The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons 25-0 on Thursday Night Football. The Patriots offense wasn’t great, but Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson were effective enough on the ground while Mac Jones used the short-passing game to build New England's lead. The Falcons didn’t have their top running back or wide receiver, which decimated their offense.
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- Snaps include plays called back due to penalties like offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
- Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
- Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.
- Nelson Agholor: 5 receptions, 40 yards, 1 TD (4.4 aDOT)
- Russell Gage: 5 receptions, 49 yards (3.4 YAC per reception)
|New England Patriots||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
|Atlanta Falcons||Snaps||Routes Run||Targets||Carries|
Avoid the Falcons backup running backs: Cordarrelle Patterson missed the game with an ankle injury after practicing on a limited basis this week. Hopefully, he will be back after the extended time off.
Wayne Gallman supposedly took over last week as the primary runner, instead of Mike Davis, to make sure Davis was well rested for this game. Davis only ran the ball three times for one yard. Qadree Ollison was taken off the practice squad earlier Thursday and led the team in rushing with 34 yards from nine carries. Even if Patterson misses another week, it's difficult to ascertain who will lead the team in carries in Week 12.
Damien Harris trending down: Harris has spent most of the season as the Patriots clear running back on first and second downs. He missed last week with a concussion, which allowed Rhamondre Stevenson to light up the Cleveland Browns defense with 100 yards and two touchdowns from 20 carries.
That performance led to Stevenson and Harris splitting offensive snaps versus Atlanta. They mostly rotated by drive, or when one back received a few touches in one drive. Brandon Bolden maintained his third-down and two-minute role. Stevenson and Harris are flex options when in good matchups going forward, but both are benchable against strong run defenses.
Return of Jonnu Smith: Smith missed last week with a shoulder injury, but he was able to play in this game. His snaps were somewhat limited with Hunter Henry playing in more run-blocking situations than usual. It seemed like the Patriots wanted to get Smith more involved in the passing game, but that didn't happen Thursday night. He caught one pass for 17 yards. Hunter Henry’s role as the receiving tight end for the vast majority of pass plays remains secure.
Falcons without Hayden Hurst: While the Patriots' second tight end returned, the Falcons lost theirs to injured reserve. This led to Lee Smith run blocking more often, while the three starting receivers and Kyle Pitts posted slightly higher route shares. The increase in routes didn’t lead to much Thursday night, but it does raise Pitts’ ceiling in future matchups.