Tag Archives: Rhamondre Stevenson

Patriots vs. Eagles Preview

The 2023 season kicks off with the Patriots hosting the defending NFC Champs the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles enter the season with realistic expectations of a championship, while the Patriots are trying to reclaim their previous status as perennial contenders. It’ll be the first glimpse of the Bill O’Brien/Mac Jones offense and a chance to see how the Patriots’ multitude of tweeners all fit together on defense.

Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Series Record

Eagles: 8 wins (including Super Bowl LII); Patriots: 7 wins (including Super Bowl XXXIX)

Patriots Offense vs. Eagles Defense

For the Patriots to be successful this year, the offense needs to return to the efficient model utilized in the early 2000s. They do not need to be a high-flying affair, but rather a competent and consistent offense. The defense will be good enough to keep this team in most, if not all, games, and the offense needs to keep from being the reason the team loses.

This game will be determined up front. The Eagles boast a ridiculously deep front seven littered with high-end pass rushers. The Patriots’ offensive line should be solid at four out of five positions at some point this season; unfortunately, it might not be game one. The Pats have dealt with a slew of injuries across the offensive line throughout the preseason. The lack of continuity and practice time may be apparent against the Eagles front.

A positive? The Eagles were among the bottom of the league in running games and stunts up front with their defensive line. If the Pats are going to be successful, it will be because of the big hogs winning their one-on-one match-ups.

The Patriots will need to lean on their running game to keep the offense on schedule and to keep the Eagles offense off the field. This game should feature a lot of Rhamondre Stevenson, while also giving Ezekiel Elliott a healthy workload in his Patriots debut. The Patriots may try to take advantage of the interior of the Eagles ‘defense with a steady dose of power and dive runs.

The Patriots may not find a lot of success passing to the boundaries, as the Eagles return stalwart corners James Bradberry and Darius Slay. Mac Jones should be able to find success in the middle of the field against a reworked safety duo. Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki should be in for a busy day.  

Patriots Defense vs. Eagle Offense

The Eagles return a majority of starters from a top offense a year ago. They feature depth and talent up front, as well as a top-three wide-receiver duo. The quarterback is one of the best in the league. Their backfield took a hit after Miles Sanders left after a career year. The Patriots defense will have to be the strength of this team, and they will be tested immediately in week one.

The Patriots must pick and choose their spots to be aggressive against this Eagles offense. Sending extra defenders to rush the quarterback will leave the defensive backs manned up against a talented receiving corps. The Patriots lost a sticky cover man in Jack Jones this week. Jonathan Jones and rookie Christian Gonzalez face a challenge as the top corners against A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith. The Patriots can get away with intermittent man coverage calls, but can’t make a habit of it on Sunday.

The Patriots should be able to find success if they can get Jalen Hurts to throw while on the run. Hurts’ numbers last year while scrambling were below average. The key is to limit his ability to turn a scramble into a long gain on the ground. The Patriots should focus on sending interior pressure while keeping an athletic body on Hurts as a QB spy. The Pats can use the likes of Mack Wilson, Marte Mapu, Adiran Phillips, Jabrill Peppers, and Kyle Dugger as QB spies, while also giving multiple looks from different personnel groupings.

Special Teams

The Patriots will roll out rookies at both kicker and punter this year. Both Chase Ryland and Bryce Baringer feature booming legs, but may struggle with consistency early in their careers. Baringer can help the Patriots win the field position game even when punting from deep in his own territory. The Patriots reloaded the roster with special teams stalwarts after a down year in the game’s third phase. The Eagles have a steady kicker in Jake Elliott, but should not have an edge elsewhere on special teams.


The Patriots will need to play a very smart and efficient game on both sides of the ball to win the season opener. On a day when New England will be celebrating the legacy of The Goat, its fans may be left wishing for his presence on the field again. The Eagles will be able to harass Jones as the offensive line tries to find its footing.

The key to the game will be in the turnover battle. New England will need to steal a few possessions if they want to win this game. The Patriots will be able to keep up with the Eagles otherwise. Expect the Patriots to keep it close in the first half before the Eagles pull away late. Eagles win 28-20.

Speaking of Tom, how lucky were we!? Congrats GOAT. You deserve it.

