New England Patriots

New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 05: Jahan Dotson #1 of the Washington Commanders scores a touchdown during the second half in the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 05, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots fell to 2-7 on the season on Sunday, losing to the Washington Commanders by a 20-17 final at Gillette Stadium.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones went 24-of-44 (54.5 percent) for 220 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, a 66.5 passer rating. His pick came on the Pats’ final offensive play of the game, when they were driving with a chance to go for a game-tying field goal, as the ball went off the hands of JuJu Smith-Schuster and got tipped to Commanders cornerback Jartavius Martin to ice the game for good.

The Patriots’ defense got a stop to open the game, and their first offensive drive was promising, as they drove 45 yards in 10 plays to get into Commanders territory. But when they went for it on fourth-and-3, Jones overthrew an open Tyquan Thornton to turn the ball over on downs.

The Commanders responded by scoring points, but the Patriots were able to hold them to three, as they stuffed quarterback Sam Howell for a two-yard loss on third down. But the Joey Slye field goal was good, making it 3-0 Washington.

After the Pats went three-and-out on their second drive, the Commanders went back down the field. It started with a miraculous third-down completion, as Howell threw back across his body with pass-rushers bearing down on him, but somehow, Byron Pringle was wide open for a 26-yard catch-and-run.

Eight plays later, running back Brian Robinson took the carry to the outside and won the footrace to the end zone, and the Commanders went up 10-0 early in the second quarter.

  • After the Patriots had to punt again, they got a much-needed break. It came from linebacker Jahlani Tavai, who punched the ball out from Robinson to force a fumble, which the Pats recovered.

  • And they cashed in, going 25 yards in three plays for a touchdown from Jones to Hunter Henry. The short-field score cut the deficit to 10-7.

  • The Patriots picked up momentum off the touchdown, because they forced another punt, then followed that up with one of their most explosive drives of the season.

    Jones completed it to JuJu Smith-Schuster for 20 yards on the first play, then on the second, Rhamondre Stevenson burst through a gaping hole and took it all the way for a 64-yard touchdown, putting the Patriots on top 14-10.

  • Washington had a chance for points before the end of the first half, driving all the way to the New England 5-yard line. But an inexplicable interception by Howell to Kyle Dugger spoiled the drive, so the Patriots went to halftime still up by four.

  • The Patriots got the ball to start the third quarter, and it looked like they may have been stopped on third-and-10, but the officials flagged the Commanders for roughing the passer to keep the drive alive.

    Jones couldn’t find the end zone, but the Patriots were able to get three more points off the gift penalty to go up 17-10.

  • Despite that, the Commanders responded with an excellent drive of their own, and theyย didย find the end zone.

    Driving 75 yards in seven plays with a mix of runs and passes, Howell and Jahan Dotson finished off the drive with an impressive 33-yard touchdown pass and catch. The play ultimately tied the game, 17-17.

  • After the Pats had to punt again off a failed bubble screen with Smith-Schuster, the Commanders put together another explosive drive. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin caught two passes for 62 yards on consecutive plays to set up the Commanders in the red zone, but the Patriots held them to three points again.

    Nonetheless, Washington went back on top for the first time in the second half, 20-17. That’s how the score would hold at the end of the third quarter.

  • The Patriots appeared to be moving the ball on a crucial fourth-quarter drive, but a catch by Demario Douglas was overturned on a challenge and ruled incomplete. The Pats couldn’t convert on third down, and had to punt, but the defense followed that up with a three-and-out to give the offense another shot.

    The teams traded punts after that – or so the Patriots thought. Pats linebacker Mack Wilson Sr. committed an offside penalty to give the Commanders a first down. The Patriots ultimately forced a punt anyway, but precious time had run off the clock.

    The Patriots were also penalized on the ensuing punt, putting the offense at the 10-yard line on their final drive. The possession ultimately ended with Jones’ interception, and the Commanders kneeled it out to secure the win.

    Up Next: The Patriots will head to Frankfurt, Germany for their next game, in an overseas battle against the Indianapolis Colts.

    Click here for complete New England Patriots coverage at 985TheSportsHub.com.

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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