It’s a Monday, but it isn’t a victory Monday. The New England Patriots fell to the Houston Texans last night by a score of 28-22. This brings the Texans up to 8-4, while the Patriots fall back to 10-2. The Patriots have a big test next week as a rematch of the 2018 AFC Championship game is in order as the Kansas City Chiefs come to town. Before we turn the page entirely to Kansas City, let’s look back at three ups and downs from the Texans game.
Up: James White
If there was one guy that played as well as anybody last night, it was James White. White led the team in receptions with eight of them for 98 yards. On the rushing side of the ball, he had 14 carries for 79 yards. This included a 32 yard run which was the longest of his career. He had two receiving touchdowns and gave the Patriots offense a much needed boost. Good to see White have a big game in a place where he has excelled in the past.
Down: N’Keal Harry
N’Keal Harry had a decent game against Dallas. This week, he was a complete non-factor. He didn’t record a reception the whole game. The one time Tom Brady looked Harry’s way, the ball was intercepted. This set up the Texans first score of the night. Harry has to use his body more and I think he now realizes that. Hopefully, he’ll have a much needed bounce-back game against a suspect Chiefs defense.
Up: Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman has always been Tom Brady’s security blanket. He showed it again last night as he had six receptions for 106 yards and a score. This is the playmaker that the Patriots need week in and week out. We know Edelman has been playing with a shoulder injury for a majority of the year. But if you’re out there playing, then you have to be productive. This was Edelman’s best game in a while.
Down: Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones, what are you doing my man?! Jones got burned on a touchdown to Kenny Stills that put the Texans up 21-3. The worst part is that the exact same type of play was run THE PLAY BEFORE!! Jones has been good for the majority of the season, but last night he took a major step backwards. You cannot allow that touchdown after the one before got ruled incomplete. You just can’t!
Up: Jakobi Meyers
Jakobi Meyers didn’t have a huge game, but he had a better game. He had three receptions for 46 yards and continues to show vast improvement. Brady is feeling more and more confident throwing to him. Is he perfect with his routes? No! But, he is getting more confidence as the season shifts to the final quarter.
Down: Rex Burkhead
Burkhead wasn’t putting up highlights for the Patriots last night. He had three carries for 15 yards and didn’t have any catches. It seems like Burkhead is the third wheel in the Patriots backfield. Last night didn’t show any signs of moving up the ladder for Burkhead.
It wasn’t a well played game and now the Patriots are the number two seed in the AFC at 10-2. The road doesn’t get any easier as they play Kansas City at home. We know how special Patrick Mahomes is as a quarterback. We know they have weapons like Damien Williams and Tyreek Hill. What we don’t know is how the Patriots will respond to this loss. So now, you have to win out and hope the Ravens drop one more game before the season ends. But as we know in New England, it’s one game at a time. We’re onto Kansas City!