In a game that featured days of New England Patriots’ past, with throwback uniforms and an old-school field design, the current Patriots team played a game that looked all too familiar. After finding themselves in an early multi-score hole the Patriots made things interesting late only to have the comeback come up short in a 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium Sunday night.
The game script could be sold as a near shot-for-shot remake of last week’s season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. It was similar problems – turnovers, offensive line play – that plagued the offense early while the defense had a bend-don’t-break start. Down two scores in the latter part of the game the Patriots were able to put a couple of scoring drives on the board, and the defense forced a big turnover to give them a chance to win the game, but they were still a drive short.
Both games even game down to bizarre fourth-down plays that ended up being reviewed – unfavorably for the Patriots. Last week it was Kayshon Boutte’s non-toe drag, this week is was a lateral play that had some thinking back to last year’s Disaster in the Desert.
On a 4th & 4 from the Miami 33-yard line with exactly a minute to go and no timeouts remaining, Mac Jones threw the ball in the flat to tight end Mike Gesicki. It was clear Gesicki wasn’t going to get the line to gain, so he lateraled the ball backwards to guard Cole Strange. Strange made a good effort to get the extra yards, and at first glance appeared to have extended the drive. The play was then reviewed though, with Strange ultimately being ruled short. That gave possession back to Miami, and the Dolphins proceeded to kneel out the final minute of the game.
Yes, that’s a tough way to lose a game. At the same time, if winning or losing comes down to the left guard needing to pick up hard-earned yardage on the ground as the third player of the play to touch the ball, things have probably gone wrong well before it got to that point.
So, what really went wrong for the Patriots in Week 2? Let’s take a look in this week’s takeaways…