The Patriots were able to outlast the LA Chargers by a score of 21-13.
Here are a few takeaways from yesterday’s game
1. The Patriots continue to struggle in the red zone
The Patriots’ woes in the red zone continued, with the team going only 1 for 4. The Pats were able to have long, time-consuming drives, but it is all going to waste if they cannot score touchdowns. The Patriots need to find a fix, as they will need to be able to put points on the board to compete with some high-flying offenses in the league. Knowing Bill Belichick and his staff, they’ll use the bye week to find a remedy.
2. The Patriots’ pass defense is steadily improving
Malcolm Butler, Johnson Bademosi, and Johnathan Jones have combined to form a highly effective ball-hawking trio for the Patriots. Bademosi and Jones have stepped into the spotlight, after becoming starters to replace Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe, and continue to improve week after week. Jones was responsible for stopping the Chargers’ late comeback attempt, when he stepped in front of a throw by Phillip Rivers to seal the deal. Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung have also helped to cut down on the crucial mistakes which plagued the Patriots in the early part of the season. The main question for Belichick is where Gilmore and Rowe will fit in with the newly revitalized Patriots’ secondary.
3. The Patriots need to work on stopping the run
The Patriots were gashed by Melvin Gordon, who ran for 132 yards off 14 attempts. This comes one week after surrendering over 100 yards against the Atlanta Falcons. One of the most alarming plays of the game occurred when Melvin Gordon took a simple toss play 87 yards for a touchdown. The Patriots clearly need to work on stopping the opposing running backs at the line of scrimmage. They will be tested in the following weeks when they face Marshawn Lynch and Le’Veon Bell.