The New England Patriots are 0-1 to start the 2023 regular season after a 25-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium. Here are six players we graded “UP” or “DOWN” based on their performance in the game…
UP: QB Mac Jones
Overall, probably not quite good enough by Jones to get the Patriots a win. Darius Slay’s pick-six was at least partially his fault, and he went 2-of-6 for 26 yards and two sacks on the team’s final two drives of the fourth quarter, with a chance to put the team ahead. But Jones did throw three touchdown passes, all in the red zone, to get them back in a game that was slipping away, and they were all pinpoint throws.
All-in-all, a good game by Jones, and better than most of what we saw in 2022.
DOWN: RB Ezekiel Elliott
Elliott’s first-quarter fumble, which came on literally the first offensive play after the pick-six, was a real back-breaker. The Eagles got the ball at the Pats’ 26-yard line and promptly scored a touchdown with a pass from Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith, making it 16-0 at the time. New England essentially never fully recovered from that sequence.
The newcomer played reasonably well from there on out, totaling 29 rushing yards on seven carries and adding five catches for 14 yards. But he simply needs to protect the ball better. Ball security is job security, and Elliott won’t be getting the ball so much if he can’t keep it away from the other team.