Patriots vs Browns: Pats are Back Baby

Patriots vs Browns
Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

The weather is getting colder, and the Patriots are beginning to play their best football. It’s a story as true as time in the Northeast. The Pats beat the Browns to take care of business again on Sunday.

After four straight wins, including the dismantling of Cleveland on Sunday, the Pats have put the rest of the league on notice. After starting 2-4, the Patriots are now in the driver seat for a playoff spot. Not just that, but they are firmly in the Buffalo Bills’ rear view mirror for a division crown.

Mac Jones got over a few rough starts and had his best game as a professional. The defense suffocated another opponent. The play calling was dynamic on offense. It was suffocating on defense. The team got contributions from seemingly everyone. Anyone watching hoping to see the demise of the New England football squad was extremely disappointed.

The Pats are back! Just check the socials to see other fans complaining and making new controversies (hello Mac Jones dirty tackle??) and it is clear order is being restored in the football universe.

18 observations from the Patriots’ emphatic win vs. the visiting Browns

1.) Mac recovered from rough games against the Chargers and Panthers. Mac was 19 of 23 for 198 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. He was on his game all day, none more evident than his three third-down conversions during the first drive.

Mac was on target to all levels of the field, including going 6 of 7 for 103 yards and a touchdown on passes over ten yards. The rookie continues to improve and showed resilience bouncing back from consecutive poorer showings.

2.) It helped the offensive line also had the best showing of the season, allowing Mac to be pressured just once against a fantastic Cleveland front. McDaniels dialed up screens and quick throws to eliminate aid his offensive line. While Wynn wasn’t asked with Garrett one-on-one often, he held his own in a heavy-weight matchup.

3.) What the Patriots did offensively vs. the Browns is even more impressive considering how good the Browns defense is. The Browns entered the game as the 10th best scoring defense, allowing only 21.8 points per game.

The Pats had 24 by half. New England had 452 yards of total offense, which was 142 more yards than what the Browns allow on average. There was the occasional splash play, but the Pats were consistent and smart when they had the ball.

4.) The Patriots’ drives vs the Browns:




Field Goal





End of Game.

If it wasn’t for kickoffs, Jake Bailey would’ve had an extra bye.

5.) The turning point came in the first quarter after the Pats had answered the Browns opening drive. In 38 seconds of game time the Pats put up 14 points and never looked back.

First-quarter 0:26 left, Mac finds Henry for a 3-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7.

Second-quarter 14:48 left, Kyle Dugger intercepts a Baker Mayfield pass on the right sideline intended for David Njoku and returns it to the Cleveland 5.

Second-quarter 14:43 left, Rhamondre Stevenson score on a 5-yard rush.

The Pats would add 31 more unanswered points.

6.) The next drive was the most impressive we’ve seen from the Pats in quite some time. Taking over at their own one-yard line, the Pats drove 99 yards on eleven plays to take the 21-7 lead.

7.) The Patriots had touchdown drives of 83, 92, 99, and 95 yards. The three drives of 90-plus yards were a first under Belichick. McDaniels’ play calling was masterful from the start of this one.

8.) Rhamondre Stevenson missed practice all week with a concussion, was activated Saturday afternoon, and still ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries — against a defense that was allowing only 3.5 yards per carry.

9.) Kendrick Bourne had a great game totaling 141 yards on 7 touches while adding a highlight touchdown catch. Bourne did it all, catching 4 for 98 yards and ran it 3 times for 43 more.

10.) Since the week 6 loss to the Cowboys, the Patriots defense is allowing just 12.5 points per game. Opposing QB’s in those games against the Patriots defense: Mike White- 20/32 for 202 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs; Justin Herbert-18/35 for 223 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs; Sam Darnold- 16/33 for 172 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs; and Baker Mayfield- 11/21 for 73 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.

11.) The Pats allowed 7.6 yards per play on the Browns’ opening drive. The rest of the game they allowed 2.9 yards per play. The defensive coaching staff made some great adjustments.

12.) The defense hit Mayfield nine times, sacking him twice before he left the game in the third quarter. Backup Case Keenum didn’t fare much better getting sacked three times in a quarter plus of action.  

13.) Christian Barmore was quiet on the stat sheet but not in the game. He was again disruptive throughout. He had constant pressure up the middle and forced a fair number of off-target passes. Pats got a steal with him.

