DJ Harding –
In what I described as a do or die game for the New England Patriots in Foxborough to keep their playoffs chances alive. The Patriots are alive and well as the path to the playoffs is now self-determined in week 18 versus Buffalo. But what is now a celebration didn’t have that feel for the whole game.
The Patriots offense struck first with their second opening drive touchdown of the season as with 7:15 left in the first quarter when rookie Tyquan Thornton caught his second touchdown of the season, Thornton’s only touchdown of the day came along with 3 catches on 7 targets for 60 yards which is a season high. This lead didn’t last for long as 8 minutes later early in the second quarter Tyreek Hill rushed for a touchdown to even up the score at a touchdown apiece and the game stayed at a 7-7 tie going into the half.
Coming out of the half a Teddy Bridwater passing touchdown to Raheem Mostert made it seem as if there was no Tua there was no problem. But after a Nick Folk field goal to bring the score to 14-10 the Patriots Defense stepped up and stepped into the record books as on 3rd and 15 with 2:51 left in the 3rd quarter Kyle Dugger picked off Bridgewater and took it for a 39 yard touchdown. As Dugger became the first patriot since 1970 to have 3 defensive touchdowns in a season. It also became the Patriots 7th defensive touchdown and their 4th straight game with a touchdown both franchise records.
To close out the game Mac Jones threw a 1 yard touchdown to Jakobi Myers to push the lead to 9 and make it a 2 score game. So when Skylar Thompson, who was subbed in for Bridgewater who was injured on the Dugger interception, threw a touchdown to Mike Gesicki. A recovered onside kick was all that was needed to win the game and snapped their 4 game losing streak to Miami.
The Patriots now enter week 18 with a win and in scenario versus Buffalo or a win and a Dolphins loss next week versus the Jets. The Steelers could somehow enter the race from the 7th seed with a win on Sunday Night Football versus the Ravens and a win next week versus the browns. But right now the Patriots playoff chances are like the Bee Gees right now Stayin Alive