New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Patriots Turning Corner With Third Straight Win

Fans are beginning to reminisce in Foxboro.

Sunday, the Patriots dismantled the Panthers 24-6, securing Coach Bill Belichick’s fourth road win of the season. After a 1-3 start to the season, New England faithful began to lose hope in the dynasty. Moreover, fans began to question if Bellichek’s hopes of a seventh Lombardi Trophy left with Tom Brady to Tampa Bay.

Yet, Sunday’s win signifies the team’s fourth win in their last five outings. With buzz surrounding the teams success, it’s beginning to feel like old times in Foxboro. Specifically, the success of rookie quarterback Mac Jones has given fans hope. The rookie comments on his teams’ recent success below.

Defense Travels

Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel aren’t suiting up for the Patriots in 2021. But, the defense has anchored much success for Belichick’s team in 2021.

Currently, New England sits at No. 9 in total defense with regards to the rest of the NFL. Overall, the unit has allowed 340.3 yards per game along with 18.9 points allowed per game. Such totals should not come as a surprise to fans, as the franchise invested an unforeseen amount into rebuilding the defense. Entering the 2021 offseason with the second-most cap space in the league ($70 million), owner Robert Kraft saw his franchise spend such space quickly.

Chiefly, the acquisition of linebacker Matthew Judon has reinvigorated Belichick’s unit. After being franchise tagged in 2020, the Ravens opted to let the edge rusher test free agency. Here, he signed a four-year, $56 million contract, and has played to his worth. In total, No. 9 has nine sacks on the season. Significantly, 4.5 of those sacks have come in the past five games, where the Patriots have gone 4-1.

Such success is why Bill Bellichek has relied on his defense in 2021. Against the Panthers, the unit allowed 240 total yards with six points.  The coach discusses his unit’s smothering performance and season-long success below.

Someone Order a Big Mac?

Quarterback of the New England Patriots is a role synonymous with one man. However, a kid from Duval County is about to change that.

Mac Jones was selected No. 15 overall by the Patriots in the 2021 NFL Draft. After a historic 2020 in Alabama which saw the QB finish as a Heisman finalist, Belichick tabbed him to be the Tom Brady successor. While the young QB is far from Brady status, he has certainly given fans much to be excited for.

Overall, the rookie has thrown for 2,135 yards with 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Further, his marks in yards and touchdowns lead all rookies, with Trevor Lawrence’s 1,821 yards coming in second. Also, Jones is the only rookie quarterback to lead his team to a winning record.

While he has seen his share of struggles, the rookie’s success has New England turning the corner. However, Belichick needs to see more out of his offense if the Patriots are to contend for the playoffs in 2021.

What’s Next?

Right now, the Patriots sit at No. 7 in the AFC playoff standings. They’ll look to continue 2021’s success Sunday against the Browns.

About Sam Petosa

Sam Petosa is a Journalism major pursuing a Specialization in Sports and Media at UF. The South Florida native produces daily shows for WRUF, including "Sport Scene with Steve Russell, and "The Tailgate." In addition, Sam provides weekly sports updates for WUFT News and radio Sportscenter's for WRUF radio. Sam has been a writer at ESPN Gainesville since January 2020.

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