The New England Patriots had a chance to get back to .500 for the first time in nearly a month. Sure enough, they threw away that chance after losing to the Houston Texans on the road 27-20.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 22, 2020
I wrote on Friday about how I felt like this was a trap game for the Patriots. Sure enough, I was (unfortunately) right. Before we put this in the rearview mirror, let’s look back at the game a little bit.
The penalties were not a help for the Patriots in this one. They committed seven penalties for 55 yards. That is extremely un-Patriot like. It felt like whenever the momentum was going for the Patriots, after the first drive, it was all lost with penalties. In the NFL, you’re not going to win many football games being the team that gets penalized more. That has to be fixed!
The Patriots fear Rex Burkhead tore his ACL today against the Texans, according to a source. He'll get an MRI to confirm.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) November 22, 2020
As if the season couldn’t get any worse, right?! Rex Burkhead has been a pleasant surprise for the Patriots in 2020. But today, he suffered an injury in the second half which looks like it could be an ACL tear. If that’s the case, Burkhead is done for the year. It’s a shame too because he was so productive and a bright spot in an often bleak Patriots offensive attack. Get well soon, Rex!
What Happened After the First Drive?
The Texans statistically had the worst rush defense in the NFL. The first drive? New England goes right down and scores with ease, primarily using the run. After that, they shy away from it? Something didn’t seem right there. The offense sputtered after the first drive, scoring only 13 points the rest of the game. So I’m wondering what changed after that drive? I’m sure a lot of other Patriots fans are thinking the same.
— Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) November 22, 2020
This was Damiere Byrd’s say. Six catches for 132 yards and a touchdown reception goes a long way. I’ve really liked what Byrd has brought to the table this year. He’s quick, elusive, can create space, and is consistently finding the ball. He’s a guy I’d like the Patriots to keep beyond 2020 and days like today prove as to why I think he should be here a bit longer.
Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt
I’m not exaggerating here. Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt were the only two reasons the Texans won today. Watson was nearly perfect. 28/37 with 344 yards and two touchdowns is a solid day. He also rushed for a score too. Watson kept the Patriots uneasy throughout the game and made it difficult for the defense to get any stops. Then with Watt, he batted down at least four balls at the line of scrimmage today. The guy is a defensive monster. He’s just been plagued with the injury bug his whole career. The duo of Watson and Watt found a way to carry Houston on their back to a third win on the season.
This felt like a season ending loss. Now at 4-6, the Patriots need to basically win out to have any chance at a playoff spot. Even then, they’d need some help with other teams losing and what not. The task doesn’t get any easier as Kyler Murray and the Cardinals come to Gillette Sunday afternoon. Any more losses, and the Patriots season is officially done. How many teams (not in the NFC East!) do you see making the playoffs at 9-7 or less? Not many! It’s simple. You have to go 6-0 to even have a chance. But I don’t see it happening.
–Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)