Just about nothing went right for the New England Patriots on Sunday, who lost 34-10 to the Tennessee Titans in a rare blowout loss for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
— FINAL: Titans, 34, Patriots 10. Check out our post-game Quick-Hit Thoughts on an afternoon where nothing went well for the Patriots.
— Q4, 5:04: Brian Hoyer comes in for Tom Brady with just over seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the Patriots down 24 points. A white flag for Bill Belichick, which feels stunningly early but appropriate for a stunningly bad four quarters by his team. They slow things down and run the ball twice, and Hoyer completes it to Phillip Dorsett but it’s short and the Patriots punt it back.
Q4, 7:13: The Titans start off their next drive by shoving it right in the Patriots’ faces, going for the very same trick play that the Patriots tried but executing it this time. Not much of a need for the Titans to run that play up 17 in the fourth, but a nice flexing of the muscles for Mike Vrabel against his former coach. And they finish the drive off, too, as they split out Mariota wide again in a Wildcat formation. Derrick Henry takes it into the end zone and makes it 34-10 Titans. The rout is on – for Tennessee.
— Q4, 11:41: It’s desperation time for the Patriots offense, and they still can’t get the job done.
Tom Brady hits Jacob Hollister over the middle on first down as the Patriots go into desperation hurry-up mode. He hits Julian Edelman for another quick first down, but that’s followed up with an incompletion toward Josh Gordon. Edelman picks up a short gain on second down.
Then, on third down, the Patriots go for some trickery. Brady trots out wide after the handoff to White, who tosses it back to Edelman. Brady makes the catch and could’ve had a first down, but stumbles and comes up one yard short. They have to go for it on fourth-and-1, but Marcus Cannon makes it harder with a false start. Logan Ryan knocks it away from Edelman on fourth-and-6, getting the ball back to the Titans with a 17-point lead and the clock ticking.
— Q4, 13:32: Stephon Gilmore finally makes a play, and it’s not in coverage. He gets credited with a sack on Marcus Mariota on the corner blitz, forcing a punt. The Patriots have to do something virtually historic to pull off a win at this point, though.
— Q3, 2:11: Another decent start to a Patriots drive, another quick fizzle-out. James White sparks them yet again with a catch to convert a first down, then makes up for a stuffed run with a big pickup on a screen after a triple-fake. But it’s incomplete for Josh Gordon on third-and-4, and the Patriots are forced to punt for the fifth time.
— Q3, 4:15: The field position game had potential for the Patriots, but it was mostly for naught.
After the Patriots pin the Titans deep in their own territory, Dion Lewis picks up an eight-yard gain on first down then moves the chains with another six yards. Mariota arcs a perfect pass to the left for 26 yards to Cameron Batson soon after that. They also make up for a 10-yard penalty with 27 yards to Corey Davis, who makes his presence felt for the first time since the first quarter.
On the bright side for the Patriots defense, they keep the Titans out of the end zone on this drive. Lewis is stopped for a one-yard loss by Danny Shelton on first down, Mariota sails it too high to the end zone on second-and-11, and the QB throws it away with nowhere to go on third. Ryan Succop drills it from 31 yards to make it 27-10 Titans.
— Q3, 9:06: It looked for a moment like the Patriots might get the score they desperately need to get back in the game, but they short-circuit yet again.
Tom Brady and the offense get a spark to start the drive, as Julian Edelman makes another catch over the middle and James White picks up the first on a quick catch-and-run. Brady has to heave it off his back foot under pressure on the next first down, and it bounces off Edelman’s facemark and to the ground on second. Josh Gordon comes up with a nice catch on third-and-10, as Brady steps up in the pocket and delivers a strike over the middle.
More pressure on the next first down, though, as Brady has to hop his way out of a potential sack at his ankles and throw it away. James White makes third down manageable with a five-yard catch on second down. Brady goes to tight end Jacob Hollister over the middle on third down, and it’s off his hands as he’s covered well. Patriots stall out after a promising start to the drive and are forced to punt.
Dwayne Allen headed to the blue medical tent during the drive, as the Patriots are now depleted at tight end.
— Q3, 11:49: After an ugly first half, the Patriots defense shows some life on their first series of the third quarter. Trey Flowers fights off a blocker to stop Dion Lewis for just three yards on first down. Don’ta Hightower wraps him up for two more on second down, forcing a third-and-5. Third down is incomplete to Tajae Sharpe, who has a step on Jason McCourty but is slightly overthrown. The Patriots get a much-needed stop to give Tom Brady and the offense yet another chance to battle their way back in to the game.
— Q3, 13:14: Sony Michel is stopped for a short gain on first down. Tom Brady gets more pressure up the middle on second down and has to chuck it out of bounds off his back foot. Brady has to take yet another sack on third down, and the Patriots’ first drive after getting the ball to start the second half could not have gone much worse.
