The New England Patriots lost to the Washington Commanders in Week 9 for a number of reasons. They committed too many penalties, they didn't make plays when they needed to and, according to Bill Belichick, they got screwed by the refs.
According to Mac Jones, they also failed to execute a simple game plan against the Commanders' defense.
According to Jones, the Patriots were looking to target Washington rookie Emmanuel Forbes in the passing game. It was a sensible strategy, as the 22-year-old cornerback has struggled at times in his first NFL season and has been benched multiple times for his inconsistent performance.
It's safe to say the 2023 first-round pick hasn't lived up to the hype so far, and New England was trying to take advantage.
Instead, the Patriots failed to capitalize on a potential weak spot in the Commanders' secondary. Jones targeted Forbes eight times, but only completed two of those passes for 13 yards.
Jones struggled throwing the ball in general on Sunday, completing just 24 of his 44 pass attempts (54.5%) for 220 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Granted, New England was short handed in the receiving corps without Kendrick Bourne (knee) and DeVante Parker (concussion), but Jones missed a number of open throws and simply didn't play well.
Targeting Forbes was a good idea, but the execution was obviously lacking. That's been the theme of this Patriots season, as the team just can't get out of its own way or make enough plays to win football games.
Against a depleted Washington team that just sold at the trade deadline, this should have been an easy win at home for New England. Instead, it was just the latest embarrassing loss in a season that's been full of them.
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