The Patriots had a bigtime bounce back against the Las Vegas Raiders in New England and handed the Raiders their first loss on the season. First and foremost, it’s a fair bet that most Patriots fans were worried after the first half, (I know I was) but the Pats silenced all questions in the second half with a deadly ground and pound offense. By the start of the 4th quarter New England was up 23-10 and as a fan, it felt like the game was almost decided. The passing attack wasn’t as sharp as last week, with Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry battling injuries, but plays were made when needed, it wasn’t the cleanest passing day, but a win is a win.
On the other hand, the running game is as deadly as ever. Sony Michel had a big day, toting the rock 9 times for 117 yards and JJ Taylor and Cam Newton added 43 and 27 yards respectively. However, today’s star was Rex Burkhead, who had 49 rushing yards, 49 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, 1 receiving and 2 rushing, his hat trick propelling them to their second win of the season. Things were spotty on the defensive side of the ball, opposing quarterback Derek Carr had a respectable performance (and a garbage time touchdown to pad his stats). Stephon Gilmore struggled less this game, but a pass interference call did not help. The pass rush made plays when it mattered, with Chase Winovich forcing a fumble and Deatrich Wise Jr. recovering a ball in the end zone for a defensive touchdown. The defense did it’s job by limiting the opportunities for Vegas’ playmakers, holding Josh Jacobs to 71 yards and Darren Waller to 2 catches, which threw the Raiders off, relying mostly on Hunter Renfrow.
The biggest factor in victory
The rushing attack: Burkhead saved the day for the Patriots and made some fantasy owners very happy. With 96 total yards and 3 touchdowns, his effort helped the Patriots overcome their early struggles. Michel averaged 13.3 yards per carry and ran up and down the Las Vegas defense with 117 yards, ripping off big plays and breaking tackles in a strong second half. It is also worth mentioning that Cam Newton is now 2nd all time in quarterback rushing yards (4,881), right behind Michael Vick (6,109).
Next week the Patriots will face one of the leagues hottest teams, the reigning champion, Kansas City Chiefs, in Kansas City, a good test for the Patriots to see if they can stop/keep up with the KC offense.