The Patriots can’t even beat Brian Hoyer these days, and other final thoughts


The Patriots are now 1-5 with matchups against the Bills and Dolphins coming up.

Patriots. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff


Bill Belichick coached in his 500th career NFL game on Sunday, and it was largely an afterthought because of the shoddy condition of his football team.

  • Jakobi Meyers #16 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates after catching a touchdown during the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Allegiant Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Jakobi Meyers exacts revenge against a Patriots team that desperately needs him

  • Bill Belichick discussed Malik Cunningham, Patriots’ penalties after loss vs. Raiders

The Patriots are in trouble, folks. And not the kind of trouble that a few tweaks here and there will fix. They’re a 1-5 football team with a dreadful offense. Defensively, the losses of Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez are starting to show.

They’ve now lost to Josh McDaniels and the Raiders three times in a row. The Raiders are .500 this year and went 6-11 last year. Losing to teams that have guys like Jalen Hurts, and Tyreek Hill, and Micah Parsons is one thing. But consistently losing to the Raiders, who are built by, coached by, and powered by former Patriots, is another.

Jakobi Meyers, who scored Las Vegas’s opening touchdown, was on the Patriots last year. So was Brian Hoyer, who came in after starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with a back injury. The head coach is Josh McDaniels, who spent two decades in Foxborough, and the general manager is Dave Ziegler who spent eight seasons in the Patriots organization.

That’s not to mention the recently released Chandler Jones, who famously mashed Mac Jones’s facemask into the Allegiant Stadium turf on a game-winning fumble return for touchdown on Meyer’s failed lateral last year.

The Patriots’ offense fell flat when it mattered yet again, but the defense was unable to sack Hoyer or force him into making any turnovers.

Here are a few thoughts from the action.

DeVante Parker drops a big one

The Patriots had the ball with more than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but were unable to complete the comeback bid.

Mac Jones threaded a deep ball between two defenders and hit DeVante Parker in the hands, mid-stride. A catch would have put the Patriots past midfield, into Raiders territory. But, Parker dropped it.

“I guess that’s just what happened, I was behind the coverage,” Parker said. “I got it with my fingertips, I think, but I didn’t get the full grasp of it.”

The pass would have been a game-changer if it were complete, Jones said.

“DP is a great deep ball threat,” Jones said. “We kind of agreed that we wanted that route. Just a tough play. If it goes the other way we might go down there and win, but we didn’t. It’s just tough. That’s football. But at the end of the day I have a lot of trust in the receivers, and I felt like their energy this week was really good.”

But, Mac Jones had a ‘horrendous’ mistake of his own

Horrendous was the word CBS broadcaster Tony Romo used to describe the interception the that Jones threw in the second-quarter.

Jones was trying to do too much on the play, he explained after the game.

He ran outside of the pocket and saw that he had Hunter Henry open, but a Raiders player got in his face and Jones threw the ball over Henry’s head right to the opponent.

It was just the latest in a string of poorly executed plays that have that have resulted in turnovers for Jones.

And then, in the fourth-quarter, the Patriots’ comeback bid ended with Jones being sacked in the endzone for a safety.

“Definitely going to look at the process and see where I can get better to get better results,” Jones said. “I know we’re all working really hard. We all really care for each other, and we have a good group of guys, so I know it’s frustrating for everybody. We’re the most frustrated there can be. Just got to watch with truthful eyes, that’s what I always say.”

Not enough pressure without Judon

The Patriots’ pass-rush didn’t look quite the same without Matthew Judon out there, which was to be expected.

The Patriots had only two tackles for loss and no sacks.

Christian Barmore played well in the middle and helped the Patriots stuff Las Vegas’s run game. Jabrill Peppers popped Davante Adams with a big hit that resulted in a Jahlani Tavai interception. Anfernee Jennings, one of the players linebackers coach Jerod Mayo mentioned is helping to fill the Judon void, had six tackles including a tackle for loss.

Rookie Keion White, who is also taking up some of Judon’s snaps while he’s out, left with a head injury. Another hit to the Patriots depth up front.

Patriots dodged a bullet with the Sam Roberts penalty

Patriots defensive lineman Sam Roberts was whistled for a personal on a field-goal attempt that gave the Raiders an extra first-down on their side of the field.

The Patriots’ defense held strong and held Las Vegas to a field-goal on that drive, but it easily could have been much worse.

Patriots could have used Jakobi Meyers

The only receiver to catch a touchdown in Sunday’s game was Meyers. He reeled in a leaping 16-yard catch in the Raiders’ end zone early in the second quarter.

He logged five catches for 61 yards including the touchdown.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, whom the Patriots signed in free-agency for a contract in a similar price range of the one Meyers signed with Las Vegas, was inactive.

Meyers has 335 yards and four touchdowns this season. That’s more than any Patriots receiver in both categories.

The schedule doesn’t easier for a while

Next up for the Patriots is a pair of divisional games against Buffalo [who ended New England’s season with a blowout loss in last year’s playoffs] and Miami [who already beat them this year] .

With New England sitting at 1-5, the Patriots stand a decent chance of reaching 1-7 unless they quickly figure out some drastic changes.

There are winnable games left on the schedule [Colts, Giants, Commanders, etc.], but New England will first have to go though a pair of stout AFC East opponents.