By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka
FOXBORO (CBS) — That was a bizarre one.
For the whole thing of the primary quarter and far of the primary half, it regarded just like the Patriots had been in for a grind of a sport towards the Las Vegas Raiders. By the point the fourth quarter rolled round, the Pats had themselves a cushty victory all however sewn up.
In the long run, the Patriots received 36-20 — and it wasn’t even that shut, because the Raiders mounted a late landing drive that didn’t have an effect on a lot of something outdoors of fantasy matchups.
Right here’s who shined and who slipped within the Patriots’ win. There could also be a couple of additional Ups this week.
This was actually cool. Plain and easy.
Browsing in for the rating.@RBrex34 | #GoPats
: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/fDrQxrdlzf
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 27, 2020
You do this … you’re an Up. Actually. And figuratively.
We didn’t realize it on the time, however that rating was step one in Burkhead changing into the participant of the sport. He was a menace as a runner and a go catcher, ending with precisely 49 speeding yards and 49 receiving yards, which is a reasonably outstanding statistical quirk. He additionally scored two speeding touchdowns, giving him the primary three-touchdown sport of his profession.
Rex scored one other landing — this one on the bottom — within the third quarter and completed the sport with 49 receiving yards and 49 speeding yards.
The operating again acquired off to a sluggish begin, because the offensive line with out David Andrews seemed to be figuring itself out. There was some unease in New England dwelling rooms concerning the third-year again, little question.
However Michel broke out in a giant approach, breaking free for a 38-yard run within the third quarter (to assist arrange a Burkhead landing) after which broke free on a 48-yard run up the intestine on the Patriots’ subsequent drive.
1. Set a career-high.
2. Break it.
3. High the 100-yard mark for the sport.
48-yard run for @Flyguy2stackz!
: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/2ZXh55eYFI
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 27, 2020
Michel completed with 117 yards on simply 9 carries, and he additionally caught two passes for 23 yards in what was by far his greatest sport since his rookie season in 2018.
Chase Winovich, Shilique Calhoun, Deatrich Clever
As talked about, offense was laborious to return by for each groups early on, so the protection wanted to make some game-changing performs. Chase Winovich took care of that when he bullied his approach into the backfield and delivered a clubbing to Derek Carr’s throwing shoulder. The hit jarred the ball free, and Lawrence Man recovered it on the Las Vegas 42-yard line.
The following drive led to a subject objective that gave the Patriots a 6-Three lead.
That was simply a part of what was an enormous day for the line of defense. Shilique Calhoun stripped the ball from Josh Jacobs within the first quarter, and the Patriots recovered to stifle a Las Vegas drive. And within the fourth quarter, Calhoun mixed with Deatrich Clever for a sack of Carr in the long run zone. Clever recovered it for a landing, which gave the Patriots a 36-13 victory.
Are we going somewhat too operating back-heavy right here? Effectively, that’s what occurs when the house staff rushes for 250 yards.
However they didn’t begin out on a roll. The truth is, the Patriots’ offense was fully caught within the mud for the primary quarter. J.J. Taylor then stepped in and saved the day.
OK, perhaps that’s a slight overstatement, however the undersized rookie nonetheless supplied a much-needed spark with a few runs — one for 9 yards, the opposite for 5 — and by getting the Patriots 15 free yards by drawing a facemask penalty.
The super-short undrafted rookie ran for 43 yards on 11 carries. He did drop a display go late within the third quarter that might have gone for a giant acquire and probably a landing, so the rook left himself some room for enchancment.
OBVIOUS BONUS: The Offensive Line
Within the first quarter, when the Patriots struggled to maneuver the ball, it made sense. David Andrews is out, Joe Thuney is at middle, and a rookie in Mike Onwenu is in at guard. You may’t simply combine and match an O-line and have a 250-yard speeding day.
However then … they did. It was a formidable displaying from the unit coached by Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo, and it was one which’s sure to construct some confidence for that group.
Bonus: Nick People
Kicking was a giant a part of this sport, and People was fairly good. He did miss a PAT, however he was 3-for-Three on subject targets, which helped hold the Raiders at a protected distance via a lot of the sport.
Gilmore And Jones Earlier than Halftime
The Patriots had been all set to go in to halftime with a snug 10-point lead. It shrunk straight away although, because of some brutal secondary play.
First, Stephon Gilmore acquired beat up the correct sideline by Nelson Agholor. Fairly than hand over what probably may have been a 61-yard landing, Gilmore grabbed a maintain of Agholor to make sure there can be no completion, taking the 28-yard penalty for go interference as an alternative.
third DPI referred to as on Stephon Gilmore already this season. Agholor simply pulls away. And for many who need DPI to be a 15 yard penalty, actually??? Spot foul. Correctly. #Patriots #Raiders @nflnetwork @AroundTheNFL pic.twitter.com/82C9EyUAnc
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) September 27, 2020
Two performs later, Hunter Renfrow acquired behind Jonathan Jones and hauled in a catch on the objective line. Jones appeared to have gotten caught peeking into the backfield when Renfrow broke up the sphere, and it was solely Devin McCourty’s hit on Renfrow that stored the receiver from scoring a landing (it was dominated a landing initially however was overturned on replay overview).
Whether or not he's in or brief… Simply an unbelievable throw and catch.#LVvsNE | CBS pic.twitter.com/qjQL7zmtB6
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) September 27, 2020
The Raiders, although, scored a landing on the subsequent play, reducing the Patriots’ result in a subject objective.
These two performs by Gilmore and Jones simply aren’t the forms of performs the Patriots can afford this yr — particularly from the NFL’s reigning Defensive Participant of the Yr. It ended up being a cushty win, however that a lot may have been made clear even earlier if not for these two fast breakdowns on protection.
It was sport for the Patriots’ protection total however oddly, the Patriots appeared to have hassle getting themselves so as earlier than some performs, resulting in the burning of 4 timeouts on protection. Invoice Belichick burned his second timeout of the second half within the third quarter, after which used up his ultimate timeout with 12:30 left within the sport.
That’s very out of character for a Belichick-coached staff, to say the least.
The Newton-Edelman Connection
Final week, Julian Edelman set a profession excessive in receiving yards in a sport. This week … wasn’t fairly so good.
Cam Newton threw six passes in Edelman’s route, finishing simply two of them for a mere 23 yards. A kind of throws was a poorly deliberate toss into triple-coverage, one which Newton is lucky to not have intercepted.
Edelman was an efficient blocker, one thing he talked about on Friday as a degree of emphasis for himself this week, and he was fairly chipper after the victory. However he and Newton actually took somewhat step again
Not Capitalizing On Items
The Raiders had been well mannered company within the Patriots’ residence by bringing presents. The primary got here when Maxx Crosby jumped offside when the Patriots had been lined up for a punt on fourth-and-2 on their second drive of the sport. Gifted a free set of downs, the Patriots ended up gaining only one extra yards earlier than punting anyway.
The second present got here when Jacobs coughed up the soccer later within the first quarter. Newton threw a choose simply 4 performs later, primarily giving the Raiders the identical subject place they’d earlier than the fumble.
You may e-mail Michael Hurley or discover him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.