By Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — After 1 / 4 of soccer on Sunday, the Patriots had been dropping to the Raiders. It was bizarre.
After 18 minutes, they had been tied. A couple of minutes later, they led by three. It nonetheless wasn’t proper.
They opened up a 10-point lead earlier than halftime, and issues began to normalize; then they allowed a 75-yard landing drive in 28 seconds, narrowing their result in three on the break.
It simply wasn’t proper, and it appeared just like the Patriots had been going to be caught in considered one of these video games through which that they had no enterprise being. One dangerous mistake — a muffed punt, a bobbled snap, a tipped interception — and the Patriots might have discovered themselves scrapping from behind, towards Jon Gruden’s Raiders. It didn’t really feel proper.
But as an alternative of slipping again, the Patriots charged ahead with not one however two signature drives within the second half.
The primary was a seven-play, 69-yard drive to stretch the lead again to 10, a drive which got here instantly after Daniel Carlson missed a 41-yard discipline objective that may have tied the sport. Cam Newton went 2-for-2 for 21 yards, Sony Michel broke free for a 38-yard acquire, and Rex Burkhead received back-to-back carries contained in the 5, ending off with a Supermanesque landing dive.
The Patriots authored one other game-defining drive within the fourth quarter, after a Las Vegas discipline objective lower the lead again to 10. Simply earlier than getting hit, Newton threw an absolute bullet to N’Keal Harry for a 27-yard acquire. Newton later scrambled for 21 yards on the precise second when the Raiders’ protection eased up on controlling him within the floor recreation. And after Burkhead slipped his approach to a 14-yard acquire, the offense rushed to the road and gave it again to No. 34 for a two-yard landing plunge.
The Patriots’ coaches and gamers would have most likely favored for these two drives to have come earlier within the recreation, however they nonetheless did come, which is what appears to matter most.
Was the Patriots’ 36-20 win the perfect recreation within the historical past of organized deal with soccer? Not precisely. Are we going to swim round in a sea of seven-thousand leftover ideas? You betcha.
–Truthfully, individuals, it’s been some time since we’ve celebrated a Ferocious Juke round right here. The times of Dion Lewis dwelling contained in the Matrix and the times of Julian Edelman stealing males’s souls and the times of James White evaporating a whole protection really feel as if they haven’t been round for some time.
Fortuitously, Rex Burkhead restored the world of #FerociousJuking for us all:
Whewee. That was ferocious.
–Sunday was not “The Cam Newton Present” the way in which the primary two video games had been. The QB made a dreadful goof in throwing a primary half interception, he had his fewest dashing makes an attempt of the younger season and his worst completion share, too.
But the throw to N’Keal Harry within the fourth quarter is price one other look, as a result of it was dynamite.
Right here’s the way it seemed in dwell pace on the printed:
It doubtless stood out most to viewers at residence as a result of Harry truly caught a go downfield and broke some tackles for an enormous acquire. However that shouldn’t overshadow Newton’s potential to face within the pocket and ship an absolute missile simply earlier than getting run over by the 265-pound Clelin Ferrell.
There was no replay of the hit Newton took, however he received pummeled. It’s performs like that which don’t essentially find yourself on spotlight reels, which then results in confusion on whether or not or not Newton is a pocket passer. However with regards to standing tall, ready for a receiver to interrupt in his route, and delivering a strike regardless of impending ache, it’s exhausting to be higher than that proper there.
–If there’s one purpose for alarm up to now two weeks it’s within the secondary, which is bizarre. The secondary was imagined to be the energy of the protection. It nonetheless needs to be the energy of the protection. But by way of three video games, the secondary has been making a stunning variety of gaffes.
On Sunday, Stephon Gilmore dedicated (intentional) go interference after getting overwhelmed up the sideline by Nelson Agholor. Jonathan Jones received caught peeking into the backfield and allowed Hunter Renfrow to make what was on the time a game-changing catch earlier than halftime. Joejuan Williams had an ill-timed defensive holding penalty. There have been some weaknesses over the center once they performed zone, and Derek Carr capitalized a number of occasions.
It wasn’t disastrous, in fact, they usually did a very good job of eliminating Darren Waller. However with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins due up subsequent week … it’s maybe one thing to remember whereas wanting forward.
I do suppose that is one impact of the bizarre offseason and no preseason. Primarily based on outcomes across the league, the Patriots aren’t alone. Groups are averaging 25.four factors per recreation, up nearly three full factors from final 12 months. It’s clearly a tiny pattern dimension, nevertheless it’s the best scoring common ever. Groups averaged 23.6 factors per recreation again in 1948 (and who can neglect the ’48 season, child?), and 23.four factors in 2013, and 23.Three factors in 2018.
That’s positive to normalize in time, positive. However early on, it appears as if catching as much as full pace on protection is tough to do.
–I hold saying that I’m going to cease maintaining monitor of the zip on Newton’s passes, as a result of he’s confirmed his shoulder is lots wholesome. And but, right here I’m, exhibiting off one other SPEEDBALL to Julian Edelman:
That pet was hummmmmmmming.
–Sony Michel clearly catches a ton of crap on this media market. As a first-round decide at operating again, such goes to be the case.
