The Titans destroyed New England’s morale. What little energy they entered the game with was promptly extinguished within the first quarter. From start to finish, the Patriots were dominated and made no effort to gain momentum. Tennessee won the game 34-10. So many things went wrong in this game, and both the offensive and defensive units are at fault.
Stephen Gilmore and Patrick Chung
Out of the entire secondary unit, these two players were the dynamic duo of disappointment. From start to finish, they were targeted as weak players and picked on the entire game. Gilmore was caught off guard when the Titan’s first pass of the game came with him on coverage, and completed for a sizable first down. Chung followed suit with Tennessee’s first easy touchdown on his hands. From then on, both cornerbacks went on to allow more first downs and touchdowns; not to mention the amount of flags Gilmore had.
The greatest quarterback of all time got benched. Tom Brady has been on a decline all season, but this game was by far one of his worst. Brady finished the game with 21 of 41 (51%) completed passes for 254 yards and 0 touchdowns. Every pass Brady threw up was a coin flip as to whether or not it would be catchable to a receiver. One valid reason behind the Patriots only being able to score 10 points is the fact that Brady played scared. With this mindset of always crumbling under pressure, the quarterback was unable to convert on downs and give his team a chance to redeem themselves.
Dion Lewis was the line’s biggest enemy. He absolutely tore them apart in the first quarter, showing no mercy with endless spin moves, first downs, and second effort yardage. Tennessee’s run game was incredible, all thanks to New England’s defensive line. The Titans completed nearly half of their first downs via rushing, covering 150 net yards over 36 carries. They were also able to drag two touchdowns out of the Patriots via running in the second and fourth quarters. New England’s defensive unit altogether has to pull itself together; they should be shining at this point in the season, not struggling.
Julian Edelman wasn’t targeted by Brady nearly as much as he should have been. However, when Brady did begin to find him, the results were exactly what New England needed. Edelman was the top receiver for the Patriots, ending with 9 receptions for 104 yards, averaging 11.6 yards per play. The wide receiver even made a pass to Brady during one of their trick plays. Unfortunately, Edelman was taken out of the game with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. The injury was recently confirmed not serious, which is a huge relief for Bill Belichick.
New England’s first and only touchdown of the game came from James Develin. Develin carried the ball one time for one yard in order to score a touchdown early in the second quarter. This also happened to be Develin’s first carry of the year. While the running back didn’t see more than this in the game, he made an impact on the game when no one else could.
The defense did play horribly as a whole. However, Elandon Roberts made a few noticeable plays that certainly didn’t hurt the team. Roberts scored his first sack of the season, bringing Mariota down to the turf late in the second quarter for a loss of 7 yards. By the end of the game, he had 6 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 quarterback hit. New England needs their defensive players to make more of an effort like Roberts.
New England is fortunate to have a bye week. Everyone on the Patriots team has work to do, and they need as much time as possible. The Patriots face the Jets in week 12, and while this should be an easy game, nothing is certain anymore.
-Caitlyn Allen is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow her on Twitter @caitlyyyn_allen