Patriots Week 15 Recap: First Half Deficit too Much to Overcome for Pats

The New England Patriots had a rare Saturday Night football game against the Colts. Both teams coming off a BYE, both teams looking to make a playoff push.

It was a tale of two halves, and because of that, this week, we are going to break the game down by halves.

Patriots Week 15- The Debacle of a First Half…

It was a very forgettable first half for the Patriots in Week 15. Nothing was going the Patriot’s way, from bad plays to undisciplined play.

After going down 7-0  (Thanks to what Frank Reich is calling the “Patriots Special”), and a stalled-out drive by the offense, in came the special teams. The special teams came out to punt the ball away. That punt would end up being a block, and a touchdown that put the Pats in an early 14-0 deficit.

After that, it went downhill some more. The team found themselves down 20-0 going into halftime. Offensively they were absolutely shut down, but also, they were kept off the field for most of it as the Colts milked a lot of clock running the ball with soon-to-be MVP, Jonathan Taylor.

Outside of that, the defense was able to hold their own towards the end of the first half.

Patriots Week 15- The Rollercoaster of a Second Half…

The second half was a little better for the team, but not the best. After not getting on the board till the beginning of the 4th quarter, thanks to an interception by Jamie Collins and Devin McCourty, and then a touchdown pass to Hunter Henry, the Patriots saw a slight momentum shift.

The questionable choice of the game was when the Patriots decided to go for a field goal instead of trying to get a touchdown on 4th and goal from the 7. That made the score 20-10.

The defense then once again stepped up, and Mac Jones was able to bring the offense down the field again throwing a touchdown again to Hunter Henry, his second of the night.

The Colts were able to put an exclamation point on the game when Jonathan Taylor ripped off a 67-yard touchdown to make the game 27Fi-17 and put it on ice, capping off his 170-yard rushing game.

Final Stats for the Week 15 Patriots…

Mac Jones was 26 for 45 with 299 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.

(Interceptions came in the second and third quarter, one was on a bad look up the middle near the endzone, picked off by Darius Leonard. The second coming from Bobby Okereke to set up the field goal.)

Hunter Henry led the Patriots with 77 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The running game was near invisible, but Rhamondre Stevenson ran for a team-high 36 yards.

Defensively, Devin McCourty had the lone interception for the game, while Deatrich Wise Jr. had the lone sack in the game.

Final Thoughts on a Tough Patriots Week 15 Loss…

Well, it wasn’t pretty, the team showed some fight in the second half, but the first-half deficit of 20-0 was just too much to overcome.

It was a tough pill to swallow for sure, but, it would have been a nice win. There were some questionable coaching choices for sure, such as kicking the field goal.

There were two big reasons though as to why the Patriots lost (in my opinion) in Week 15.

  1. Undisciplined Play: Were the refs bad in this game? Maybe, but, that does not make up for the fact that the team racked up a total of 8 penalties, most of which came from offensive mistakes. This has been an issue all year, but it reared its ugly head in Saturday’s game.
  2. Losing Kyle Dugger and Ja’Whuan Bentley: Losing two of your best defensive players does not help the cause much either. The Patriots lost LB, Bentley early in the game to an ankle injury, and where linebacker is already thin, that one hurt. Maybe the biggest loss though was Kyle Dugger who was ejected from the game for getting into a fight with Colts receiver, Michael Pittman Jr. Losing your leading tackler is never something you want, and the defense missed him sorely after his departure.

The LAST LAST Thought…

Lastly, as I stated earlier, it was a rough game for Mac Jones, he was able to pick it up in the second half and keep the team within striking distance, but in the end, they fell short.

Let us remember this kid is still a rookie, he will have moments like these, it does not mean he is a horrible QB. This is a loss the team will learn from and will look to bounce back from next week.

Until then, they still sit firmly in a playoff spot heading into a Week 16 bout with the Buffalo Bills.

The Patriots will Take on the Bills next Sunday at Gillette Stadium at 1 pm on CBS.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

-Jeff Hoak (@jeffhoak1)

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