Some criticism has been honest, positive, in that he’s not a dominant, game-changing kind of again. On the similar time, he’s been fairly rattling productive. Within the common season and playoffs, he’s performed 36 video games. He’s rushed for two,413 yards and 20 touchdowns. He confirmed as a rookie that he could possibly be the lead again for a championship staff that leaned closely on its operating recreation.
The purpose is that he’s not so dangerous. Some would possibly say he’s fairly good. In any occasion, busting free for a 48-yarder and a 38-yarder may need helped highlight that truth somewhat bit extra.
Specifically, the lateral motion after which the open discipline juke was spectacular right here:
Off and operating. @Flyguy2stackz for 38 yards!
: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/kQGQ6e9TtJ
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 27, 2020
The total-speed one-step lower to show poor Jonathan Abram right into a matador on the 48-yarder was fairly candy, too:
1. Set a career-high.
2. Break it.
3. Prime the 100-yard mark for the sport.
48-yard run for @Flyguy2stackz!
: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/2ZXh55eYFI
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 27, 2020
Perhaps Abram isn’t the world’s greatest open discipline tackler. However that was nonetheless a powerful exhibiting.
–Joe Thuney is making a shade below $15 million this 12 months. He may need earned his total paycheck with that efficiency on Sunday.
If all of us ought to have realized something a 12 months in the past, it’s that changing David Andrews is tough. Ted Karras did … okay. And when James Ferentz needed to fill in for a recreation and a half, it was … ugly.
Whereas Sunday’s offensive begin was gradual, the work of Thuney — together with rookie Mike Onwenu stepping in at guard — turned out to be dynamite.
–The Patriots rank first within the NFL with 178 dashing yards per recreation. Their seven dashing touchdowns is likewise tops within the league. They’ve rushed for 37 first downs, which is … most within the NFL. and 35.2 % of their 105 rushes have led to first downs. That ranks — you guessed it — first within the NFL.
I’ll be the primary to confess that I simply didn’t see that coming. The Patriots ran like a bulldozer to the Tremendous Bowl two years in the past, however after dropping Trent Brown, James Develin, Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen and David Andrews in 2019, the operating recreation fell aside.
Getting Andrews again figured to assist, positive, however the skinny tight finish group and the inexperience at fullback and the opt-out of Marcus Cannon all appeared to point that 2020 could be a repeat of 2019.
But the work of Onwenu, Jermaine Eluemunor, Ryan Izzo and Jakob Johnson has allowed the dashing offense to flourish. That has clearly been impacted vastly by Newton’s risk on the bottom, however that may be for naught if it weren’t for the spectacular work happening up entrance.
–J.J. Taylor is 5-foot-6, 186 kilos. He frickin’ rocks.
Maurice Hurst is 6-foot-2, 291 kilos. He doubtless spent the evening questioning how he received run over by the little fella.
J.J. Taylor frickin’ rocks, individuals.
–It’s enjoyable watching Josh McDaniels’ creativity with Cam Newton at work. Generally if we’re not paying consideration, we will take without any consideration simply how monumental the shift of so many rules of the Patriots’ offense has been. The misdirection within the backfield, the choice runs, the pitches, the designed runs … it’s all fairly a sight to behold. And the truth that it’s clicking with none preseason is bananas. (I truly am unsure the Patriots would have completed a lot of it within the preseason, to be trustworthy. However the truth that it’s working early regardless of little recreation expertise is the purpose.)
There are nonetheless some duds, like this one:
Or this one:
However that’s to be anticipated because the Patriots’ offense not solely redefines itself solely but in addition adjusts week-to-week based mostly on their opponents. It’s actually a sight to behold.
“That’s precisely what we need to do. We need to put defenses in suits, figuring out that we’ve so many alternative methods to beat you and a plethora of various kind of schemes,” Newton stated after the win. “We need to run downhill. We need to run on the sting. We need to throw it deep. It doesn’t matter. I believe that’s been our largest edge, for essentially the most half, simply having that potential to assault the groups in so many alternative methods and to nonetheless achieve success.”
What Sunday confirmed was that it doesn’t have to be Newton doing the injury. The mere presence of Newton retains defenses trustworthy, and the second that they get lax in that self-discipline? Growth. He gone.
Let ’em know, @CameronNewton. pic.twitter.com/Is76M0RSb4
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 28, 2020
The early outcomes are good, nevertheless it’s nonetheless so early. The potential of what McDaniels would possibly be capable to prepare dinner up by the tip of the 12 months is a relatively engaging thought to entertain.
–We’d even be remiss to not shine a lightweight on Carmen Bricillo and Cole Popovich for his or her work in changing a legend in Dante Scarnecchia. The offensive line hasn’t been good, however few ever are. That unit has been ready each week to date, regardless of altering circumstances and ranging challenges.
–If you happen to thought we’d get by way of this story with out highlighting the fullback hurdle, then you definitely’re a bozo. Plain and easy. No offense.
It was nice as a result of it’s not like J.C. Jackson received duped and went for the knees. Jackson sort of learn it correctly. Dude nonetheless hopped him like a parking meter.
Alec Ingold: Gold star for you, pal.
–OK, then. Pats are 2-1. They appear fairly good. In the event that they proceed down this path, they need to rack up a double-digit win complete.
Needed to do it.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 27, 2020
You may e-mail Michael Hurley or discover him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.