(Photo courtesy of USAToday.com) Quarterback Mac Jones huddles with the Patriots offense against the Panthers
The New England Patriots came away with a strong win against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the final score was 24-6.
Panthers’ Quarterback Sam Darnold faced off against New England for the first time since he was traded to Carolina from the New York Jets this past offseason. After beating his former team during Week one, Darnold looked to defeat his former divisional rival in the Patriots.
Likewise, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, after being traded from the Patriots to the Panthers a month prior, looked to get revenge against his former team. Paired with the return of running back Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers looked ready for a long fight with New England.
Carolina started their first defensive drive strong, forcing the Patriots offense to punt the ball away. Despite the strong start, Carolina’s offense would ultimately stall out against an equally impressive Patriots’ defense.
New England would eventually score a touchdown midway through the second quarter with running back Damien Harris. The extra point would make the score 7-3.
Although running back Harris was held to only one rushing touchdown and 30 rushing yards on 15 attempts by Carolina’s defense, running back Brandon Bolden would help as he rushed for 54 yards on eight attempts. Likewise, running back Rhamondre Stevenson finished rushing for 62 yards on 10 attempts.
Later in the game, quarterback Mac Jones would attempt what looked like an easy pass to a slant route. However, Panthers’ cornerback Gilmore would jump it and intercept the pass, picking off his former team.
Despite the great play by Carolina’s defense, their offense would still struggle to generate any momentum. They would ultimately settle for another field goal, raising their score to six, and the last time they would score for the remainder of the game.
Quarterback Mac Jones finished the game with 12 passing completions on 18 attempts for 139 yards and one passing touchdown.
Meanwhile, Darnold, struggled early in the game, and his late game struggles would only get worse. Midway through the third quarter, an overthrown pass would be intercepted by cornerback J.C. Jackson for an 89-yard pick-six score.
Two minutes later, linebacker Jamie Collins would make an incredible play at the line of scrimmage, leaping over the offensive line and intercepting one of Darnold’s passes.
Darnold would throw one more interception at the beginning of the second quarter, attempting to hit wide receiver D.J. Moore in the endzone on the move. However, he would be picked off by cornerback Jackson once again.
Sam Darnold finished the game throwing 16/33 for 172 yards and three interceptions.
With another win on the season, the Patriots elevate to a 5-4 record, putting them in a better spot for making the playoffs.
The Tennessee Titans surprisingly rolled over the Los Angeles Rams, the final score being 28-16. Despite not having running back Derrick Henry, the Titans offense was fantastic.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill finished the game throwing 19/27 for 143 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Meanwhile, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford finished throwing 31/48 for 294 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked five times in the loss.
The Denver Broncos stunned viewers as they shut out the strong Dallas Cowboys, the final score 30-16. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott finished the game throwing 19/39 for 232 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. On the other side, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater would finish throwing 19/28 for 249 yards and one touchdown.
The Patriots divisional rival, the Buffalo Bills, even more shockingly lost to the 1-6 Jaguars, the final score being 9-6.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen finished the game throwing 31/47 for 264 yards and two interceptions. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, on the other hand, finished the game throwing 15/26 for 118 yards and no touchdowns. The Jaguars also had a Josh Allen of their own, a defensive end who not only sacked quarterback Josh Allen, but even intercepted a pass from him and recovered a fumble from him.
With the loss, the Bills now rank at 5-3, putting the Patriots in a good position to make first place in the AFC East.
In other news,, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., after being released by the Cleveland Browns, signed with the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams continue to stack up their team after trading for linebacker Von Miller from Denver a week prior.
Likewise, quarterback Cam Newton, after being released by the Patriots before the start of the season, signed a contract with the Carolina Panthers after Darnold was injured. He returns to his former team and could possibly even see game action soon.
Meanwhile, the Patriots schedule continues to get harder, as they look ahead to the 5-4 Cleveland Browns.