On Saturday, Kendrick Bourne was watching a college football team get blown out 50-7, wondering whether the Patriots could put up 50 points — a “50-ball” — against the Jets the next day.
“I don’t know if we got answers or whatnot, but it was crazy man,” Bourne said with a chuckle after the Patriots rolled to a 54-13 victory. “Everybody playing well like that, you can get those results. I was really screaming, ’50-ball’ on the sideline, just an exciting game, a game we needed to show us what we’re capable of.”
Bourne (four catches, 68 yards) had a pair of enormous plays. The first was the Patriots’ first score of the game — a 25-yard touchdown pass thrown not from Mac Jones to Bourne, but from Bourne to Nelson Agholor.
The last time Bourne threw a touchdown pass?
“Might have been high school, I think,” Bourne said. “I think it was in high school. It was just a crazy feeling, being able to be versatile like that for my team.”
Learning the play was the biggest challenge — Bourne said he floated his passes at first and had to learn to keep them on a rope.
“Just practicing, executing at practice, making it feel normal in the game, like it’s just another practice play,” Bourne said. “So that’s definitely how it felt when I got the ball. Shout out to [Agholor], shout out to the line holding up.”
The second of Bourne’s big plays was more generic: A 47-yard pass from Jones, which he took to the one-yard line before he was brought down. The Patriots then punched in a touchdown.
“[Jones] threw a tremendous ball,” Bourne said. “That thing fell in my hand again.”
Patriots center David Andrews was asked about the offense on the one-yard line.
“The receivers helped us out, I guess,” he said. “I thought a couple of those were touchdowns. But let the running backs take the touchdowns.”
More from Patriots postgame
– Andrews is asked every week about Mac Jones, and he’s running out of ways to answer the questions.
“Same thing I say every week about him — it’s a joy to get to work with him,” Andrews said on Sunday. “Obviously quarterback-center, it is a big part. You work together, it’s a close relationship. I’ve enjoyed getting to work with him. It’s been fun to see how he sees the game, and then how I see the game. He does a really good job for us. He’s a really smart kid as a rookie.
“I just need a script to say what I say about him every week.”
– Sunday was National Tight End Day — a fact Patriots TE Hunter Henry made sure he passed along to everyone, according to Jones. Fortunately, Jones found Henry for one of the two touchdown passes he threw on Sunday.
“Not that [National Tight End Day] had anything to do with it, but it was just funny,” Jones said, smiling. “All of our tight ends play well, and they play well in the run game and the pass game and they do exactly what they’re supposed to do.”
– The Patriots felt they were close to breaking through as a team prior to Sunday’s game.
“Honestly, I think y’all saw it too,” linebacker Matt Judon said. “It’s a couple plays, and when you break down the film and really study the game, I think y’all have seen it too. We’re a couple plays away from winning a lot of games.
“But we have to make those plays. We don’t take moral victories. Our record isn’t what it is, and then in moral victories, we’re undefeated, because ‘if.’ We don’t live in ‘if.’ We live in the now, and our record is what it is. But I do think y’all see how we play, y’all see how we work. When we start making those plays, and when we don’t make silly plays or turnovers or give up drives or give up a play here and a play there, when we stop doing that, then we’re going to be there. Right now, we’re close.”
Jones said that while the Patriots aren’t satisfied, a win like Sunday is a boost.
“I think it just goes back to stacking days, and today we were focused on today,” Jones said. “That’s a result that showed. We came in and we had good energy, 1:00 kickoff, and we were ready to play. We’ve got to do that every time. It can’t be a one-time thing.”
– J.J. Taylor punched in one of the Patriots’ short-yardage scores, and Damien Harris came flying over to congratulate the second-year running back on his first NFL touchdown.
“Probably the fastest I ran all game,” Harris quipped afterward.
Harris said the running backs are a tight unit.
“You see a young guy who works his butt off every single day, who works just as hard if not harder than anybody else in the building, you see him have that success and that hard work pay off, it’s a great feeling,” he said. “I think the excitement I had just shows the camaraderie of this team, a lot of guys were excited. Everybody was excited. I think that’s just a testament to how close we are as a team.”
Harris expressed appreciation for Brandon Bolden as well, calling him the “ultimate leader.”
“He’s an all-time guy,” Harris said. “His personality is next to none, but he’s another hardworking guy that has been in this league a long time. He knows how the game goes. I think having Brandon has been so imperative to our team as a whole.”
– More than anything, the Patriots desperately needed a win.
“The locker room was happy,” Judon said. “I think honestly we just needed to win at home — it’s our first win of the season at home. We just needed to do that.”
Now at 3-4, the Patriots head to California feeling good to take on the Chargers.
“I know it’s a long season, but we all have to keep working, myself included,” Harris said. “We have to keep getting better every single day and I said it last week, we’re confident in this building, the players, the coaches, the staff, everybody.
“If we keep working hard, keep doing our jobs, keep moving forward with a positive outlook, we really believe we can turn this season around.”
“We’re not where we want to be, but we’re definitely [headed] in the right direction,” Bourne added.
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