- Mac Jones took another positive step. In opposition to a Falcons protection that fought hard to keep the sport close, the Patriots’ rookie quarterback was environment friendly if not spectacular in directing his fifth road win in 5 trips away from Gillette Stadium. He joined Dak Prescott and Ben Roethlisberger as the only NFL rookie quarterbacks to win their first 5 road begins. Jones completed 22 of 26 passes for 207 yards within the face of a cross rush that needed to blitz to generate strain. Over his final two games, he’s now related on 41 of his last 49 throws (83.7%) and continues to keep up a veteran-like poise that belies his experience. Jones’ lone interception to Falcons CB A.J. Terrell was an ill-advised throw to make certain, however general, this was one other step ahead for the most successful rookie quarterback within the 2021 draft class.
- Matt Ryan’s pass protection was flat-out awful. The Falcons’ game plan tried to account for this with plenty of screens and shallow crossers to get the ball out of the veteran quarterback’s hands as rapidly as doable, but the warmth on Ryan was such that even these passes often had to be launched too quickly. The Patriots defense snuffed out the quick stuff with no concern of the deep ball, and the Falcons’ 16-for-40 speeding effort provided no steadiness to keep New England’s cross rush extra honest. The Patriots received two sacks from Kyle Van Noy and one every from Matt Judon and Davon Godchaux. Ryan took a dozen hits and was pressured on a whopping 50% of his dropbacks. Repeatedly, he had to search for his hottest read.
- Call them the Flagcons. As if the Falcons didn’t have sufficient issues matching up with a better staff, they made it all of the tougher with penalties, and no facet of the ball was innocent. Defensively, they gave the Patriots 4 of their 20 first downs by way of penalty. Offensively, they punted on their opening drive after a flag backed them as much as their very own 2-yard line, and regrouping on the half was no assist as Atlanta dedicated two false begins to mar their first possession of the second half. On special groups, an inexcusable unlawful formation name on offensive lineman Jason Spriggs foiled Younghoe Koo’s 45-yard discipline purpose; after the step-off, Koo missed from 50. The Falcons completed with 9 penalties for 72 yards.
- The kicking game helps lift Patriots. New England received the particular team’s battle handily, which was essential in a game that wasn’t a blowout till the fourth quarter. Begin with the sphere objectives — Nick Folk calmly drilled a season-long 53-yarder to place the sport out of reach at 16-0, and was 4 for 4 on the night time, whereas Atlanta missed one from 50. But the edge went deeper than that. The Patriots picked up plenty of hidden yardage by means of punter Jake Bailey, who launched a 60-yarder and, along with his first three punts, pinned Atlanta by itself 4-yard line, it’s 14, and it’s 19. On its solely look, the New England kickoff unit notched a deal with on the Atlanta 17. Save a missed PAT after the end result was a given, it was a buttoned-up effort throughout.
- Pat’s defense stiffened in brief yardage. Whatever the slim chance Atlanta needed to get again into the sport within the second half ended with a masterful short-yardage sequence by the New England protection. With the Patriots holding a 13-0 third-quarter lead, and Atlanta’s offense making one of solely two red-zone appearances, Don’t Hightower and Adrian Phillips stuffed fullback Keith Smith on a third-and-1 for no acquire. On fourth down, Phillips mixed with Carl Davis to nail Qadree Ollison, once more for no acquire, to protect what turned a shutout. Throw in a sack of Ryan by Van Noy on a third-and-1 earlier within the night, and New England’s defense throttled Atlanta when inches mattered.
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