Yesterday, we saw the Patriots offense absolutely dismantle the Cleveland Browns 38-15. From start to finish the Patriots had their fingerprints all over the game. With a game plan offensively that was split almost evenly 29/34 for run to pass ratio the ball was spread out amongst many different players.
New England had 4 receivers have at least sixty yards as well as 5 different players who caught four balls. DeVante Parker was one of the players who led the way with four catches and led the team in receiving yards with 64.
Parker, who is the Patriots most veteran receiver, looked at his best yesterday with Zappe behind center. Even though Parker has struggled for most of the season getting targeted, yesterday’s game plan seemed to have an emphasis on getting Parker involved more.
Jakobi Meyers had another solid performance as well, catching four balls for 60 yards. Meyers, who has been clearly the number one option for both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe when healthy, has developed into one of the best intermediate route runners in the league.
As an undrafted free agent in 2019 out of NC State, he has increased his production every season since entering the league. Now having played with five different quarterbacks since his arrival here, Meyers has increased his production every season.
Understanding that being a former quarterback in college, he uses that mindset to help him as a receiver. Last week Bill Belichick compared Meyers to Julian Edelman. Both who were quarterbacks in college have a distinct advantage, they think like a quarterback.
“Players like Julian and Jakobi and both good examples of players who played quarterback. How good they were at quarterback isn’t really the point. They’ve seen the ball coming from their hand as opposed to always being on the receiving end of it. Where you wouldn’t want to throw or how a receiver can help a quarterback or fool a quarterback and make it hard for a quarterback. In terms of being quarterback-friendly, that’s something that came naturally to (Meyers)”
Tight Ends Making Explosive Plays
Both tight ends were involved in the game plan as well. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith both had 61 yards. Henry, who caught one of Zappe’s two TD passes, seemed to be unguardable when the ball was given to him.
Henry, earlier in the game had a touchdown called back for illegal touching, which was inconsequential in the outcome. Still, he was able to get into the endzone when he shook off Grant Delpit on a ten yard post corner route. Henry was able to walk into the endzone at that point.
.@Hunter_Henry84 WIDE OPEN.
📺: #NEvsCLE on @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/9YesrwP1HC
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 16, 2022
Jonnu Smith also was effective on his two targets. On the second play in the second half, Smith went for 53 yards which would eventually set up a Nick Folk field goal. Smith’s reception for 53 yards was the biggest play of the game for either team.
Tyquan Thornton Makes Huge Impact Offensively
Rookie Tyquan Thornton showed off his versatility as a runner and receiver yesterday. Having scored twice by way of the air and ground yesterday, Patriots fans everywhere feel optimistic about Thorntons abilities. On Thornton’s rushing touchdown, that ultimately sealed the victory, he showed just how fast he was.
Rookie to rookie. @baileyzappe04 hits @Humble_Ty19 to extend the @Patriots lead!
📺: #NEvsCLE on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/pjHIv4VDX8 pic.twitter.com/hux8K8FUrB
— NFL (@NFL) October 16, 2022
Thornton, in my opinion, is one of those players who when in jet motion is impossible to stop. Putting him in motion, whether it’s a sweep or pass, is the most effective way for him to integrate himself in this New England offense. He still is a viable receiver size wise as well. Being 6’2’” and running a 4.21 forty the deep ball may come into play at some point as well.
Stevenson Has Another Solid Performance
Lastly, Rhamondre Stevenson was a workhorse again yesterday having two touchdowns on 19 carries. Even though he rushed for less than half of what had the week prior, Stevenson runs with a ferocity downhill that reminds me a lot of LeGarrete Blount. Nothing else can really be said about his performance. When Damien Harris returns from injury I still think Stevenson will be the one with the majority of the carries.
Stay tuned later this week for updates from Patriots practice.
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