Patriots 3 Up 3 Down for Week 11
By: Connor Bond
In the eleventh week of the NFL season, the New England Patriots traveled to California to play a struggling San Francisco 49ers team. The game mainly went as expected, with the Patriots coming out as he victors in an30-17 game, but there were points where the Pats seemed to struggle. Here’s a look at who played well as well as who struggled in the win.
- Malcolm Mitchell- With both Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan out with injuries, the Patriots needed a receiver to step up for the offense to flow like it had been in recent weeks. Mitchell did just that, finishing the day with 4 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was a 56 yard reception and the first of Mitchell’s career. The coaching staff was excited before the game to see what Mitchell would do with a greater workload, and he showed them he should be seeing a greater number of snaps in the future. He now has 11 receptions for 193 yards and 1 TD on the season.2.
- Legarrette Blount- Though he did not officially score a touchdown, Blount had a very solid game. He finished the day having run for 124 yards on 19 carries, good for 6.5 yards per carry. Blount also did end up in the end zone on one of his rushes, but the score was called back due to a penalty on Nate Solder. He now has 802 rushing yards and 12 TD’s with in only 201 carries for the year, showing why he should continue to have a heavy workload even with the return of Dion Lewis.
- Julian Edelman- Tom Brady relied on Edelman more than ever due to the absences of both Gronkowski and Hogan, targeting the slot receiver 17 times over the course of the game. Edelman finished the day with 8 receptions for 77 yards and touchdown. The touchdown was only the second of the season for Edelman. Many of the passes thrown Edelman’s way ended up being incomplete due to Brady’s inability to connect with him on deep throws during the game. Julian Edelman how’s has 56 receptions for 534 yards and 2 TD’s on the year.
- Jabaal Sheard- When the Patriots traded away Chandler Jones, many believed the defense would easily replace him as Jabaal Sheard arguably performed better last year and would see an increased snap count as a result of the trade. Fast forward to Sunday, and Sheard was not even on the field. He was a healthy scratch as he has struggled mightily this season. His snap count had been progressively lessening up until Sunday, and now Trey Flowers is playing the best football of his young career. Do not expect Sheard to be back on the field much in the near future unless and injury occurs.
- Tom Brady on Deep Passes- Tom Brady played a decent game on Sunday, especially considering two of his top receivers were not available to play. Maybe the weather conditions as well as poor offensive line play affected his ability to connect on deep passes, but aside from maybe one or two passes, Brady could not seem to connect with anybody on the long ball. When throwing deep passes to Edelman alone, Brady was 0 of 6. Brady played well overall, but he struggled on long passes.
- Patriots Defense- Over the course of the game, the San Francisco 49ers rushed for 122 yards in only 27 attempts. As a result, the Patriots gave up about 4.5 yards per carry. The defense also gave up 206 passing yards in addition to 2 TD passes to Colin Kaepernick. Because of the defense’s play, the 49ers seemed to be in the game almost the entire game. Allowing a team that has the scored the seventh fewest points in the league to stay in the game is unacceptable for a team that has championship hopes like the Patriots.