DO YOUR JOB
An Account of the 2022 New England Patriots Season
This is unquestionably the best we've seen the Patriots defense in 2022. Let's hope it's not a fluke. PIC: David Silverman
To be truthful, I had mixed opinions coming into this one. It's become trendy to hop on with the Lions, who won over the hearts of so many after being featured in HBO's Hard Knocks. After all, Bryant legend Tom Kennedy laced up the cleats for Dan Campbell this week, too. After scoring 45 points against the Seahawks last week, would the Lions keep the momentum going?
Spoiler: no, they would not.
You would've never known the Pats were down to their third-string quarterback and had their backs against the wall after staring 1-3 this season. A total steamroll in all senses of the word, the Patriots trounced the Detroit Lions 29-0 in Foxboro in their Week 5 matchup.
A few key takeaways.
First things first...how sick are these throwback uniforms?! There was lots of hype around the red jerseys, and it certainly delivered. They wore these uniforms consistently back in the day, but were shuttered about ten years ago due to the NFL's silly "one helmet per season" rule. Finally, that rule is done, and the Pats can take these beauties out from the shelf.
PIC: David Silverman/New England Patriots
I concur with Bill Simmons here - these need to stay. They are absolutely stunning.
This is the best the defense has looked all year
A big interception from Jack Jones. A scoop-and-score forced by Matthew Judon and ran back 59 yards by Kyle Dugger. So many big plays and smart reads. Yes, it was the Lions, and they had guys out. But any time you can hold an offense to just 32 yards gained when they've averaged over 430 through the first four is a good time.
Of note, Matthew Judon became the first Pats player in franchise history to rack up a sack every game through 5 to start a season. 9 in red was all over the place today.
Bailey's back - is he here for good?
Let's not jump to conclusions about Bailey Zappe. I've wrote enough about him that you can check out in previous entires. He's not Dan Marino, or Aaron Rodgers, or John Elway. But is he an improvement over Mac Jones? A week ago, it was a wholehearted "no." Today, it's more like, "he might be." You can't help but wonder what a more consistent role for Zappe might look like. Today's output of 188 yards, going 17-for-21 and throwing a touchdown & 1 pick won't put him in the Hall of Fame, but it'll certainly have us guessing what the next few weeks could look like in Foxboro. One thing is for sure - he's born to be a Patriot with this quote.
Up next: @ Cleveland Browns on Sunday 10/16
Evan Lazar (a great Twitter follow, BTW) laid out a simple plan for the Pats' success this year. Play lockdown D, control the offensive pace, and don't make stupid mistakes.
That's unquestionably the key to success against Cleveland as well. Against a defensive scheme that is struggling to find its identity, managing the offensive piece should be doable. Jacoby Brissett has proven he's a containable QB. As for not beating themselves? That's the perennial question with the 2022 New England Patriots.