Overtime loss to Cowboys shows Patriots defense still needs to prove it can get off the field in crunch time

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — If the Patriots have been taking part in horseshoes as a substitute of soccer, their document could also be a bit higher than the 2-4 mark they at the moment personal heading out of Week 6. New England went toe to toe with the high-powered Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon and matched their 29-point complete by way of 4 quarters. It was that pesky time beyond regulation interval, nonetheless, the place the straw broke the camel’s again. After a punt by the offense, the Cowboys would drive 80 yards down the sector as CeeDee Lamb would catch a 35-yard landing to stroll off with the 35-29 win.  

Whereas there are a selection of issues that may be pointed to that contributed to the Patriots’ loss, an unflattering pattern on the defensive facet of the ball reared its head once more late on this matchup. Via a month-plus of the season, New England’s protection has struggled to get off the sector throughout pivotal factors within the recreation. 

In Sunday’s loss to Dallas, any hope of a victory gave the impression to be misplaced as soon as Mac Jones threw a choose six to nook Trevor Diggs to offer the Cowboys the 26-21 lead. Nonetheless, the offense was fast to place themselves again within the recreation with a 75-yard landing cross from Jones to Kendrick Bourne. All of a sudden, momentum was shifted again within the route of New England, which owned a 29-26 lead with 2:11 remaining within the recreation. 

With victory almost in sight, the Patriots’ protection noticed the Cowboys transfer 40 yards down the sector to arrange the game-tying discipline purpose to power time beyond regulation. That drive was significantly irritating as Dallas threw itself into discipline purpose vary with Dak Prescott finishing a 24-yard cross to CeeDee Lamb on a third-and-25 attempt, making it a extra manageable 49-yard try for kicker Greg Zuerlein

Had New England merely held on throughout that specific play, the group might be taking a look at its first win at Gillette Stadium this season. As a substitute the Patriots are off to an 0-4 start at home for the primary time since 1993.

“We have now obtained to shut it out,” mentioned linebacker Matt Judon. “Our offense went again on the market and scored. They put us again up and gave us the lead and we have got to do our job. We have got to observe the movie and we have got to execute after which apply these conditions. We already apply these conditions, so we simply must take apply into the sport and get that large cease for our group.”

That’s simply the most recent in what has been a tough stretch for this Patriots protection in these do-or-die eventualities this season. 

Again in Week 1, New England allowed Miami to go on a 10-0 run over two drives that have been sandwiched in between halftime. The Dolphins traveled 120 yards on 17 complete performs and took a lead that was good to stroll away with the win. Towards New Orleans in Week 3, the Patriots drew inside eight after a landing drive by the offense within the fourth quarter. On the following defensive possession, New England allowed the Saints to journey 75 yards down the sector on 13 performs to erase any considered a comeback. 

Then, in Week 4 towards Tampa Bay, the Patriots took a 14-13 lead over the Bucs heading into the fourth quarter. Instantly following that landing drive by the offense, New England’s protection allowed Tampa Bay to transform three third-down makes an attempt en-route to a discipline purpose to retake the lead. Even when the offense was capable of match that discipline purpose on its subsequent possession, Tampa responded with a seven-play drive that might finally consequence within the go-ahead discipline purpose. 

“We simply needed to make a number of performs on the finish. It is not like we’re coming in right here at dwelling and don’t have any shot to win,” security Devin McCourty mentioned after the sport. “All of those video games, even the Saints recreation, it got here all the way down to a few performs that we’re not ending and we’re falling quick.”

The silver lining is that the Patriots did present they’re able to getting off the sector throughout strain moments on this loss to Dallas. Simply previous to halftime, the protection stopped the Cowboys from scoring from the 1-yard line thrice. Then, linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley was capable of power a fumble on fourth down to remove any scoring alternative totally. 

They’ve the clutch performs in them, however the focus must be about bringing these round with extra regularity. 

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/information/overtime-loss-to-cowboys-shows-patriots-defense-still-needs-to-prove-it-can-get-off-the-field-in-crunch-time/ | Additional time loss to Cowboys reveals Patriots protection nonetheless must show it might get off the sector in crunch time


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