— HALFTIME: Titans 24, Patriots 10. Well, the Patriots sure have some adjustments to make and work to do. The Titans got off to a hot start offensively, and the Patriots offense hasn’t been totally hitting on all cylinders. Besides one impressive touchdown drive, Tom Brady has looked out of sync with his receivers and is facing consistent pressure in the pocket. Fittingly, the first half ends with another sack on Brady on an attempted Hail Mary play.
If you ask Bill Belichick right now what the Patriots need to do better, the answer is simply “Everything.” Their inconsistencies as a road team are continuing in Nashville, and they need to turn this one around in a hurry. Fortunately for them, they get the ball to start the second half.
— Q2, 1:09: The Patriots will have their work cut out for them in the second half.
Marcus Mariota takes a sack from Elandon Roberts on first down as the coverage downfield forces him to hold on to the ball for an extra second. They hand it off to Dion Lewis up the middle on second-and-17, but he’s bottled up for just a three-yard gain. The Patriots have Mariota right there they want him, but he escapes the pocket and heaves it down the field to Corey Davis, who separates from Stephon Gilmore and makes a sliding 20-yard catch for a potentially huge first down in this game.
After another loss of yardage on first down, Mariota hits Jonnu Smith for a short catch-and-run that goes for 12 yards. Mariota sets up a first-and-goal after he hits tight end Anthony Firkser on third down.
Derrick Henry is stopped just short of the goal line on first-and-goal, as Kyle Van Noy lowers his pads into the big back. But Henry maneuvers easily around the right edge for the touchdown, which makes it 24-10 Titans.
—Q2, 5:40: The Patriots answer the Titans’ punt with a stalled drive of their own. Sony Michel takes it for four yards on first down, and Tom Brady sails it over Josh Gordon as the receiver slips and falls on second down. Adoree Jackson blankets Gordon on the attempted back-shoulder throw on third down, and the Patriots have to punt it right back.
— Q2, 6:27: Another drive stalls out for Tennessee. Titans running back David Fluellen rips off a nice 13-yard gain on his second carry of the game, but gives himself up on the next down as he goes right down after taking the handoff in a weird-looking play. Dion Lewis is swarmed for a one-yard loss on second down. Rookie cornerback J.C. Jackson makes a big-time play to immediately wrap up Darius Jennings on a screen, and the Titans are forced to punt. Still 17-10 Titans as the Patriots get another chance to tie it up.
— Q2, 9:33: Tom Brady hits Julian Edelman for another big gainer on first down, getting a clean pocket and delivering a rocket to No. 11 for 30 yards. He tries to re-route Josh Gordon on the next snap, but he’s double-covered and there’s no one in the open area of the field. Brady is brought down for a sack on third down after Brady has nowhere to go with the football, but the Titan’ Jurrell Casey was offside at the snap so the Pats get to replay third down with only four yards to go.
It’s incomplete to James White at the sticks, so Stephen Gostkowski comes in to attempt a 52-yard field goal. It’s off to the left, and the Titans maintain their seven-point lead.
— Q2, 11:25: Finally, a stop for the Patriots defense. Marcus Mariota overthrows Corey Davis on second-and-5, then Dion Lewis is stopped before the line to gain on third. Tom Brady gets the ball back with a chance to really establish some momentum.
— Q2, 12:49: After a tough first quarter, the Patriots close it out and start the second with their first real sign of life.
Tom Brady finds Julian Edelman for a wide-open 29-yard catch on first down, after drawing in the linebackers on a play-action fake. Brady has to take the Patriots’ first timeout on the next snap. Sony Michel picks up seven yards and is tripped up before what could’ve been an even bigger gain. The rookie running back powers ahead to carry a tackler across the line to gain for a first down. Brady fakes it to Michel, then hits Josh Gordon with a bullet right over the middle for another first.
It looked like the Titans might hold the Pats to a field goal after Brady is stopped on a sneak attempt on third-and-1, but they go for it on first down and they fake the jet sweep to Cordarrelle Patterson, before Brady finds James White for a 10-yard gain to make it first-and-goal.
After Michel can’t punch it in, the Patriots set up for another run play, but this time it’s a quick handoff to fullback James Develin, who lowers his shoulder and rams his way into the end zone. Patriots make it 17-10 Titans, and suddenly their rough start doesn’t look so disastrous in a seven-point game.
