Bill Belichick’s team is now on a five-game win streak and Mac Jones continues to prove why he’s the best rookie in this draft, by far. The Patriots’ offensive line is among the best in the NFL and the defense is shaping up to be alongside the Buffalo Bills as the most elite at this point in the season.
The Patriots now have back-to-back matchups with the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills ahead, with plenty of time to rest up and plan. Belichick is exactly where he wants to be in mid-November and the Patriots are surging at the right time.
Here’s the winners and losers from the win over Atlanta. For another straight week, there are no losers.
WINNER: The entire defense
This group is unreal.
The Patriots entered the game allowing the second-least points per game (17.7) and they finished the night with their first shutout of the season. The Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns and the Falcons combined for 13 points in the last three games.
New England’s defense totaled four sacks, six tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hits and four interceptions — one for a touchdown. Devin McCourty and J.C Jackson snagged two of the turnovers and Jackson is now up to six for the season. The defense collectively allowed only 165 yards.
It was also Belichick’s 13th shutout of his coaching tenure.
Jackson is also making history for the Patriots.
WINNER: LBs Kyle Van Noy, Matthew Judon
Matthew Judon is a potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate and he’s by far the best free agent signing of the 2021 offseason.
Judon finished the game with three tackles and a sack, leading to a total of 10.5 on the year. The combination of Judon and Christian Barmore is an absolute nightmare for any offensive line.
Kyle Van Noy is finding his way back into the Patriots’ defense and he recorded two sacks in the first half against Atlanta, with eight tackles and two sacks. Oh yeah, and he put the exclamation point on the game with a 30-yard pick-six.
The Boogeymen are back and they have some help across the defensive line to make the group even scarier.
WINNER: S Kyle Dugger
Kyle Dugger’s interception against the Cleveland Browns last week was a huge turning point in the game — one that ended in a 45-7 blowout.
The Patriots’ leading tackler got off to a hot start early against the Falcons with an early PBU and a slew of big open-field tackles. Dugger finished the night with eight tackles and the PBU.
Here’s the great defense on rookie sensation Kyle Pitts.
WINNER: K Nick Folk
Nick Folk is the most reliable Patriot this season.
He made 22 of 24 field goals entering the game and he finished the night off making all four of his field goals, with a long of 53 yards. Great defense, a solid rushing attack and a great kicker leads to a formula for a lot of success.
WINNER: RBs Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson
Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are becoming the one-two punch that will be huge for the Patriots with a playoff run ahead.
Stevenson joins Jones and Barmore as Belichick’s top-notch draft picks from this year. He finished the night with 12 carries for 69 yards and Harris finished with 10 carries for 56 yards. Both running backs had a reception and they are a relevant part of the passing game this season also.
This is the type of power Stevenson brings.