14.) The Pats missed Gunner Olszewski on punt returns. More than once Jakobi Meyers let the punt bounce and lost 10-20 yards of field position.

15.) JC Jackson changed his social handles to Mr. INT last week. The name change didn’t help him on Sunday as he dropped an easy one in the second quarter.  If we’re changing names, Hunter Henry might want to apply for Mr. TD. He had 2 more on Sunday, bringing his total to 7 on the season.

16.) Meyers got the first touchdown of his career, and the team could not have been more excited.

17.) With the win, the Pats playoff chances improved to 68% according to FiveThirtyEight. If they had lost their chances would’ve fallen to 32%. Big swing.

18.) The Pats are back. That means hate flowing towards Foxborough from 31 other fan bases. But you kind of have to like this group of guys, right?

Patriots Beat Panthers to Get Back in Playoff Picture

Patriots beat panthers
Charlotte, NC – November 7: Patriots DB J.C.Jackson (27) walks on air as he crosses the goal line as he returns a third quarter interception of a pass from Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) for a touchdown. The New England Patriots visited the Carolina Panthers for a regular season NFL football game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC on Nov. 7, 2021. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Patriots beat the Panthers and best pal Sam Darnold on Sunday to get to 5-4 and climb back into the AFC Playoff picture. The victory got them above .500 for the first time this season, and the first time since Week 3 last year.

The team has been firmly on the rise for the last three weeks and maybe even in heartbreaking losses to the Cowboys and Bucs but now are getting the results that matter. The good news for this team; if defense still wins championships then we’ll be seeing them play meaningful football in January. The bad news for them; the offense is still showing signs of needing to figure some things out with rookie Mac Jones at the certain of too many mistakes.

As I’ve said here before, a win is a win is a win and as long as that is the result on Sunday’s the Pats will continue to buy time to tinker with their formula. If they can get it figured out, there won’t be many teams wanting to see Belichick’s team come playoff time. And with a couple AFC front runners stumbling on Sunday (looking at Buffalo, Las Vegas, and Cincinnati) the division and conference are suddenly wide open.

Enough about the future and time for 15 observations from the game against the Panthers.

Matt Judon Has Another Great Game

Matt Judon signed a four year $54.5 million contract in the offseason that had many wondering if the Pats had overpaid. 9 games into his Patriots career and not only is he making that contract look like an absolute steal but he is making his case for the best free agent addition of Bill Belichick’s career. Judon is filling up the stat sheet and when he’s not, he’s impacting the play in other ways. He is the newest Patriot to receive “Gronk rules’-where the refs are essentially blind to most penalties against you.

Judon added 4 more tackles, 1 sack, and 1 tackle on Sunday, bringing his season totals to 36 tackles, 9 sacks, and 10 tackles for a loss. He has 40 QB pressures on the season and an incredible 17.2% pressure rate. He has single handedly changed the New England defense.

Pass Coverage

The pressure that Judon is consistently bringing is changing the Patriots into a successful zone coverage team. The Patriots have historically been a man coverage team under Belichick. On Sunday the Pats ran 8 cover-1 coverage snaps compared to 32 cover-3 calls and 10 cover-2 calls. Despite running more zone the Pats were effective in pressuring Darnold, affecting the ex-Jet on 51.4% of his drop-backs. That’s a recipe for success.

Jamie Collins Makes His Presence Felt

Despite only playing 16 snaps Jamie Collins again had himself a productive game collecting 3 tackles, a forced fumble, and an absolutely ridiculous interception. That kind of performance isn’t sustainable for a full snap count but he has to be close to getting more than a part time gig at this point. Collins intercepted the ball 0.17 seconds after release, the quickest interception since 2016.

Another Big Day for J.C. Jackson

J.C. Jackson switched his Instagram handle to Mr. INT and if that isn’t the CB1 energy you want there’s a team in New York that wears green and is taking fan applications. Jackson added 2 more picks on Sunday including his first career pick six-despite playing only 38 of 59 defensive snaps as he recovered from his bout with strep throat. Jackson now has 22 interceptions since 2019, most in the NFL. In a contract year he is becoming a bona fide lockdown corner.