Patriots TD scored by:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 11, 2018
* J̶a̶m̶e̶s̶ ̶W̶h̶i̶t̶e̶
* J̶u̶l̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶E̶d̶e̶l̶m̶a̶n̶
* J̶o̶s̶h̶ ̶G̶o̶r̶d̶o̶n̶
* S̶o̶n̶y̶ ̶M̶i̶c̶h̶e̶l̶
* T̶o̶m̶ ̶B̶r̶a̶d̶y̶
* C̶h̶r̶i̶s̶ ̶H̶o̶g̶a̶n̶ ̶
* Fullback James Develin pic.twitter.com/vOo0Y0Tsrb
— First Quarter Thoughts: Game couldn’t have started better for the Titans. The Patriots have been sloppy on defense and special teams, and the offense has mostly looked out of sync. Stephon Gilmore had an awful start in a key coverage role against Corey Davis, but has plenty of time to turn it around. They haven’t been able to get to Marcus Mariota or keep him in the pocket, though. As the second quarter begins, it looks like the Patriots could be finding a groove on offense with three first downs as they march deep into Titans territory. A touchdown here and the Pats are right back in it.
— Q1, 2:35: It looked for a moment like Tennessee was about to blaze its way toward another touchdown.The drive starts with another bang, as Jonnu Smith makes a short catch behind the line to gain but breaks the tackle from Patrick Chung to break off a 29-yard gain.
But finally, the Patriots keep the Titans out of the end zone. Derrick Henry slips for a short gain on second down, then Corey Davis can’t haul it in on third-and-5. Ryan Succop is good from 33 yards and the Titans make it 17-3.
Q1, 4:11: The Patriots have a chance to answer Tennessee’s second touchdown, and come up empty.
Sony Michel comes in for his first snaps of the game to start the Patriots’ second offensive drive. Tom Brady targets James White split out wide on first down, but it’s thrown behind him. Michel picks up two yards on second down, then Brady has to take an 11-yard sack from Wesley Woodyard on third.
Two possessions for each team, and it’s all Titans so far. The Pats couldn’t recover Adoree Jackson’s fumble on the ensuing punt, either.
— Q1, 5:58: Two drives, two touchdowns for the Titans. Dion Lewis starts it off with a. 12-yard run featuring a spin move to the inside. Duron Harmon drops what would’ve been a gift-wrapped interception after Stephon Gilmore tips the ball in the air, but there’s a flag on Gilmore for pass interference anyway. Mariota hits Davis for another catch, this time over the middle of the field as Davis’ hot start against Gilmore continues.
Tajae Sharpe nearly reels in a one-handed touchdown catch but it’s incomplete. Derrick Henry gets in the mix with a rumble to the sticks for another first down. Don’ta Hightower makes a good attempt to stop their momentum as he bounces off tight end Luke Stocker to wrap up Lewis for a five-yard loss, but Mariota gets it right back on the next play with a rainbow to Davis in the end zone. Gilmore commits another penalty, but it’s declined as Davis gets the score to make it 14-3 Titans.
Tennessee’s impressive start continues, particularly on offense. After a run of shutdown performances against top receivers, Gilmore is off to one of his worst starts in recent memory against Davis.
— Q1, 9:19: An inauspicious start for the Patriots offense, too. James White is immediately wrapped up for a three-yard loss on the first play. Brady can’t complete the quick throw to Julian Edelman on second down, facing pressure after faking the double-reverse. But Josh Gordon turns that around quickly with a perfectly thrown 44-yard catch on third-and-13.
Brady goes right back to Gordon for a jump-ball on first down, quickly establishing him as the big-play threat down field with Rob Gronkowski out again. Gordon gets it again on second-and-10, but the Titans are ready for it and wrap him up for no gain. Gordon gets his fourth target (already) on third-and-10, and it goes right through his hands. Patriots are forced to kick a field goal, and it’s good from 52 yards for Stephen Gostkowski to make it 7-3 Titans.
Besides the one big play, the Patriots looked a little out of sorts on their opening drive. Timing was off on some plays, and Gordon couldn’t complete makable catches on others. Gordon was featured heavily with four targets in seven plays, so he’ll have to step up if they’re going to keep feeding it to him.
— Q1, 11:29: Great start for the Titans, not so much for the Patriots.
Tennessee opens with a 58-yard kickoff return and a pass from Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis. Ex-Patriot Dion Lewis converts on third-and-1 to set up first-and-goal from the 5-yard line.
First, Mariota targets Davis again and it’s a bit high, but he couldn’t haul in what would’ve been a one-handed catch against good coverage by Jason McCourty. On second down, Lewis is wrapped up for no gain with Trey Flowers and Patrick Chung in to make the stop. On third down, Mariota finds Jonnu Smith in the end zone for the touchdown, and the Titans establish an early 7-0 lead.
Smith got good separation from Chung in the end zone, and Mariota was able to escape the pocket and make the easy throw on the run. They set a good tone for the afternoon, while the Patriots already have some adjustments to make on defense and special teams.
— Opening Coin Toss: Patriots call heads and win the toss. They defer to the second half.
Click here for all Patriots updates from 98.5 The Sports Hub.