Last week, the New England Patriots suffered their third loss in a row, falling to 2-4 on the season in yet another game where the offense struggled. The San Francisco 49ers defense dominated, not allowing the Patriots to score a touchdown and forcing Cam Newton to make poor decisions which led to him throwing three interceptions and subsequent benching. The Niners also had their way on offense, which led to the 33-6 blowout in Foxboro.
Hopefully, this is the wakeup call that the team needed to elevate their level of play going forward. Bill Belichick has continued to support Newton, and says that he will "absolutely" be their starter moving forward. However, the Patriots face a tough opponent on Sunday afternoon: AFC East rival and currently sitting at first place in the division Buffalo Bills.
New England has been hurt by mistakes this season, and Week 7 was no different. Newton accounted for three of the team's four interceptions, while Jarrett Stidham threw one after coming into the game late. These cost the team time on the field and eventually led to points on the board for San Francisco that could've been possibly avoided.
If the Patriots want to be competitive, they will need to make smarter decisions with the ball that lead to big plays moving forward. Newton will need to be a little more on top of his game than we've seen the past two weeks.
Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen currently sits fourth in the NFL leaderboard for passing yards with 2,018. This is a big reason why the Bills are 5-2 and sit at the top of the AFC East.
Allen has been outstanding so far this season with 16 touchdowns, a 67.6 percent completion percentage and an overall quarterback rating of 82.6. He's also only thrown four interceptions through seven weeks of play. The Patriots defense will have to find ways to put pressure on Allen and force him to make poor decisions which lead to turnovers or punts.
The Patriots will also have to worry about pass rusher and AFC defensive player of the week, Jerry Hughes. Hughes posted six tackles, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble against the New York Jets.
The Patriots' offensive line has had its share of problems this season, but they will need to be on top of their game if they want to be able to protect Newton and give him valuable time to make plays.
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