New England Patriots: A Disappointing Season for Patriots Nation


Jakob Henderson, Staff Writer

The 2022 season is the Patriots’ 53rd season in the NFL and their 63rd overall. The team will is led by head coach Bill Belichick, who is entering his 22nd season with the Patriots. The team finished the 2021 season with a 12-4 record, earning them a spot in the playoffs. However, they were eliminated in the first round by the Tennessee Titans. 

So far this season, the Patriots have barely been able to keep their winning percentage over .500. The Patriots’ defense has been the deciding factor in many of their games. Last week in their Monday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Patriots were able to lockdown the Cardinal’s defense. The Patriots ended up dominating the Cardinals in a  27-13 victory.

Heading into this week, Patriots fans were optimistic about a win against the 5-8 Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders have had one of the worst pass defenses in the league, allowing a 103.4 passer rating. With this stat, the Patriots were hoping to string together some offensive plays to help support their effective defense. 

As the game unfolded, the Patriots’ offense was unable to get rolling, resulting in 0-3 deficit in the first quarter. The defense was able to hold the Raiders to just one field goal, but the offense was unable to capitalize on this opportunity to gain the lead early on. The Patriots’ quarterback, Mac Jones, was unsuccessful in optimizing their passing game and finished with a 46.7% completion rate. This meant the Patriots were forced to run the ball. The combined running back staff for the Patriots were able to rush for 226 yards on 32 carriers. At the end of the first half, the Patriots were trailing 3-17. The Patriots knew they had to change something in the second half in order to win.

In the second half, the Patriots’ first drive failed and resulted in a punt. This punt, however, gave Kyle Dugger, Patriots’ free safety, the perfect opportunity to get a pick-six and shorten the Raiders’ lead to 7. At the end of the 3rd Quarter, the Patriots were able to get a 47-yard field goal scored by veteran Nick Folk. The score was 17-13 at the end of the 3rd. The defense was looking decently solid since they were able to hold All-Pro Davante Adams to just 4 receptions for 28 yards. 

In the fourth quarter, the Patriots were forced to settle for their 3rd field goal of the night. This field goal, however, led to a 16-17 game. With about three and a half minutes left in the game, running back Rhamondre Stevenson was able to break through the Raiders’ defense and get a 34-yard running touchdown. With the assistance of Jakobi Meyers’ two-point conversion catch, the Patriots gained the lead. The score was 24-17 with three minutes remaining. With just 30 seconds remaining, the Raiders wide receiver, Keelan Cole, caught a 30-yard touchdown pass. This touchdown sparked tremendous controversy, as it appeared Cole’s foot was out of bounds in his catch. This caused the game to be tied up 24-24 with 30 seconds remaining. The Patriots had one last drive to try and secure the win. With a couple of quick plays, the Patriots’ offense was able to gain good yardage, but the clock was almost up. In their final play, Rhamondre Stevenson attempted a risky lateral to Jakobi Meyers. Meyers was put under a lot of pressure and attempted a lateral back to Mac Jones, but it was intercepted by Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones, and he returned it for a touchdown. 

This final play was devastating to all Patriots fans. Many believe they should have just sent the game into overtime with a knee. Now, with a 7-7 record, the Patriots are forced to battle for a chance at making the playoffs. As the season continues, the Patriots will not be able to make any mistakes if they hope to see a wild card game.