NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 17 Game Recap: New England Patriots 50, Jacksonville Jaguars 10

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) celebrates his touchdown pass with center David Andrews (60) against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 was a get-right game for the New England Patriots, and they did just that in an enormous way. The Patriots offense scored a touchdown on each of its first five possessions and cruised to a dominant 50-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17.

In a duel between two first-round rookie quarterbacks, Mac Jones got the better of Trevor Lawrence, with Jones tossing three touchdown passes and Lawrence throwing three interceptions.

With the win and a Miami Dolphins loss, the Patriots have officially clinched a playoff berth.

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New England Patriots

Quarterback

Jones returned to his midseason success against the Jaguars, completing 73% of his passes for 227 yards. Fourteen of 22 completions resulted in a first down and 63% of his yards came through the air. Three of his eight incompletions were drops and only two were deemed Jones’ fault. 

A lot of Jones’ success came on early downs. On first-down throws, he completed nine passes on 13 attempts for 93 yards, one touchdown and two big-time throws. He earned an elite passing grade in one of his more impressive outings in his rookie campaign.

Mac Jones by down
Down Dropbacks Yards YPA TDs Passer rating
1st Down 13 93 7.2 1 115.2
2nd Down 11 91 9.1 2 144.2
3rd Down 7 43 6.1 0 87.2
Running backs

Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson played a big part in the Patriots success on offense. Harris’ day was cut short with the lopsided affair but he still ran for 35 yards and two scores. Stevenson took the bulk of the carries in the second half and finished with 107 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. The duo combined for 11 first down runs, six broken tackles and two explosive runs.

Player Attempts YPC 1DTD% MTF/ATT
Damien Harris 9 3.9 55.6% 0.33
Rhamondre Stevenson 19 5.6 31.6% 0.16
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Jones was spreading the wealth to a lot of his receivers, with five route runners catching multiple passes. Jakobi Meyers led the way for most of the game, catching all eight targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. Kendrick Bourne followed suit with a five-reception, 76-yard performance. Bourne led the team with 2.62 yards per route run.

Kristian Wilkerson played sensationally in his fourth game of his NFL career, catching four passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns.

Offensive Line

The Patriots offensive line provided ample time for Jones to work in the pocket, as the group combined for only two pressures allowed on 34 pass-block snaps. None of the conceded pressures resulted in a hit or a sack but five members were beaten at least once on pass-blocking reps. Four offensive lineman graded above 78.0 in pass protection on first review.

Defensive Line

The Patriots pass-rush wasn't nearly as effective without their top pass-rusher in Matthew Judon. Christian Barmore generated three of the unit’s eight pressures and was one of two Patriots to sack Lawrence in the game. Barmore created pressure on over 20% of his pass-rush snaps and won 31.8% of his reps.

Linebackers

Dont’a Hightower rushed Lawrence just twice but came unblocked on a blitz and brought him down for his first full sack in two years. Kyle Van Noy received a 75.0-plus coverage grade after allowing two receptions for eight yards and zero first downs. The Patriot linebackers combined for zero missed tackles and five defensive stops.

Secondary

The Patriots secondary was swarming to the ball from start to finish with three separate defensive backs intercepting passes in the win. The unit allowed 12 receptions for 143 yards, but only five completions moved the chains. J.C. Jackson and Kyle Dugger each picked off Lawrence and received elite grades after combining to allow less than 25 yards in coverage.

Player Coverage snaps Targets Yards allowed Interceptions + Forced Incompletions
Jalen Mills 31 5 54 2
Devin McCourty 30 1 24 0
Myles Bryant 28 3 12 1
J.C. Jackson 26 6 24 1
Adrian Phillips 21 3 13 0
Kyle Dugger 15 1 0 1

Jacksonville Jaguars

Quarterback

It’s been a rough end to the season for the Jaguars, and their franchise quarterback has found little to no success during their eight-game losing streak. Lawrence finished 17-of-27 for 193 yards and severely struggled from a clean pocket, as all three interceptions came from dropbacks without pressure.

He did toss a touchdown late in the fourth quarter for his first passing score since Week 12, which could provide some confidence heading into the final week of the season.

Trevor Lawrence from a clean pocket

Dropbacks Completion % YPA TD:INT Passer rating
22 70% 6.3 1:3 64.0
Running Backs

With an injury-riddled running back room, Dare Ogunbowale earned his first start of the season and went for 36 yards on nine attempts with no broken tackles, no explosive runs and no first downs. His longest attempt gained just 5 yards.

Ogunbowale did also catch two passes for 32 yards, including the 28-yard score in garbage time.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Laquon Treadwell has emerged as a somewhat reliable option for Lawrence, catching six passes for 87 yards and three first downs. He hauled in both of his contested targets, and two of his receptions went for over 15 yards. He finished the game with an impressive 3.63 yards per route run.

Marvin Jones Jr. ran the most routes on the team and caught two passes for 46 yards. Outside of these two, no other receiver eclipsed more than 15 receiving yards in the game.

Player Route run Targets Yards YPRR
Marvin Jones Jr. 30 6 46 1.53
Laquon Treadwell 24 6 87 3.63
Tavon Austin 24 5 2 0.08
Luke Farrell 21 2 7 0.33
Offensive Line

The Jaguars offensive line performed well despite missing three of the five usual starters. The unit conceded just four pressures and five additional losses in pass protection. Walker Little allowed zero pressures on 31 pass-blocking snaps and received a 90.0-plus pass-blocking grade upon first review.

Defensive Line

The defensive line was the Jaguars worst unit of the day, as nobody graded above 63.0 in the game, upon first review. The unit struggled at getting after Jones, as Roy Robertson-Harris created the only pressure among defensive lineman. Nearly every lineman graded significantly worse against the run and combined for just one tackle for loss.

Linebackers

Myles Jack and Damien Wilson allowed seven receptions on nine targets and combined to allow 113 yards and four first downs in coverage. The duo combined for five missed tackles and had zero defensive stops in the loss. Both linebackers graded below 59.0 on first review.

Secondary

The Jaguars secondary was picked apart all game long, conceding 15 receptions for 136 yards and all three touchdowns. Tyson Campbell received the lowest coverage grade, allowing a reception on all five targets for 57 yards and two scores.

Chris Claybrooks was one of the lone bright spots, as he allowed just four receptions on eight targets while also forcing two incompletions. He allowed the lowest passer rating among Jaguars defensive backs in the game.

Player Coverage snaps Targets Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
Tyson Campbell 35 5 57 153.8
Chris Claybrooks 33 8 31 59.9
Andre Cisco 30 3 21 86.8
Tre Herndon 25 3 19 132.6
Daniel Thomas 25 1 8 100.0
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