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Week 2 Game Recap: New England Patriots 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 31

What you need to know

New England Patriots

The Jags ferocious defense combined with a sluggish offense and non-existent run game all but put this game away by the second half. The Pats mounted a small comeback, but made a curious punt decision in the 4th quarter that signaled defeat.

Sony Michel saw significantly more action than Rex Burkhead. It remains to be seen if this was injury related or a changing of the guard, but as we all know, the Pats are unpredictable with backfield touches.

Two more weeks without Julian Edelman, and then the passing offense dynamic will change dramatically.

Corey Coleman was inactive for this one. it remains to be seen if he activates in the coming weeks, but he could add a new dimension to this offense.

All of Cordarelle Patterson's touches were manufactured.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars coaching staff made a decision to open their offense up and play New England very aggressively. They were rewarded with the best game of Blake Bortles' career, a 400 yard performance with 4 passing touchdowns. The Jaguars kept their foot to the pedal for the entire game. Even after left tackle Cam Robinson left the game, the New England front 7 was not able to generate any pass rush at all, and the Jaguars were finally able to beat New England for the first time in franchise history.

New England Patriots

QB Tom Brady, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 35 - 234 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0
Unable to get anything going for most of the day, Brady and the Pats offense as a whole were sluggish and at times, manhandled by the Jaguars defensive unit. As a result, the Pats didn't even score a touchdown. The defense did no favors either, and the game was nearly over at halftime, with a 21-3 deficit and the Jags receiving the ball first in the second half. Brady was under pressure plenty during the game, and curiously missed Gronk on several 1 on 1 opportunities. Most of his passes were out fairly quickly, but as routes didn't fully develop on many plays, he was forced to throw short to James White often. Brady did have a fumble on a sack due to immediate pressure given up by L'Adrian Waddle, which absolutely killed momentum, as the Pats D had just intercepted a ball of their own. The run game was absolutely horrendous as well, getting no significant plays of note despite over 20 rushing attempts. All in all, it was a forgettable performance for the offense, defense, and coaching staff all together.

RB James White, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 11 - 0, Rec: 7 - 73 - 0 (8 targets)
As suspected, James White was utilized heavily in the passing game, catching more receptions and seeing more targets than any other players. Most of his catches and targets were about 6 to 8 yards downfield, and most of his touches weren't manufactured. Rather, they were out of necessity as Tom Brady scrambled for his life on several plays. Against worse run defenses, White won't see this kind of volume, but against good defenses where we expect the Pats to throw a lot, White will remain involved.

RB Sony Michel, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 34 - 0, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (2 targets)
Operating as the primary ball carrier, Michel did nothing special of note on 10 carries. The Pats o-line was worked over fairly well, and there was very little running room. What is notable was that he saw more snaps than Rex Burkhead, who only saw playing time in the first and fourth quarters. If that continues, Michel will be worth deploying in fantasy lineups in the future just due to touch volume and a potentially potent offense.

RB Rex Burkhead, 15 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 22 - 0
Whether it was due to concussion, performance, or potential, Rex Burkhead was not involved in the game at all, seeing the bulk of his work when the game was out of hand in the 4th quarter. One game does not make a trend, but he was only lined up wide once as well, and this is something worth monitoring. It wouldn't surprise if Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel rotated evenly and were used liberally in formations, but Michel was a high draft pick, so time will tell. Burkhead did nothing of note against the Jags, as the Pats run game was dominated by the Jags defense.

WR Phillip Dorsett, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 44 - 0 (7 targets)
Once again, Dorsett was involved in the Pats passing attack, though almost all his targets were short throws beyond one deep shot. He did adequately on his opportunities, though he didn't have much to work with. We will likely see a bit more inconsistency once Julian Edelman returns, but for now, he's actually carved out a useful role in this offense.

WR Chris Hogan, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 2 (5 targets)
Though the stat line may be misleading at first glance, Hogan wasn't targeted heavily during the game. Part of it was good defense/lack of separation, and part was pressure from the defensive pass rush. Either way, he did salvage two scores. The first was a short in route from the 7 yard line, while the second saw him wide open on a small slant with open road ahead. Hogan still hasn't had a heavy involvement game through two weeks, and with only two more games til Julian Edelman is back, he will need to show more.

TE Rob Gronkowski, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (4 targets)
Gronk was bottled up for most of the day by a great defense, though there were a couple obvious no-calls on his defenders. Tom Brady also missed a couple 1 on 1 shots, and though there is no guarantee, a shot to Gronk with 1 on 1 coverage is always decent money to pay off. Part of the issue was the Jags pass rush, which often gave Tom Brady no time to throw. Gronk will have better days ahead, and we all know that.

