The Patriots get out of their funk and dismantle the Jacksonville Jaguars 50-10. The Pats got up early and stayed ahead scoring touchdowns on their first five drives. The defense forced three interceptions by rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Offense Gets Back on Track
Mac Jones hit a wall over the past two weeks throwing four interceptions and only two touchdowns. He threw for 227 yards and three touchdowns against a struggling Jaguars defense. There has been a lot of talk about Mac hitting the “rookie wall” but he quieted that with his performance in this one.
Wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson caught his first regular-season passes today and scored two touchdowns. Wilkerson was released at the beginning of the season by the Pats but stuck around on the practice squad, and that paid off for the second-year receiver Southeast Missouri State.
Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson each had two touchdowns on the ground. Harris started off the game strong, but his hamstring injury came back again, so he began to play less as the game went on. Stevenson picked up the slack and ran for 107 yards on 19 carries.
The Pats defense put in another strong showing, holding the Jags to only three points until late in the fourth quarter. Belichick has always made it difficult for rookie quarterbacks, and that was true again in this game. Lawrence had trouble finding his receivers all game long. JC Jackson, Kyle Dugger, and Myles Bryant all had an interception against Lawrence.
After a rough showing against the Bills last week, the secondary responded with a strong effort. Myles Bryant got burned by Isaiah McKenzie and his interception put that performance in the rearview mirror, on his 24th birthday.
Back on Track
After a few rough weeks, the Patriots put in a great effort against the Jaguars in a game that they should have won. Nobody expected 50 points at all, but it is much needed for an offense that was starting to sputter.
With a loss from Miami against the Titans, the Patriots officially clinch a playoff spot. The AFC East is still up for grabs, but the Pats need a loss from Buffalo against the Jets next week. New England does not have an easy game next week down in Miami, who is trying to get into the playoffs themselves. The Dolphins beat New England early in the season, so they will be looking to avenge that loss. There is still everything to play for in Week 18. On to Miami.