Patriots got a taste of the QB high life from Deshaun Watson and the Texans

The Patriots spent nearly two decades living the high life in the high-rent quarterback district of the NFL, the beneficiaries of an elite, difference-making passer who tipped the balance of close games in their favor. They no longer reside in that well-to-do NFL neighborhood without Tom Brady, but they got a reminder of what it looks like on Sunday in a demoralizing 27-20 loss to Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. Watson accounted for 380 of the Texans’ 399 yards of total offense and all three of Houston’s touchdowns. “He’s a really good quarterback and he had a really good day today,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “All the yards they gained weren’t in the passing game either. It was him running or him throwing. It was the entire offense.”The Patriots had no answer for No. 4 as their record dropped to 4-6, and the path to the playoffs narrowed to claustrophobic dimensions. Here are five Takeaways from the Patriots’ squandered chance at reaching .500 deep in the heart of Texas: 1. Not built for speed — The good news was that quarterback Cam Newton played well and finally threw a touchdown pass to a wide receiver, connecting with Damiere Byrd (six catches for a career-high 132 yards) on a 42-yard strike. It only took nine games. The bad news: It’s painfully obvious that the Patriots’ glacial offense is not built to play from behind. A 21-10 halftime deficit at NRG Stadium felt more insurmountable than the 28-3 deficit they faced in the same building in Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons. That’s because the Patriots’ passing attack runs at dial-up modem speed with a lot of safe and sideways throws for Newton. The Patriots’ deliberate approach shortens the game with lengthy drives. That’s ideal when you have a lead like the Patriots’ upset of Baltimore. It’s far less desirable when you’re playing from behind. The Patriots’ death knell was their own doing. Trailing 24-17, they uncorked a 16-play, 65-yard, 9-minute and 25-second drive that took longer than a Christopher Nolan movie to reach its conclusion — a field goal. The Patriots possessed the ball for 10 minutes and 30 seconds of the fourth quarter and scored 3 points.The Patriots actually generated explosive plays on Sunday — five pass plays of 20 yards or more — but they still don’t do it with enough regularity or ease. Taking a closer look, one of those plays was a season-long 52-yarder to Ryan Izzo, a gratuitous Fail Mary catch on the game’s final play. Another one came on a screen pass to James White for 34 yards. Another was manufactured with smoke and mirrors — a double pass in which Newton passed up an open Byrd deep for a 20-yard gain to Jakobi Meyers. The Patriots remain too methodical and mechanical for their own good.“With a defense that we played today with such a strong front, front seven, we just got to make sure that we sustain drives, keep them out …

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