By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- In the previous two games, the "Four Ups, Four Downs" postgame story featured a whole lot more Downs than Ups. This week, thanks to the miserable Jaguars visiting Foxboro, the script has flipped.
While a win over the Jaguars isn't a particularly extraordinary event, the Patriots delivered arguably the most thorough beatdown suffered by Jacksonville all year.
The Patriots put 50 points on the scoreboard, surpassing the previous season high of 37 points allowed by the Jaguars this year. The Patriots also held the Jaguars to just 10 points, their fifth lowest output of the season. They also forced rookie QB Trevor Lawrence to throw three picks, making for one of the worst days of his young career.
And a 50-10 win in any game against any team is juuuust about always an impressive achievement, no matter what.
So, as you might expect, this week's edition will focus heavily on the Ups. Finding more than one Down will be a challenge.
FOUR TEN UPS
Who doesn't love a happy story? Active for just his fourth NFL game, Kristian Wilkerson hauled down the first catch of his NFL career before catching his first NFL touchdown and then catching another touchdown.
Wilkerson was a practice squad elevation this week, with N'Keal Harry being a healthy scratch. With four receptions for 42 yards and two touchdowns, the 24-year-old capitalized on this opportunity in a big way.
Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson
Rookie running Rhamondre Stevenson hit the 100-yard mark for the second time of his career, rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
Damien Harris' output was a bit more muted, with 35 yards on nine carries. But he scored twice, bringing his season total to 14. That ties him with Curtis Martin for the second-most rushing touchdowns in a season in Patriots history.
Myles Bryant, J.C. Jackson, Kyle Dugger
Like many 50-burgers, this one was fueled in a big way by turnovers. Those came via picks by Myles Bryant, J.C. Jackson, and Kyle Dugger.
All three of the Patriots' picks set them up to start on Jacksonville's side of the field: First at the 33-yard line, then at the 43-yard line, then at the 1-yard line. All three drives ended with Patriots touchdowns.
Dont'a Hightower, Christian Barmore
The Patriots only had two sacks, but both were big ... in the way that sacks can be big in a 50-10 win.
Hightower's came on the second play of the game, with Jacksonville facing a second-and-3. Hightower patiently waited for Ja'Whaun Bentley to get inside on a twist, which occupied two blockers. Hightower burst through the vacated spot in the line to take down Lawrence for a loss of nine yards. A short completion on third-and-12 led to an opening drive three-and-out for the Jags.
Christian Barmore's came just before halftime, killing the Jaguars' chances of adding to their score on the final drive of the second quarter.
When the Patriots have been bad this year, they've made some bad mistakes. Whether it's been penalties or drops or not having enough people on the field or anything else, mistakes have been prevalent in all of their losses.
In this one, the Patriots executed. They committed just three enforced penalties, and one of those was intentional. The team overcame the other two with a touchdown after Jakob Johnson's holding penalty and by forcing a punt after Myles Bryant's questionable unnecessary roughness penalty.
The team also went 8-for-10 on third down, a drastic difference from their 1-for-10 showing in that department a week ago vs. Buffalo.
Even the Patriots' lone punt was excellent, with Jake Bailey dropping one on the 9-yard line and the coverage team limiting the return to just three yards.
It wasn't exactly the most difficult day for the QB, but the rookie was excellent while A) going up against his hometown team and B) facing the No. 1 overall pick in their first head-to-head.
Obviously quarterbacks don't play each other, but such matchups are always opportunities for QBs to bring a little extra to the table.
In this one, Mac Jones was clearly the best QB on the field. He completed 22 of his 30 passes (73.3 percent) for 227 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a 128.1 passer rating -- his second best rating of the year.
With Lawrence going 17-for-27 for 193 yards with a touchdown and three picks on the other side, it was a good day to be the No. 15 overall pick.
It wasn't a totally clean day on special teams, as the PAT unit allowed a blocked kick in the third quarter.
Did it matter? No. Not in this one. But it gives something for Cam Achord and Co. something to work on this week.
Myles Bryant and Jalen Mills would like another crack at that one, for sure.
Brandon Bolden maybe?
The Patriots had to settle for a field goal because Brandon Bolden dropped a pass that would have easily moved the chains on a third-and-5 early in the fourth quarter. Considering the Patriots led 41-3 at the team, his teammates surely got over this one rather quickly.
But, well, when you're dedicated to nitpicking, you've simply got to pick a nit like this one.
It doesn't seem like anyone suffered severe injuries, but Adrian Phillips (wrist) and Damien Harris (hamstring) did get hurt during the rout. Both players spoke to the media after the game, so it doesn't appear to be a real issue. But look at that, we got to Four Downs after all.
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