 3rd TD pass from Newton, hooking up with Funchess again to make it 23-16. Newton also ran another for another touchdown as the Panthers were out on top 30-16 to begin the 4th quarter.
Then the Pats began to comeback as RB Dion Lewis scored his first touchdown of the season with an 8-yd run to make it 30-23. After forcing a Panthers punt, the Pats drove down the field to the Panthers’ 1-yd line. Then on 4th and goal, Brady found WR Danny Amendola and the Pats were able to tie the game 30-30. Many thought that another comeback was in the works.
However, the Panthers got the ball back with 3:04 left in the 4th quarter and proceeded to drive down the field. Two costly penalties by the Pats defense aided the Panthers, extending their drive as they got all the way down to the Pats 31-yd line. There, K Graham Gano kicked the game winning field goal to make it 33-30.
Patriot Top Performers
QB Tom Brady: 32-for-45 for 307 yards, 2 TDs, QB rating of 104.6
RB Mike Gillislee: 12 rushes for 49 yards
WR Danny Amendola: 6 catches for 42 yards, 1 TD
TE Rob Gronkowski: 4 catches for 80 yards
RB James White: 1 carry for 7 yards, 10 catches for 47 yards
K Stephen Gostkowski: 3-for-3 FG, 3-for-3 XP, 12 points
LB Elandon Roberts: 5 tackles (4 solo, 1 assist), 1 fumble recovery
LB Kyle Van Noy: 8 tackles (6 solo, 2 assists), 1.0 sack
DB Malcolm Butler: 8 tackles (7 solo, 1 assist), 1 interception, 1 pass defended
The only bright side of this loss was that three Pats players hit some key milestones.
First, you had Tom Brady making hiss 239th career start, tying him for 4th all-time with Hall of Famer QB Fran Tarkenton.
Then you had TE Rob Gronkowski hitting an important milestone himself. He caught a 15-yard pass from Brady in the second quarter, giving him a career total of 6,393 yards receiving and push him past former Pats wide out Troy Brown for 3rd-most in franchise history in receiving yards.
Then finally, you had kicker get in on the action. The 58-yd field goal by Gostkowski before halftime was both his career longest as well as the longest field goal made by a Pats kicker in franchise history.
My Grandmother Can Defend Better Than You
It just seems that when the Patriots play at home, the defense just seems to disappear. At home, the defense has given up 102 total points (34.0 ppg), an average of 446 ypg of total offense to the opposition, given up an average of 25 first downs per game, and forced only 3 turnovers in three games.
Fox Fist Bump
It seems like I’m giving these out to just Tom Brady every week. Since Week 1, he’s been the only Patriots that’s worthy of it. For the game Brady went 32-for-45, passing for 307 yards and 2 TD passes, including leading two Pat scoring drives late in the 4th quarter to put his team in a position to win after being down 30-16.
Turd in the Punch Bowl
I would give the meatball to the entire Patriots defense. Putrid! Absolutely garbage. They allowed the Panthers to score 6 out of the 9 possessions they had for the game. Not to mention that this is the third home game where they allowed 30 points or more. The gave up 444 yards of total offense to the Panthers, allowed them to go 6-for-9 on third downs, and committed two costly penalties on the Panthers’ final drive that ultimately lead them to the game winning field goal. They need to step up their game and stop relying on #12 to keep bailing them out.
Play of the Game
BBB: Brady Being Brady
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