Devastating doesn’t fully describe the New England Patriots’ 35-29 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6.
The Patriots played incredible defense in the first half, holding the Cowboys to 10 points, but they didn’t do enough at the end when it mattered. CeeDee Lamb walked into the end zone in overtime to push the Cowboys to a 5-1 record and drop the Patriots to 2-4.
Mac Jones wasn’t as explosive as he needs to be to win games, but he had an efficient night that put the Patriots in winning position. Jones finished the day throwing 15 of 21 for 229 yards two touchdowns and an interception — a very costly one at that.
There were a lot of great takeaways from the game, but none of it was enough to edge past the Cowboys. Here are the winners and losers from the devastating loss.
WINNER: LB Ja’Whaun Bentley
The fifth-year linebacker is becoming a key cog in the Patriots’ defense and he proved that with a monstrous first half. Bentley recorded ten tackles before halftime (13 total) and he had the crucial forced fumble on Prescott on the one-yard line.
Bentley left in the second half with a rib injury.
LOSER: LB Jahlani Tavai
Jahlani Tavai’s missed assignment allowed the Cowboys to block Jake Bailey’s punt before the half ended. The Patriots quickly put Bentley in place of Tavai on the following punt to make sure the protection for Bailey was there.
The Cowboys failed to score on the ensuing drive, but Tavai’s mistake was still extremely costly in this situation.
WINNER: DB Justin Bethel
Justin Bethel was everywhere against the Cowboys.
His first big play was in coverage against Cedrick Wilson while subbing in for the temporarily hurt Jonathan Jones. Bethel got his hands on the ball and tipped it to Kyle Dugger for the interception.
He was everywhere for the punt team and recorded three crucial tackles to keep the Cowboys at minimum gains. His second-biggest play was a forced fumble that shook Dallas — despite the Cowboys getting the ball back.
As NESN’s Zack Cox stated — Bethel was awesome the entire game.
LOSER: OT Isaiah Wynn
Isaiah Wynn isn’t having the production the Patriots expected at left tackle.
Wynn, after missing the prior week to COVID-19 protocols, was subbed out by Justin Herron because he let up a hard-hitting sack on Jones.
He acknowledged that he has to get better.
WINNER: RBs Damien Harris/Rhamondre Stevenson
Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson brought optimism to the offense the entire night. Harris finished the game with 18 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. He was explosive from the first play and he’s continuing to prove why he’s the lead back — his health issues are the primary concern.
Stevenson was benched after the first game due to a fumble and he made his first appearance against the Houston Texans in Week 5. He had a shaky game, but running back coach Ivan Fears believed in Stevenson’s ability to bounce back. He did just that by totaling 62 total yards and a touchdown.
LOSER: Wide receiver group
Outside of Kendrick Bourne’s electrifying 75-yard touchdown catch, the wide receiver crew was underwhelming.
Bourne had just that one catch, Nelson Agholor had one catch for 27 yards and Jakobi Meyers had five receptions for 44 yards. Jones had to rely heavily on the running backs to produce offense. The Patriots cannot defeat explosive teams without help from the receivers.
WINNER: TE Hunter Henry
The chemistry between Jones and Henry is cooking.
Henry, who totaled two catches for 25 yards and a touchdown, now has three consecutive games with a touchdown. He’s becoming Jones’ go-to receiver in the red zone and he’s starting to earn the contract he signed this offseason.