There was no Christmas miracle at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, regardless of the chilly air that gave the impression to be swirling round. And as soon as once more — numerous occasions already this season, actually — there have been no life classes, no ethical victories, no silver linings.
After it was throughout for the Patriots, Ramondre Stevenson fumbled on the Cincinnati 8-yard line with lower than a minute left to present the Bengals a 22-18 victory, Pats linebacker Matt Judon placed on a Christmas ribbon as he obtained the Christmas ribbon. Stated, “Issues ain’t going our approach, bro.”
which is true. However any coach would let you know to make your individual breaks, and any speak present host would scream that unhealthy issues occur to unhealthy groups. And whereas the Pats could not match the authorized normal of “unhealthy,” they’re unhealthy sufficient to be 7-8, which on this case makes them unhealthy sufficient to be a really lengthy shot to by some means make their approach into the playoffs.
The Patriots’ disappointing season continues in a house loss to the Bengals
But when there’s just one Christmas analogy to be allowed, it is like the opposite half was the good, nice ghost of Christmas previous visiting Gillette Stadium. Within the first quarter, the Patriots had been so stressed and torpid that that they had 3:16 of the ball. The Bengals led 22-0 on the half, and Joe Barrow, the Bengals’ star quarterback, handed for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Nonetheless, the Pats scored 18 unanswered factors within the second half, together with a 69-yard decide by Marcus Jones and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns by the oft-fouled Mack Jones.
.@MarcusJonesocho Has velocity 🏃♂️💨
📺: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/Gy0EUimecx
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 24, 2022
Bear in mind the times when the Patriots would have comebacks like this?
One in all Jones’ landing passes was a 5-yard throw into the again of the top zone for—wait, wait— Kendrick Bourne. The opposite TD move by Jones will probably be remembered as a fluke, because it was a 48-yard landing run by Jacoby Meyers in the long run zone. However the spotlight of what occurred earlier than the ball was thrown was the sight of Jones working in all places as if, along with being pursued by the Bengals, he was being pursued by analysts (each within the studio and on the sofa) who thought it was time for rookie Bailey Zapp to mess with him. hand over In different phrases, Jones needed to keep away from a loads To throw individuals.
Mac ➡️ Scott ➡️ Kobe@jkbmyrs5 | #endlessly
📺: @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/TPEiEClemL
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 24, 2022
He obtained the Pats a landing. This didn’t convey them victory. And he should not get their new quarterback for the 2 video games left on the schedule, until you consider Zappé is New England’s quarterback of the long run. However if you happen to consider Jones has any Do not low cost the prospect to be the Patriots’ beginning quarterback in 2023 or past.
In fact, Jones heard the primary half boo. In fact he heard Zappe chanting. Myers, who additionally listened to them, spoke of the “resilience” he noticed from Jones.
“It isn’t the primary time this has occurred this yr, to be sincere,” Meyers stated. “He is been dealing with all of it yr, it is simply guys being keen to move it on to the following man. However he retains going there, combating. He is taking photographs, he is standing again. He makes errors, comes again and tries to right them.
“Shout out to Mack, man,” Myers continued. “He is a tricky man mentally and bodily. I can roll with him any day. As a result of on the finish of the day, you understand, it doesn’t matter what individuals say, he will go on the market and combat his hardest.”
Jones was additionally identified for whining and whining at his loudest, however that wasn’t on show towards the Bengals. Possibly somebody talked to him. Possibly he is heard the criticism leveled by Tremendous Bowl-winning Patriots like Julian Edelman and Vince Wilfork.
No matter it was, it labored. Jones had one unhealthy half and one fairly good half, going 21-of-33 for 240 yards and two scores. And the “adequate” half permits us to consider the long run when Jones is working with an skilled offensive coordinator and a savvy offensive line. It is also value questioning if issues might need been completely different this season had the aforementioned Bourne been seen as one thing apart from a spare. Towards the Bengals on Saturday, Bourne had six catches for 100 yards on 9 targets.
Invoice Belichick was requested after the sport to elucidate why Bourne’s common goal alternatives have been “so few and much between” this season.
“There is no such thing as a specific cause,” replied the coach.
Bourne did not take the bait when requested concerning the missed alternatives.
“Simply being prepared, man, that is what it is all about,” he stated. “There may be nothing to show. I am simply prepared when the coaches name me. I’m completely satisfied that they nonetheless consider in me.”
He wonders how they might have believed him all season. That is the key. One wonders how issues would have turned out if that they had an offensive coordinator. That is additionally a secret.
What’s no secret is that Mack Jones, who did nothing for a lot of this recreation, destroyed it. Once more, this isn’t a silver lining. However it reveals that this staff’s fault just isn’t essentially his alone.
(Photograph: Winslow Townson/Getty Photos)