New England Patriots: 3 positives from Week 12 statement win

J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots beat the Tennessee Titans 36-13 in Week 12. It was a statement win against a very good team and it had three big positives among lots of others.

The Patriots are now in first place in the AFC East. In addition, they now sit in second place in the entire AFC. Quite a change from the 2-4 team of six weeks ago.

So let’s take a look at three of the best aspects of that defining win after previously pointing out some of the low points.

New England Patriots 3 big positives in the win against the Tennessee Titans

One big positive was the Patriots’ defense winning the turnover battle. Let’s face facts, the defense was run all over by the Titans in embarrassing fashion.

It gave up 270 yards on the ground and 6.9 yards per carry. That’s usually a prescription for disaster for any team. But not for this 2021 version of the Patriots defense.

Related Story. Pats overcome poor coaching to beat the Titans. light

That defense created four turnovers against the Titans, two by who else, J.C. Jackson (who may not even be on the team next season bizarrely, as the Patriots have bungled his contract situation to a fare-thee-well).

Jackson forced a fumble, and the other was his seventh interception of the season. Three of five Titans’ fumbles were recovered by Jalen Mills, Jahlani Tavai, and Kyle Dugger.

It’s a pretty simple formula, you win the turnover battle by four, you win the game, even if your defense can’t stop a beach ball from rolling all over it.

New England Patriots second big positive in Week 12

The next best thing in the game was the passing of rookie phenom and very possibly NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Mac Jones.

Jones had a rather pedestrian game for him. Of course, his underwhelming games are top games for almost any other quarterback in the league.

Jones threw for 310 yards and completed 23 of 32 passes, a completion percentage of just under 72 percent.

After a combined 82.6 percent in the previous two games, it was a bit of a dip. Most NFL quarterbacks would like to “dip” to 72 percent in any game.

Jones now sits at a 70.3 percent completion rate for the 12 games thus far. It’s an amazing start, and he’s only going to get better.

Now that’s a very ominous thought for the rest of the NFL which is now finally realizing just how special this young gunslinger is. And the angst is palpable!

Those are great numbers for any NFL quarterback. For a rookie, they’re sick numbers. Don’t underestimate just how good that is.

Keep in mind, Jones was hammered in the first six games by a poorly constructed offensive line deployed by his own coaches, and even yesterday was sacked twice.

Yet the numbers don’t lie. They are what they are, even if critics still foolheartedly think he can’t throw downfield (which is a crock, by the way).

Jones throws them where the other team ain’t and where his guys can catch them. And that’s all that matters.

Jones now has thrown 16 touchdown passes with eight interceptions, six of those interceptions coming in the first six games before his coaches finally figured out how to employ their best offensive linemen. He’s had two since.

Better offensive line deployment equaled better performance. If Mac Jones has time to pass, he’ll clean opposing NFL defenses’ clocks.

New England Patriots third big positive against the Titans

He’s finally getting well-deserved recognition and he’ll get in this space too. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne can play the game. He’s proving to be a terrific free-agent signing.

Bourne caught five passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee. He’s emerging as Mac Jones’ second go-to receiver after the always improving and performing Jakobi Meyers.

For the season, Bourne now has 42 receptions for 645 yards and five touchdowns. That’s some solid production over 12 games.

Bourne had 49 receptions for the San Francisco 49ers last season (you know, the team that ostensibly traded up to select Mac Jones in the 2021 draft but then changed their mind) in 2020.

He should shatter that total in a couple of weeks. And he’ll need to if the Patriots are to deal with the Buffalo Bills in Week 13 and the Indianapolis Colts after their bye week.

Next. 2 concerns from the Patriots Week 12 win. dark

It’s great to see this young man (26 years old) getting the recognition he deserves. He’s a terrific player and a great person as well.

Bourne’s smile can light up a room. Can you have too many guys like that on your team? Nope. Never. The Patriots have plenty of them thankfully.

So there are three positives from a truly big win against the Titans. Now the Patriots are on to Buffalo both literally and figuratively. Let’s hope the momentum continues.