Jacksonville Jaguars

QB Blake Bortles, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 29 - 45 - 377 - 4 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 35 - 0
This was the best game that Bortles has played in a Jaguars uniform to date. He started the game with rhythm and accuracy and coupled it with good decision making to lead the Jaguars to a rout after throwing a touchdown on the first drive. He continues to use his legs well, picking up at least two key conversions on scrambles and putting his total yardage on the day to over 400. He had two bad throws in this game - both coming on the same look. The first bad throw of the game was an In Cut to Keelan Cole where Cole was double-covered, but the ball was still put where only Cole could get a hand on it (although Cole did tip it up into the air for a potential interception). His interception came on a very similar play to the Cole tipped pass, except this time Sefarian-Jenkins was the target and tipped the ball up for an interception (he was, however, more open that Cole was on his tip). Overall though, he came off of his primary in this game and got through the progression instead of staring his man down. He rewarded the coaching staff's aggressive approach, capping the two-minute drill at the end of the first half with a touchdown pass with just 0:09 left in the half - a stark contrast to the team taking knees and into halftime in the AFC Championship game. He opened the third quarter up with a 7 minute drive that led to a field goal, essentially eating 10 minutes of gametime and scoring 10 offensive points between New England possessions. Rebounded after his interception by throwing the game-sealing touchdown on a catch-and-run to Dede Westrbook.

RB T.J. Yeldon, 41 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 58 - 0, Rec: 2 - 13 - 0 (5 targets)
Despite the Jaguars having the lead with 7 minutes into the game and never looking back, Yeldon didn't receive a ton of volume - just 12 (mostly efficient) touches on the day. He did very well getting to the perimeter on shotgun runs and remains extremely reliable in pass protection. He did rotate with Corey Grant, who did excellent in the pass game. The Jaguars did the right thing by staying aggressive throughout the game - against lesser opponents (like the Giants last week) they will be more content with giving their backs the load with a lead.

RB Corey Grant, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 13 - 0, Rec: 6 - 56 - 0 (7 targets)
Grant rotated with Yeldon on the day and was extremely effective as a receiver out of the backfield in this game. He checked in on the first drive and on his first snap caught a check down after play action and got upfield for 15 yards and a first down. He had a huge 3rd and 7 conversion in the redzone on a Texas route out of the backfield later in the game. He received the few carries the Jaguars ran from under center (they played in shotgun most of the game) but none of his carries were especially productive. While Grant has been a manufactured touch player to this point, he did make some nice plays within the flow of the offense in this game.

WR Keelan Cole, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 116 - 1 (8 targets)
After a quiet preseason and opening week where he was barely targeted, Cole absolutely dominated the Patriots in this game. He had arguably the most spectacular catch in the NFL since Odell Beckham's one-hander in his rookie season, where he went down the left sideline on a back-shoulder fade and reached up and over the DB with just his right hand, palming the nose of the football and bringing it into his body before hitting the ground along the sideline. He capped the drive off with another 9 route, beating press man coverage at the line of scrimmage and hauling in a perfect over-the-shoulder pass from Bortles. Bortles continued to target him throughout the game, and Cole won on a number of routes and in different areas of the field.

WR Dede Westbrook, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -6 - 0, Rec: 4 - 83 - 1 (5 targets)
The game started disappointingly for Westbrook, as he opened the game with a fumble on his first catch that was recovered by his teammate. Most of his action in this game came on short crossers, and it looked like it was going to be a quiet game for him overall before he sealed the game with a 61 yard catch-and-run on a simple Drag route in the 4th quarter. His man got caught in the trash going over the middle of the field, and Westbrook was able to hit the jets in the open field. He made two defenders miss with the ball in his hands before running away from the defense and scoring.

WR Donte Moncrief, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 1 (9 targets)
Moncrief finally converted on a successful back-shoulder fade, scoring a touchdown on first and goal (after starting the year 0-5 on these targets on the season). He was solidly but unspectacular on the day before leaving the game at the end of the third quarter with an apparent knee injury.

WR D.J. Chark, 30 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (4 targets)
Chark showed good awareness by picking up Dede Westbrook's fumble on the first drive and actually picked up extra yardage to get a first down. After that, however, it was mostly all negatives. He was the recipient of a back-shoulder fade target while the first half was closing out, but really showed his rawness on this target. He couldn't get off the DB, work towards the sideline, or look for the ball in time. He made his first catch of the season on a slant in the third quarter and proceeded to fumble the ball and turn it over during the tackle attempt. He will likely replace Moncrief if Moncrief has to miss time, but is simply too raw to be a contributor right now.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 23 - 1 (4 targets)
Seferian-Jenkins didn't have a huge box score with just 3 catches, but all 3 catches mattered - two for third down conversions and one for a touchdown in the redzone. His touchdown reception came on a Double China concept, where he ran the Corner route from the inside slot. One of the receivers running an In cut got a nice pick on Chung, who was in man on Seferian-Jenkins. The result was a wide open touchdown (that wasn't called back by a penalty!). He was semi-responsible for Bortles' interception, by playing defense and tipping a (well-covered) pass to a New England defender. He is not super effective as a blocker, but the effort was there, and this effort sprung one of Yeldon's longer funs of the afternoon.