Scoring Offense and Defense

The Patriots are now one of four teams in the NFL to rank in the top 10 in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Pats have the number 10 scoring offense and number 4 scoring defense, joining the Bills (#4 offense, #1 defense), Cardinals (#2 offense, #3 defense), and Rams (#5 offense, #10 defense). Good company to keep.

Mac Jones Joins the C

Mac Jones joined Andrew Luck and Dak Prescott as the only rookie QB’s in league history to have 5+ wins, 10+ TD passes, and 2,000+ passing yards in their first 9 starts. More good company to keep.

Mac Jones Concern

For the first 8 weeks Mac made a living making sure he wasn’t the reason the team lost. Last Sunday against the Chargers he graded out as a net neutral, not hurting the team but not elevating them either. Unfortunately against the Panthers he was liability. The coaching staff agreed as Mac had a career low 18 passing attempts. The Panthers defense is no joke but the slowing momentum from Mac brings concerns that opposing coaches staff are figuring something out about the rook.

Mac was making headlines on Monday for his play on the lost fumble. Some among the Panthers have called him a dirty player and are calling for a suspension. Mac will probably be fined. The play in question isn’t great for Mac but also not as bad as people want you to believe. Take a look for yourself.

Offensive Line Excels

The Pats settled on a Wynn-Karras-Andrew-Mason-Onwenu offensive line for the first time against the Jets three weeks ago. Since then the starting five are third in pressure rate allowed (22.4%) and second in pass-blocking efficiency. They’ve also had their three best rushing outputs since installing this combo with a season best 151 yards on Sunday against a stiff Panthers defense.

Christian Barmore Has Another Great Game

If you’ve been reading along this season, you know we’re big fans of Christian Barmore. The rookie had another solid outing Sunday with 3 hurries, 2 run stuffs, and 2 batted passes. He ranks first among rookies in QB hurries and batted passes. His 23 pressures are nothing to sneeze at as his playing time has been increasing over the last few weeks. Barmore is consistently disruptive with his rare combination of size, power, and explosiveness. How he feel to 38 is a mystery but the Pats are very happy to be the benefactors.

Historically Good EPA

The Pats were historically bad in early down situations on defense last year. In 2020 the early down defense allowed 0.13 EPA (expected points added), good for 29th in the league. It’s extremely tough to win in this league if opposing offenses consistently find themselves in third and short situations. They have turned it around this year allowing -0.04 (!!!!) EPA on early downs. This largely has to do with Ja’Whaun Bentley returning to his normal role since Hightower’s return. He has been one of the better run stuffing linebackers in the league through 9 weeks this season. Add in do-it-all safeties Adrian Phillips and Kyle Dugger playing in the box in nickel and dime defenses and the Pats have a very real recipe for success.

Myles Bryant Steps Up

Myles Bryant has done an exceptional job filling in for slot corner Jonathan Jones. He was involved in two more big hits on Sunday, a week after laying the wood on Keenan Allen for a big stop at a pivotal moment. He is starting to turn some heads around the league.

Former Patriot, Stephon Gilmore, Dominates

Stephon Gilmore played well against his former team, basically being responsible for all of Carolina’s points. His coverage on Jakobi Meyers forced Mac to hold the ball a tick longer on the Burns strip sack before later adding an interception of his own. Jones said after the game he needed to look at the film to see what happened but it appears Meyers was picked by the underneath defender allowing Gilmore a clean break on the ball. Without that contact it looks like Gilmore still would’ve had a pass defensed. He continues to be a top NFL corner.

Stevenson Puts on a Show Before Injury

Rhamondre Stevenson had his best game of his career, totaling 106 all-purpose yards (62 rushing, 44 receiving). Stevenson is a split-legged runner, making it tough for defenders to get a clean shot on him and allowing him to quickly change direction. His open field vision is also starting to show. His 41-yard catch in the second quarter was the spark the offense had been lacking for the first 20 minutes of game action.

Both Stevenson and Damien Harris left the game with injuries. Their status bears watching headed into a physical matchup with Cleveland this weekend.

Season Outlook

With week 9 officially over the Pats hold the final wildcard spot in the AFC playoff picture. Their next six games feature matchups with the Browns, Titans, Bills (x2), and Colts. A big opportunity for them to cement their status as a contender.