The New England Patriots dropped to 7-7 after losing on a 48-yard walk off fumble recovery by Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones. After Rhamondre Stevenson got down to the Raiders 30-yard line, he lateraled the ball to Jakobi Meyers instead of playing overtime. Meyers then turned and attempted to lateral to quarterback Mac Jones who was about 20 yards behind him in the middle of the field. Meyers attempted lateral was off and Chandler Jones caught the errant throw. Mac Jones was the only defender between the Raiders Jones and the endzone. Chandler Jones ran right through the Patriots quarterback on his way to the game winning score.
Keelan Cole Touchdown Ties Game at 24
The Patriots, thirty seconds before, were on the receiving end of one of the toughest calls an official has had to make this season. Keelan Cole caught a thirty-yard strike from Derek Carr, but upon further review, Cole’s left foot was on the out-of-bounds line. Patriots fans everywhere thought this would be called back but sadly were duped.
THE EFFORT. THE CATCH. @Air4Cole GOT IT‼️‼️
📺 FOX pic.twitter.com/mZ1UsnuOUq
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 19, 2022
Mike Reiss was the reporter responsible for speaking to Walt Anderson, who is the Senior Vice President of Officiating for the NFL. When asked if his (Cole’s) left foot was out of bounds Anderson explained the process of determining the call.
If this game is not flexed to Sunday afternoon, this is overturned with a shot from the NBC pylon camera. I really think the evidence is clear and obvious, but we have seen calls like this stand before. pic.twitter.com/Ikp0dKVA6D
— Fᴏᴏᴛʙᴀʟʟ Zᴇʙʀᴀs🇺🇦 (@footballzebras) December 19, 2022
“We looked at every available angle and it was not clear and obvious that the foot was on the white. It was very tight, awfully close. There was no shot that we could see – we even enhanced and blew up the views that we had. There was nothing that was clear and obvious that his foot was touching the white.”
This may have been a tough pill to swallow as well due to the Patriots and Raiders game being flexed out of the Sunday Night Football spot for the Giants and Commanders. If the game was played on Sunday Night, then the pylon cameras could have been used as they are only used in prime-time games. Either way the Patriots turned what could have been a season defining victory into what eventually will knock them out of the playoffs.
The Patriots did have a few positive things to take away from the loss against the Raiders. With all the weapons the Raiders have, the Patriots did an excellent job limiting the big plays. Of course, there were times it felt like they were overwhelmed and out gunned but they were able to keep Josh Jacobs for under a hundred yards as well as limit Davante Adams production. Especially with Waller and Renfrow returning from injury the Patriots defense, in my eyes, played excellent yesterday.
Kyle Dugger made a tremendous play on his pick six as he read the screen pass to Adams perfectly and was able to get the Patriots back in the game at that point. Duggar would start what would be a 21-0 run for New England giving them the lead 24-17 late in the game.
Kyle Dugger walks in for the pick-six ‼️
📺: #NEvsLV on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/SuNPv0yZ94 pic.twitter.com/a36pvmm0qi
— NFL (@NFL) December 18, 2022
Rhamondre Stevenson had his best performance of the season. His 172 yards on 19 carries carried the offense again, which New England desperately needed. His longest run of 34 yards would end up being a touchdown which put the Patriots up 24-17 with 3:43 to go in the fourth quarter.
The only RB1 in his First or Second Season in the league is Rhamondre Stevenson.
A 19-172-1 Smash Game yesterday.
One of the best seasons we have seen from a Patriots RB. The highest PPG average for a New England RB since James White in 2017. pic.twitter.com/Us1R5Xk0lH
— TheOGfantasyfootball (@TheOGfantasy) December 19, 2022
The offensive line I thought played their best game of the season yesterday. They were able to open holes left and right for all the running backs and most importantly they were able to keep Mac Jones upright. The only issue I would say is that the pre snap penalties need to stop. Three false starts, especially Jonnu Smith’s, was the costliest as it took away a Mac Jones touchdown. The Patriots also struggle on the final drive to protect against the Raiders three-man rush which was why I think they did not take a shot with a Hail Mary at the end of the game.
Now to the bad, as offensively they cannot throw the ball at all. The Play calling seemed to be lack luster again as Matt Patricia continues to call passing play that go for negative yards. When New England did take shots more than five yards past the line of scrimmage there were drops and bad throws, mostly during Jones’ stretch of 5-16 with 5 drops and an average yardage of –1.6 yards per play.
The special teams have been horrendous this season and Cam Achord needs to be fired with how bad they have looked this year on special teams. After the blocked punt yesterday and how they have had so many blunders on special teams throughout this season, it’s time New England puts Joe Judge back in that spot, who may be one of the best special teams coordinators the Patriots have ever had.
The coaching in general has been lack luster this year. There seems to be uncharacteristic penalties, poor preparation, and blunders all over the field minus the defense who has been the strength of the team all season. The struggles offensively have been driving Patriots fans insane all season as the Matt Patricia/ Joe Judge offensive experiment has cost them a chance at the playoffs and more costly have hurt the development of their first-round quarterback.
The Lateral Collateral
The final play was indicative of how this team is not as well coached as they were in years past. The players involved in that play were not using their brains at all. I do not want to slander Rhamondre Stevenson and Jakobi Meyers as they have been the two best players on offense this year but the issue is they were not thinking. The team was acting like they were coming from behind and needed to score to get to overtime when in all honesty Stevenson should have just gone down right away.
A play you had to see to believe! #NEvsLV pic.twitter.com/AGdHia5hxT
— NFL (@NFL) December 19, 2022
Or the play calling needed to be different. Either take a shot at the endzone with a Hail Mary, which with how the Raiders were rushing three and getting pressure that would have been tough, as well Jones does not have the strongest arm. On the other hand, if you want to play for overtime just take a knee and get to overtime.
There seemed to be no idea of what the coaches wanted to do as they moved up the field 23 yards and burned both their timeouts. Especially if you have two straight incompletions after the last timeout with 14 second left at that point just take a knee or if you do choose to hand the ball off make sure the running back knows to go down if he cannot break off a touchdown run.
New England has been a dumpster fire all season beating up on the bad team in the NFL and lose to the halfway decent and good teams. They are undefeated when they hold opponents to 17 points or less and winless if their opponent gets over that number. If you are a playoff team, you must be able to win all games and if your offense cannot score points, you are not good enough to be one. They do not deserve to be in the playoffs and after last night it seems like their chances are slim to none.
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