By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots had a brutal night on offense, and didn’t do quite enough on defense in a 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. Here’s who was “up” and who was “down” in defeat.
WR N’Keal Harry. The receiver finally made a play that made you go “Wow!” with a big 30-yard catch on a jump-ball in the first half. Still not spectacular numbers overall tonight, but Harry flashed more playmaking ability than most of his teammates have all season on that single play.
CB Myles Bryant. At least someone made a play. Bryant’s interception of Jared Goff gave the Patriots a chance to turn the tide, but Cam Newton gave it right back with a pick-six. Still, the undrafted rookie out of Washington deserves credit for making a nice play in what was still a close game at the time.
QB Cam Newton. Back come the turnover and protection issues. And tonight’s interception was arguably the most killer of them all, as a botched screen pass in the end zone ends up in the hands of the Rams’ Kenny Young for a 79-yard touchdown return. His removal for Jarrett Stidham in the fourth quarter felt like a benching, as Newton finished with a 53.9 passer rating.
LT Jermaine Eluemunor. Bill Belichick and Cam Newton deserve some of the blame for this one, because Eluemunor should never have to block Aaron Donald one-on-one. But the left tackle was left on an island on some plays, and flat-out blocked no one on others. There was some kind of communication breakdown on that side of the offensive line, but Elumunor certainly has to be better than that.
OLB John Simon. Simon essentially represents the Patriots’ entire front-seven, particularly on the edge, where the Pats got put on skates in the run game all night. But Simon, in particular, set a bad tone for the night with an early neutral zone penalty on the Rams’ opening touchdown drive. He and the Patriots had no answer for the Rams’ tight ends or edge blocking.
OLB Anfernee Jennings. The rookie just needed to tap Robert Woods to down him after a catch before the line to gain, but forgot. Woods got up and grabbed a first down, and the Rams later scored a touchdown. A teachable moment for the rook out of Alabama.
DT Akeem Spence. The recent addition jumped for a neutral zone infraction on fourth-and-1 in the red zone, giving the Rams a new set of downs. They scored a touchdown on the next play.
Next set of ups & downs will come next Monday after the Patriots play the Dolphins in Miami.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at firstname.lastname@example.org.