Foxborough, MA - After winning their past six games to advance to 7-2 on the season, the New England Patriots have now fallen to 7-3 after today's loss to the Tennessee Titans. The Patriots' day was defined by frustration as the team gave up a big kick return to start the game and it seemed like the Titans never let go of that hold they had over New England.
Coached by Mike Vrabel and featuring players like Dion Lewis, Malcolm Butler, and Logan Ryan, the Titans are largely comprised of what seems to be former Patriots. And it seemed like they had the entirety of the Patriots' playbook figured out, even down to the emulation of a Patriots trick play on the very next series. Julian Edelman completed a pass to Tom Brady, who lunged for a first down, but failed. The Titans easily procured a first down when Marcus Mariota, their quarterback, managed to haul in a reception. This was a microcosm of the Patriots' day, which never really got going.
Stephen Gostkowski made one fifty-two yard field goal early in the game, but missed another long shot later and was kept out of an attempt that would have been from sixty yards out. The other Patriots score came on a goal line rush from James Develin at the beginning of the second quarter.
Aside from these moments, it was all Tennessee during the game as Ryan Succop netted two field goals, Derrick Henry boasted two rushing touchdowns, and Mariota threw two touchdown passes to Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis.
Without Rob Gronkowski in the lineup, it was easy to see how the Patriots faltered right out of the gate, especially when James White was removed from the game plan very early on. Additionally, Sony Michel could never got the run game established in his first game back from his knee injury.
As for the receivers, Josh Gordon had a day to remember with a long reception of forty-four yards as he continues to establish himself as the dominant force of the Patriots offense. Julian Edelman, however, was removed from the game late with a foot injury.
The Patriots go into their BYE week at 7-3 and they will look to regroup before making a run at the second half of the season.