New England Patriots

New England Patriots

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots fumbles the ball while being tackled by Kayvon Thibodeaux #5 of the New York Giants during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots fell to 2-9 on the season after a missed field goal sealed a loss to the New York Giants. Here are 10 players that we graded “UP” or “DOWN” based on their performance in the game…

DOWN: QB Mac Jones

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots fumbles the ball while being tackled by Kayvon Thibodeaux #5 of the New York Giants during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots fumbles the ball while being tackled by Kayvon Thibodeaux #5 of the New York Giants during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Rock-bottom? Jones got benched, yet again, after throwing multiple interceptions, yet again. It should be up in the air whether he starts another game for the Patriots this season. His confidence seems destroyed. His mechanics have been poor and so has his decision-making, especially under pressure. It’s unfathomable that it could possibly get worse for him.

DOWN: QB Bailey Zappe

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the New York Giants during the second half of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Bailey Zappe #4 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the New York Giants during the second half of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Zappe at least had one good drive, when he led the Pats down the field for their only touchdown of the game. But it’s not like Zappe was significantly better than Jones overall. Zappe also threw an interception that was simply a terrible decision and throw, and a very similar play to Jones’ first pick.

The Patriots’ starting quarterback job should remain up in the air, because Zappe didn’t do enough to cement himself as Jones’ replacement for the rest of the season.

  • DOWN: K Chad Ryland

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Dane Belton #24 of the New York Giants celebrates after a missed field goal during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Dane Belton #24 of the New York Giants celebrates after a missed field goal during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

    Credit to Ryland for facing the music in the locker room after the game, and taking full responsibility for his late missed field goal. Because that’s what he deserved to do. The kicking operation was all clean, and the tying field goal was there for him, and he just pulled it wide left. Ryland still has potential to be a good kicker in the NFL, but Sunday was a day he’d rather forget and put behind him.

  • UP: RB Rhamondre Stevenson

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots scores a rushing touchdown during the third quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots scores a rushing touchdown during the third quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Oh look, an up! No complaints on Stevenson, who ran hard for a 4.7-yard clip and the team’s only touchdown. The Patriots’ running game has been stringing good games together of late, which most of the rest of the team can’t say about themselves. They might just want to hand it off to Stevenson or Ezekiel Elliott every play from here on out.

  • DOWN: CB J.C. Jackson

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Jalin Hyatt #13 of the New York Giants attempts to make J.C. Jackson #29 of the New England Patriots miss after a catch during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Jalin Hyatt #13 of the New York Giants attempts to make J.C. Jackson #29 of the New England Patriots miss after a catch during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

    Jackson gave up multiple deep catches, and that’s saying something, because the Giants had Tommy DeVito at quarterback and an unimpressive receiving group. Jackson led the team in tackles (6), which is rarely a good sign for a cornerback. Jackson took accountability for his recent issues with the team, which was a good look for him, but he didn’t respond well with his performance on the field at MetLife.

  • UP: S Jabrill Peppers

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Jabrill Peppers #5 of the New England Patriots celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Jabrill Peppers #5 of the New England Patriots celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Peppers has been one of the Patriots’ best, most consistent players in 2023. He’s been quite the tone-setter, and he tried his damndest to set a positive tone when he pounced on a fumbled ball early in the first quarter. It’s not Pappers’ fault the offense has been so inept. Very good season for him overall.

  • UP: WR Demario Douglas

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Demario Douglas #81 of the New England Patriots catches a pass during the second quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Demario Douglas #81 of the New England Patriots catches a pass during the second quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Easily the Patriots’ best passing game weapon, Douglas showed out well once again, catching six of his nine targets for 49 yards and showing his usual shiftiness after the catch. Unfortunately, Douglas got clotheslined on a punt return and had to exit with a head injury, so it’s possible that it somehow gets even worse for the Patriots offense.

  • DOWN: TE Hunter Henry

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots and Hunter Henry #85 of the New England Patriots celebrates after Stevenson's rushing touchdown during the third quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Rhamondre Stevenson #38 of the New England Patriots and Hunter Henry #85 of the New England Patriots celebrates after Stevenson’s rushing touchdown during the third quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    No catches, no targets, no nothin’ for Henry. And he didn’t exactly make up for that with strong blocking up front, either. Henry has to be a more reliable weapon for them, regardless of who’s throwing him the ball. His production has gone in the tank, and it’s no surprise that the same thing is happening with the offense as a whole.

  • UP: LB Anfernee Jennings

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Anfernee Jennings #33 of the New England Patriots and Wan'Dale Robinson #17 of the New York Giants attempt to recover a fumble during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Anfernee Jennings #33 of the New England Patriots and Wan’Dale Robinson #17 of the New York Giants attempt to recover a fumble during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

    Jennings finished with 1.5 sacks, two total QB hits, and four tackles, in an active day for him up front. This might sound crazy at the moment, but Jennings should be a candidate to re-up for an extension with the Patriots after the season. He’s become a solid player. The Pats’ patience has paid off with him in his fourth season.

  • DOWN: WR Tyquan Thornton

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 26: Tyquan Thornton #11 of the New England Patriots runs after a catch during the third quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 26: Tyquan Thornton #11 of the New England Patriots runs after a catch during the third quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Thornton didn’t lack opportunities in this game. He caught just 2-of-5 targets for 19 yards overall, and had at least one drop. His second season has been a disaster, and we’re left wondering how much he can really contribute to this offense, or any NFL offense, at this point.

  • Next Patriots Ups & Downs will come after they play the Los Angeles Chargers in Foxboro in Week 13.

    Get 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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