Trailing 22-9 in the third quarter, Mac Jones led the New England Patriots‘ offense to 16 unanswered points, including a game-winning field goal by Nick Folk with 17 seconds left to take down the Houston Texans on the road, 25-22.
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Despite the second half collapse, Texans quarterback Davis Mills had a career day, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns.
Mac Jones completed 23 of his 30 pass attempts for 231 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Jones was forcing the ball down the field more in this game, as his average depth of target was 8.0 yards downfield. He also completed a season-high eight passes beyond 10 yards.
The aggression led to dangerous passes throughout the game that could have resulted in more turnovers than just the one interception. He had three turnover-worthy plays and zero big-time throws.
After rushing for -1 yards against the Buccaneers last week, the Patriots were committed to running the ball efficiently, as Damien Harris carried the ball 14 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Harris nearly scored a second touchdown in the second quarter but fumbled the ball right before crossing the end zone.
Rhamondre Stevenson wasn’t nearly as efficient as Harris, handling 11 carries for 23 yards.
|Player||Attempt||Yards||YAC||TD||Missed tackles forced|
Wide Receiver/Tight Ends
Hunter Henry was Jones’ safety blanket in the game, catching six passes on eight targets for 75 yards and a touchdown. Henry recorded a first down or touchdown on all six of his receptions. Jakobi Meyers ran the most routes on the team and hauled in four passes for 56 yards. Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor caught three passes each for a combined 58 yards.
The Patriots offensive line was undermanned heading into the game with four starters out with injuries. This led to an underwhelming performance in run blocking, as Justin Herron was the only lineman that had more positively graded run blocks than negative ones.
The unit played better in pass protection, combining to allow only 10 pressures and one sack. Ted Karras was the only lineman to not allow a pressure and led the unit with an 87.0 pass blocking grade upon first review.
Matthew Judon was the only defensive lineman to create pressure on a consistent basis. He created three pressures while also sacking Mills twice. Judon is set to be the only member of the Patriots' defensive line to earn a 70.0-plus pass-rushing grade.
Dont’a Hightower was the most dominant linebacker for the Patriots, as he led the unit with five tackles while also recording three defensive stops against the run. Newly acquired Jamie Collins played just three snaps in his return to the Patriots but still made an impact, sacking Mills in the second half to help force a punt.
For most of the game, the Patriots' secondary struggled to contain the Texans receivers, as the unit allowed 290 yards and three touchdowns. J.C. Jackson and Kyle Dugger combined to allow nine receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Devin McCourty finished with a team-low 30.2 coverage grade, conceding three receptions for 55 yards with two missed tackles.
|Player||Coverage snaps||Receptions allowed||Yards allowed||TD allowed||Forced incompletions|
Davis Mills entered Week 5 as PFF’s lowest-graded quarterback but commanded a well-rounded passing game against the Patriots. Mills led the offense to a score on its first four possessions with three passing touchdowns.
Mills finished the game 21-of-29 for 311 yards and three touchdowns while also earning a season-high in passer rating (141.9) and passing grade (80.5).
Davis Mills by down
Mark Ingram II was the main ball carrier for the Texans, leading the team with 16 carries for 41 yards, including 39 yards after contact. Phillip Lindsay carried the ball five times for 20 yards and had the only explosive run on the team.
David Johnson was one of Mills’ favorite targets, as he caught five passes for 46 yards out of the backfield.
Wide Receiver/Tight Ends
Chris Moore joined the team off the practice squad and had a career day, catching five passes for a career-high 109 yards. Moore’s highlight play came in the second quarter when he caught a jump ball in traffic along the sideline before running into the end zone for his first touchdown since 2018. Chris Conley and Antony Auclair also caught touchdown passes in the game.
Brandin Cooks, the team’s leading receiver through four games, caught just four passes for a season-low 29 yards.
The Texans' offensive line kept a clean pocket for most of the game. Tytus Howard and Geron Christian were the only lineman to play more than 20 snaps and allow zero pressures. Justin Britt will likely be graded the worst offensive lineman on the team after allowing three of the team’s five pressures and one of the two sacks.
|Player||Pass-blocking grade||Pass-blocking snaps||Sacks allowed||Pressures allowed|
Houston’s pass-rush failed to create pressure on Jones despite the Patriots missing four starters on the offensive line. DeMarcus Walker and Jacob Martin combined for five of the team’s 10 pressures while Jonathan Greenard recorded the only sack for the Texans.
Christian Kirksey, Zach Cunningham and Kamu Grugier-Hill each played significant snaps and combined for six defensive stops. Cunningham missed three tackles in the game but also recorded two tackles for loss against the run. Kirksey played most of his snaps in coverage and allowed eight receptions for 87 yards and four first downs.
Desmond King II was the only member of the secondary to allow more than 50 yards in the game. Lonnie Johnson Jr. intercepted Jones the only time he was targeted, while Terrance Mitchell forced the Harris fumble at the goal line, preventing a touchdown. Mitchell was also credited with a forced incompletion in the game.