FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – This was as methodical as it was total.
It was also the Jaguars' eighth consecutive loss, with the New England Patriots dominating a one-sided game early and late on the first weekend of 2022.
Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw three interceptions, and the Patriots scored touchdowns on their first five possessions. In a game that never was close, the Patriots pulled steadily away for a 50-10 victory at Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon.
"Obviously, it wasn't a good day for us," Lawrence said. "Just didn't play well in all phases of the game."
The Jaguars (2-14) entered the game with multiple starters – including center Brandon Linder, left tackle Cam Robinson, guard Ben Bartch, cornerback Shaquill Griffin and defensive end Dawuane Smoot – out on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The Jaguars had spent the week moving players on and off the list.
"It's not an easy situation for anybody," Interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell said. "But the thing that we are playing for is we're all playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but also the name on our back, and everything that we do is being evaluated, and you have an opportunity to go out."
"You need to be able to put forward your best showing, and you need to continue to play and give us everything you have."
The Patriots (10-6) snapped a two-game losing streak.
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, completed 17 of 27 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown. While he looked good at times early, he threw two first-half interceptions that led to Patriots touchdowns. A third-quarter interception also led to a touchdown.
"You look around that locker room, it's disappointing coming in there after a game like that," Lawrence said. "It's a bad feeling."
The Patriots scored touchdowns on six of their first seven possessions en route to leading 41-3 in the third quarter. They had scored on eight of nine possessions after a six-yard run by running back Rhamondre Stevenson made it 50-3, Patriots, with 7:07 remaining.
Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones, the No. 15 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, completed 22 of 30 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Two of his touchdowns came in the first half, helping the Patriots to a 28-3 halftime lead.
The Patriots finished with 471 total yards and 32 first downs to 253 and 11 for the Jaguars. The Jaguars did not have a takeaway and have forced an NFL-low seven turnovers this season.
They are an NFL-worst minus-22 giveaway-takeaway for the season.
"I mean, there's a lot of circumstances and things these guys are fighting through, and I'm just asking for them to give me their best at all times," Bevell said. "That's what we're hoping for. It didn't work out for us today. We didn't protect the ball on offense. We couldn't get a stop on defense, and that made it a tough day."
Said Lawrence, "We kept fighting, finishing offense, but other than that, there's not many positives. You just got to move on. I'm learning you've got to have a short memory in this league. Sunday is coming quick, the next one. You've got to flip the page."
Step by step:
- The Patriots took control early, driving 79 yards on 11 plays and taking a 7-0 lead when running back Damien Harris capped their first drive with a two-yard touchdown run up the middle with 5:49 remaining in the first quarter; Jones converted third downs – 3rd-and-1 from the Jaguars 49 and and 3rd-and-5 from the Jaguars 38 – with passes of six and 14 yards to wide receiver Jakobi Meyers. Kicker Matthew Wright finished the ensuing drive with a 29-yard field goal to pull the Jaguars to within 7-3 with 2:18 remaining in the first quarter; Lawrence's 40-yard pass to wide receiver Laquon Treadwell on 1st-and-10 from the Jaguars 42 keyed the drive.
- The Patriots' dominance continued in the second quarter as they drove 66 yards on nine plays, taking a 14-3 lead on Harris' seven-yard touchdown run with 12:02 remaining in the half. New England extended its lead with its third touchdown in as many drives, with Jones passing six yards to wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson for a 21-3 lead with 4:40 remaining in the second quarter; a 33-yard interception by Patriots cornerback Myles Bryant – on a pass off the hands of Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead – gave New England a first down at the Jaguars 33. The Patriots pushed their lead to 28-3 when Jones passed four yards to Meyers with :48 remaining in the second quarter; the Patriots at that point had scored touchdowns on all four of their offensive possessions.
- The Patriots made it a fifth touchdown in as many possessions when Jones passed 20 yards to Wilkerson for a 34-3 lead on their first drive of the second half. New England had outgained the Jaguars 284-150 at the time and the Patriots pushed the lead with 41-3 with a one-yard run by running back Rhamondre Stevenson with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter. Patriots defensive back Kyle Duggar returned Lawrence's third interception of the game 20 yards to the Jaguars one, with Stevenson scoring on the ensuing play.
- Kicker Nick Folk's 43-yard field goal on the first drive of the fourth quarter pushed the Patriots' lead to 44-3. A six-yard run on their next possession extended the lead to 50-3 and a 28-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to running back Dare Ogunbowale with 3:48 remaining made it 50-10.
- Notable: Tight end James O'Shaughnessy (hip) and cornerback Nevin Lawson (illness) were among four inactive Jaguars players Sunday along with linebacker Dakota Allen (shoulder) and running back Mekhi Sargent. The Jaguars also were without multiple front-line players/starters on the COVID-19 list, including: Defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson, defensive end/linebacker Lerentee McCray, Linder, Bartch, defensive tackle Jay Tufele, Robinson, returner Jaydon Mickens, Griffin, Smoot and safety Andrew Wingard. … The Jaguars' starting offensive line Sunday: rookie Walker Little (left tackle), Andrew Norwell (left guard), Tyler Shatley (center), KC McDermott (right guard) and Jawaan Taylor (right tackle). Of that group, only Norwell and Taylor were projected starters with starters Bartch, Robinson and Linder on the COVID-19 reserve.
Check out these top game photos of the Jacksonville Jaguars as they take on the New England Patriots for Week 17 of the NFL Regular Season at MetLife Stadium.