PATRIOTIC HOG REPORT – STATE OF THE UNION & “The End of Frank Reich.”
Before We Get Into The Patriots…
The Patriots won at home, 26-3 against a struggling Indianapolis Colts team that played what would end up being its last game with Frank Reich as head coach. The writing was on the wall after last season’s collapse before playoffs, and this season not looking brighter at all. If anything, they have taken a significant step back because of injuries and an offense ranked 27th in the NFL in total yardage per game and 29th in scoring. Frank Reich was a great character in the locker room and I’m sure he will find a place somewhere else if he wants to because of what he brings to a football team. He just couldn’t find the quarterback to take this team to the places he wanted too, and with how good that team was last year, this season has been a massive gut punch.
Nick Folk was once again lights out with the aggressive leg kicks that sent the ball between the uprights. The guy has been the best offensive weapon for the Patriots all season and is second in the league in field goals made. Mac Jones was sacked 4 times but played mistake free football as they pieced together some quality drives for Nick Folk to complete. We got to see some duo TE action out of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith as they combined for 8 receptions, with Henry leading the Patriots in receiving at 50. The WR group did their job, and it is going to be interesting this offseason as they clean up this position. It’s very evident that the Patriots do not need this many weapons until Mac slings the rock more. There’s a better chance for the Patriots to go I-formation instead of the west coast at this rate.
Matthew “Red Sleeves” Judon and Josh Uche collected 3 sacks each as the Patriots buried Sam Ehlinger a total of 9 times. Jonathan Jones also had a nice pick-6 to ice the game late in the 4th quarter. Defensively the Patriots smothered any chance the Colts had at an explosive play. Sam Ehlinger led the backfield in rushing which shows how poorly the Colts have been since losing Nyheim Hines to the Bills and Jonathan Taylor to injuries. Although Christian Barmore is missed on the line, Davon Godchaux has filled in very well in Christian’s absence.
The Road Ahead: New York Jets vs New England
The Patriots showed that they were the better team in front of their home crowd and hope to carry this two-game win streak into their bye week before welcoming the big bad Jets, who just slayed the Buffalo Bills, in Week 11. The Patriots should not expect a simple win from their typically inferior rival as the young kids in green seem to be taking the league by storm after some huge wins. Damien Harris is on the wrong side of the injury report as his recovery continues to be hampered by setbacks. David Andrews hopes to fill in next week if he is unable to go again due to concussion issues. Marcus Cannon was placed on IR for concussion issues, so the Patriots are working with their backup offensive line heavily. Round 2 of Jets vs Patriots will be “must watch” football next Sunday and with another divisional win, the Patriots could have a promising playoff picture.