The New England Patriots fell to 1-2 on the season after losing to the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium, 28-13. It was a rough showing for Bill Belichick's team as they had three-straight three-and-outs to begin the game and had various mistakes that either prevented New England from putting points on the board or helped the Saints add to their lead. With that in mind, there are plenty of things that need correcting as the Patriots move forward if they want to remain competitive the rest of the way.
Below, we'll highlight which players on New England's roster have their stock moving in the right direction coming out of Week 3 and who'll be looking for a bounce-back performance when they host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4.
Stock up: Kendrick Bourne
Bourne was a bright spot in Sunday's loss as the receiver turned in his best performance as a Patriot since signing with the team this offseason. He caught six of his eight targets in the loss for a game-high 96 yards and a touchdown.
Bourne's touchdown grab was arguably the highlight of the afternoon. On a first-and-10 throw at the Saints' 22-yard line with 9:30 left in the game, Mac Jones was almost instantly under pressure and lobbed a throw to the right sideline for Bourne. The receiver was able to leap over his defender, secure the catch and reach over the goal line for the score.
Stock down: Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry
I dove a bit deeper into the Patriots tight end woes immediately following this game and for good reason. Both Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry didn't put their best foot forward in the losing effort for New England on Sunday. Over a two-drive sequence, Henry was called for a false start on what was going to be a fourth-and-1 attempt that forced the Patriots to opt for a field goal instead of hoping for a touchdown. On the very next offensive possession at the start of the third quarter, Smith had a throw from Jones hit him in the hands, tip in the air, and into the arms of Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, who returned it for a touchdown.
The two also combined for six receptions for 40 yards, which isn't exactly living up to the hefty price tag the team paid to land them in free agency this offseason.
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Stock up: Jakobi Meyers
While most of the offense was stagnant throughout the afternoon, Meyers was another key outlet for Jones, especially with James White knocked out of the game due to a hip injury. Meyers was targeted a team-high 14 times and caught nine for 94 yards. All of those marks were a season-best for Meyers, who'll likely see even more work out of the slot going forward.
Stock down: Offensive line
Protecting Mac Jones continues to be a major issue with the Patriots. Against the Saints, Pro Football Focus notes that he was pressured 18 times and sacked twice on the day, which largely contributed to his three turnovers. Specifically, the right tackle spot has been an Achilles heel for New England with starter Trent Brown (calf) injured. In his place, Justin Herron started at right tackle and allowed six pressures. Center David Andrews also didn't have his best showing, allowing five pressures and two quarterback hits.
Stock up: Matt Judon
There were certainly holes in the Patriots defense on Sunday -- a blown coverage against Alvin Kamara on his touchdown catch, for example -- but Matt Judon continues to be one of the free agent additions that are truly paying off. He had a team-high 2.5 sacks on the day and three total tackles against New Orleans and has been a noticeable figure whenever he's on the field, routinely getting into the opponent's backfield.
Stock down: Mac Jones' deep ball
The lack of deep shots taken by Mac Jones through his first two games was a storyline heading into Week 3. Well, the Patriots rookie quarterback did start to chuck it deep against New Orleans and the results weren't exactly awe-inspiring. According to PFF, Jones completed just one of his 11 deep throws (20+ yards down the field) for 27 yards and an interception. When Jones was throwing 10 yards or fewer down the field, he was 24 of 28 for 169 yards. Jones' deep ball will likely come alive with time, but if he's forced into a situation where he needs to throw deep to keep the team competitive at this stage in his development, you can probably expect the results New England got on Sunday.