The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Heartbreaker in Foxborough

Posted on | September 25, 2022 | Comments Off on Heartbreaker in Foxborough

Mac Jones hopped off the field Sunday at Gillette Stadium after suffering an injury to his left ankle in a 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. X-rays reportedly showed no broken bones, but he’ll undergo MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the injury. Given the apparent seriousness of it, he’ll almost certainly miss at least one game, but if I had to guess, six weeks is more likely, if indeed he is able to return at all this season.

The injury occurred on a play where Jones’ final pass was intercepted, effectively sealing the victory for the Ravens, as the Patriots dropped to 1-2 on the season. What was so painful about the loss was that (a) it was the best game of the season so far for the Patriots’ offense, which had struggled previously, and (b) the defense simply could not stop Lamar Jackson in the second half. New England’s defense stopped the Ravens on three of their first four possessions and, after Jackson was intercepted by Jonathan Jones midway the second quarter, the Patriots quickly drove 32 yards for a touchdown, with Mac Jones running the ball in himself for the score. Leading 10-7, however, New England couldn’t stop Jackson, who led a 75-yard TD drive that put Baltimore up 14-10. The Patriots managed to get a field goal just before halftime to cut it to 14-13. After taking the second-half kickoff, New England put together their most impressive drive of the season, going 75 yards in seven plays — including passes of 36 and 25 yards to DeVante Parker — before Damien Harris punched it in from the 2-yard-line for the touchdown. Leading 20-14, the Patriots then yielded 17 unanswered points to the Ravens.

As disappointing as the loss was, it wasn’t necessarily discouraging, had it not been for the injury to Mac Jones, who threw for over 300 yards, as the offense totaled 466 yards on the day. Three interceptions and one costly fumble proved to be the difference in the game, but the connection between Jones and Parker, who finished with 156 yards on five catches, showed real promise. Now, with the second-year QB likely sidelined until November, it’s looking like maybe this will be a “wait ’til next year” season for New England. Or on the other hand, maybe not.

Ever the optimist, I think backup QB Brian Hoyer could keep the Patriots competitive over their next six games, at least four of which look winnable for New England. After the Nov. 6 home game against Indianapolis, the Patriots have a bye week, and perhaps Mac Jones will be ready to get back on the field for the Nov. 20 matchup with the New York Jets. So, if the Patriots go 4-2 between now and then, they would be 5-4 when Mac comes back, and who knows what could happen in those last eight games? Hope springs eternal, and I honestly think that another run at the playoffs is still possible: Mac Jones, the Comeback Kid.

Start writing the victorious narrative . . .



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