Last night's game was the game every Patriots fan has been hoping for since the start of the season. At home, the Patriots were able to defeat the Detroit Lions by a score of 29-0. The shutout was brilliantly executed on all three phases of the ball with multiple standout players having brilliant games.
Bailey Zappe's first start at quarterback was almost exciting and he did well not to , the kid looked great albeit against the worst defense in the NFL. He had an 81% completion percentage and the for 188 yards including a 24-yard touchdown to Jakobi Meyers. The real offensive breakout came from second year running back Rhamondre Stevenson though, who ran for over 160 yards. He was the workhorse on the day, securing several first downs and most importantly keeping the defense on their toes. With Stevenson cooking on the ground, the play action passing game was successful whenever they called it.
The offense would only commit one turnover, tying their best on the season. Zappe threw an interception in the first half and fumbled the ball off of a strip sack, however that fumble was scooped up by Stevenson thankfully for the rookie. The offense's pace and toughness were the key factors in moving the ball and the unsung hero of the game Nick Folk was the key to putting points on the board. The 4th year Patriot banged all 5 of his field goal attempts and both extra points to put up 17 points on his own on Sunday. His longest was of 44-yards but nonetheless, Folk showed how a tremendous special teams effort can really make a difference between a decent offensive game and a great one.
On the defensive side of the ball, Matthew Judon and Kyle Dugger rose to the occasion along with several others in what was a complete-team domination. Judon would record 2 sacks on 7 QB pressures. He was a menace rushing the passer using his amazing handwork and speed, anchoring the pass rush while also stuffing runs all game. Dugger for his part, had a great day playing a Tyrann Mathieu-role of a backed-up shortstop. He was truly everywhere as he shut down Lions star tight end T.J. Hockenson, and recovered a fumble from a Matt Judon strip sack and bringing it back for a touchdown. The entire defense played such a solid game and showed how this unit is truly at it's scariest when everyone is playing their part.
This win was attributed to the entire team in the best cohesive game the Patriot shave played thus far this year and by a wide margin. Whether they are playing with their franchise QB or a third-string rookie, the team plays to it's strengths which right now is defensive pressure and amazing special teams play. This win puts gthe Pats back in the win column and are 2-3 on the year with a matchup in Cleveland next week who is a much more rounded team and will pose an excellent matchup with New England. Patriots fans can stand up and be thoroughly pleased with the team's success this week on every phase. Mac Jones is still questionable for next week with his ankle injury but his progress is good meaning if Zappe can help this team to another victory or two, by the time Jones gets back, this team might be hitting their stride at the best possible timing this season.
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