FOXBORO — Three and a half weeks in the past, Kendrick Bourne vented in entrance of his locker.
He sounded off on the Patriots offense, its manufacturing and route. Its lack of urgency and aggression.
In doing so, Bourne captured the essence of the Pats’ conundrum below inexperienced offensive coaches with two sentences: “We’ve just gotta make the tougher plays, if that’s how it’s going to be. So it’s more about looking at yourself and (asking) ‘what can I do better?’”
On Saturday, Bourne answered his personal query. What might he do higher?
Everything. And but, it nonetheless wasn’t ok.
Trailing by 22 late within the third quarter, the Patriots almost staged their largest comeback of the season and their best win in years solely to fall 22-18 to Cincinnati. Running again Rhamondre Stevenson misplaced a fumble on the Bengals’ 7-yard line with a minute left, lower than every week after his preliminary lateral sparked a shocking loss on the ultimate play at Las Vegas. The Pats (7-8) now should win out towards Miami and Buffalo and obtain exterior assist to make the postseason.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw two landing passes, one to Bourne and the opposite in his route, which Bourne tipped to Jakobi Meyers for a miraculous 48-yard rating on third-and-29 with 6:02 remaining. After Meyers’ landing, kicker Nick Folk missed the point-after attempt, which froze the crew’s deficit at 4 and eradicated the potential of a game-tying discipline purpose. Three minutes later, Pats pass-rusher Matt Judon pressured a fumble close to midfield from Bengals large receiver Ja’Marr Chase, bringing the group to a roar.
Rookie cornerback Marcus Jones recovered Chase’ fumble, a full quarter after he’d sparked the Patriots’ comeback with a 69-yard pick-six. Moments later, Jones caught Mac Jones’ closing move for a 15-yard acquire that pulled the offense into the pink zone. But after 4 straight Stevenson hand-offs beginning at Cincinnati’s 15, the sport belonged to the Bengals, who went three-and-out after the fumble and simply thwarted the Pats’ final-minute push with no timeouts.
Mac Jones completed 21-of-33 for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Bourne accounted for nearly half of the Pats’ offensive manufacturing, with 100 receiving yards, 29 speeding and a rating. Saturday marked the primary 100-yard sport of his profession.
The Bengals (11-4) gained their seventh straight and out-classed the Patriots within the first half with a 22-0 lead. Quarterback Joe Burrow (40-of-52, 375 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs) led scoring drives on 4 of his first 5 possessions. Meanwhile, earlier than kneeling out the first-half clock, the Patriots punted on the finish of each drive and didn’t cross midfield till their closing snap of the third quarter.
Stevenson completed with 30 speeding yards on 13 carries, and Meyers snagged six catches for 83 yards. Besides Bourne, no different Patriot completed with greater than 21 complete yards.
Here have been the most effective and worst Patriot performances from Sunday:
WR Kendrick Bourne The first 100-yard efficiency of his profession almost delivered the most effective Patriots win of the post-Tom Brady period. Nearly.
CB Marcus Jones The rookie scored off an interception, recovered a fumble and completed with a team-high 14 tackles.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson His fumble value the Patriots for a second straight week.
Coaching Offensively, the Pats opened with three-and-outs. Defensively, they allowed touchdowns on the Bengals’ first two drives. Oh, and the protection had a number of points substituting, which value them two timeouts.
WR Tyquan Thornton The rookie performed most offensive snaps and completed with a single catch for eight yards. He additionally dropped a deep ball early within the second half that might have all however assured a rating.