FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made it clear in a mic’d up segment he was happy about his team’s pass rush in their Week 9 win over the Green Bay Packers.
Just a week later, the Patriots barely put any pressure on Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota in a 34-10 loss. Linebacker Elandon Roberts had a coverage sack. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore also sacked Mariota.
So, why weren’t the Patriots able to pressure Mariota?
“I think it’s just, for one, we didn’t put ourselves in a lot of pass situations,” defensive end Trey Flowers said. “We couldn’t stop the run, so it was one of those deals that we didn’t make them one-dimensional, so we had to play the run. We had to have a lot of calls to play the run and respect the run.”
The Titans got out to an early lead, so they didn’t have to pass to catch up. They ran the ball 36 times for 150 yards and dropped back to pass just 28 times. In Week 9, the Packers dropped back to pass 47 times and ran it on just 25 plays.
Flowers had just one pressure in Tennessee.
“Another thing, just not executing the game plan as well as we probably did against other quarterbacks and things like that,” Flowers said. “It was just one of those things where you gotta come out each and every week — just because you did it last week or the week before, it’s not guaranteed just to happen on Sunday. You gotta prepare throughout the week and continue to get better.”
The Patriots play the New York Jets next Sunday after their Week 11 bye. They’ll try to get out to a hot start so they can pin their ears back and rush the quarterback again.
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