Two of the New England Patriots’ recent first-round picks played minor roles in Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Wide receiver N’Keal Harry, the Patriots’ 2019 first-round pick, played just two snaps and caught one pass for 12 yards that should have been a 15-yard touchdown. Running back Sony Michel, one of the Patriots’ two 2018 first-round picks, played just nine snaps and carried the ball five times for 8 yards and caught one 1-yard pass.
Left tackle Isaiah Wynn, the Patriots’ other 2018 first-round pick, played every offensive snap.
Michel played the fewest offensive snaps of the season and the second-fewest of his NFL career. Harry saw the fewest offensive snaps of his young NFL career.
The Patriots tried to add offensive firepower in consecutive drafts, and it’s not working out great in recent weeks as New England’s unit continues to sputter.
CB Jonathan Jones: six catches on nine targets, 102 yards, TD
SS Patrick Chung: 5-6, 61 yards
LB Kyle Van Noy: 2-2, 25 yards
FS Devin McCourty: 4-4, 23 yards
LB Dont’a Hightower: 2-2, 23 yards
SS Terrence Brooks: 1-2, 23 yards
CB JC Jackson: 2-3, 19 yards, INT
CB Stephon Gilmore: 2-6, 13 yards
LB Chase Winovich: 1-1, 8 yards
LB Jamie Collins: 2-3, -2 yards, PBU
— Jones covered wide receiver Tyreek Hill for most of the game and let up five catches on seven targets for 54 yards to the speedy wideout. Jones let up a 48-yard touchdown to rookie Mecole Hardman.
— Chung and McCourty mostly shared the duty of covering tight end Travis Kelce. Chung let up two catches on three targets for 30 yards to Kelce, while McCourty let up all of his targets to the star tight end.
— Gilmore covered Sammy Watkins, while Jackson took on Demarcus Robinson. Gilmore had another lock-down performance, though he was charged with a holding penalty.
— McCourty forced a fumble. Gilmore recovered it.
— Jason McCourty played just four snaps in his return from a groin injury.
LB Kyle Van Noy: three hurries
DT Danny Shelton: QB hit, hurry
LB Chase Winovich: QB hit, hurry
LB Dont’a Hightower: two hurries
LB Shilique Calhoun: two hurries
DE Deatrich Wise: sack
LB John Simon: QB hit
LB Jamie Collins: hurry
— Shelton was the Patriots’ most efficient pass rusher. He only received 12 pass-rush snaps.
— The Patriots pressured quarterback Patrick Mahomes on 26.7 percent of snaps. Mahomes was the 23rd most pressured quarterback in Week 14. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was sixth with a 40-percent pressure rate.
LB Kyle Van Noy: four stops, two missed tackles
FS Devin McCourty: three stops, missed tackle
DT Lawrence Guy: two stops
CB Stephon Gilmore: two stops
SS Patrick Chung: two stops
DT Adam Butler: two stops
DT Danny Shelton: stop
LB Dont’a Hightower: stop
CB JC Jackson: stop
LB Chase Winovich: stop
DE Deatrich Wise: stop
LB Shilique Calhoun: stop
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley: stop
LB John Simon: two stops, two missed tackles
LB Jamie Collins: one stop, two missed tackles
CB Jonathan Jones: two stops, three missed tackles
— The Patriots let up just 75 rushing yards on 29 carries with a 4-yard touchdown run by Kelce.
— The majority of New England’s missed tackles came in the passing game.
C James Ferentz: sack, three hurries
LT Isaiah Wynn: sack, two hurries
RG Shaq Mason: three hurries
RT Marcus Cannon: sack, hurry
QB Tom Brady: hurry
— Ferentz struggled as a pass blocker while filling in for Ted Karras, who’s dealing with a knee injury. Karras might be able to return before the postseason.
— Left guard Joe Thuney was clean in pass protection. Tight ends Ben Watson and Matt LaCosse and running backs James White, Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel also were clean in pass blocking.
— This was one of the Patriots’ rougher performances from a pass-pro standpoint.
Brady went 19-of-36 for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Of Brady’s 17 incompletions, three were dropped and three were thrown away. One of Brady’s incompletions came when he was hit while throwing. Brady’s accuracy rate was just 68.8 percent, which ranked 24th of 30 qualified quarterbacks in Week 14.
The 42-year-old went 5-of-13 for 43 yards while under pressure. He was 1-of-4 for 37 yards with a touchdown on deep passes. He connected with Julian Edelman on a 37-yard, flea-flicker touchdown.
Rookie wide receiver Jakobi Meyers dropped two passes on three targets. White dropped one.
Between rushing, passing and receiving, White and Edelman accounted for 198 of the Patriots’ 278 net yards (71.2 percent). That has to change. The Patriots can’t keep relying on Edelman and White so heavily.
Edelman is on pace for career highs in catches, yards and touchdowns. He already has 90 catches for 1,010 yards with six touchdowns through 13 games.
White: 3.83 yards after contact per attempt, three forced missed tackles
Michel: 1.2 yards after contact per attempt, one forced missed tackle
Burkhead: 2 yards after contact per attempt
Brandon Bolden: 3 yards after contact per attempt
— White carried the ball six times for 33 yards, caught five passes for 27 yards and threw a 35-yard pass to Meyers.
— Burkhead averaged just 2.1 yards per carry.
— Bolden’s lone offensive touch was a 10-yard rushing touchdown.
— The Patriots tried to get Michel going early, and then barely went back to him for the rest of the game. If he can handle the workload, White should be the Patriots’ top running back moving forward.
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