The Patriots lost their fifth straight game on Sunday, falling to the Chargers, 6-0, on a wet and blustery day at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots (2-10) were shut out for the second time this season. In their last three games, the Patriots have scored 13 points in losses to the Colts, Giants, and Chargers. In the same span, the Patriots have only allowed 26 points.
“You can boil it down to whatever you want, but at the end of the day it comes down to points and we’ve got to find ways to generate more points,” center David Andrews said.
The first game featuring Bailey Zappe as New England’s starting quarterback didn’t do much to improve an offense stuck in neutral. Zappe, who replaced Mac Jones as the starter after Jones started the first 11 games of the season, completed 13 of 25 passes for 141 yards and was sacked five times.
Zappe didn’t blame his performance on the conditions.
“I mean look, both teams got to play through it,” Zappe said. “Yeah, it’s not ideal, but you’ve got to deal with it. Like I said, it starts with me. A wet ball, it’s hard to catch, I’ve got to throw better balls. No excuses, I’ve just got to play better.”
Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson (nine carries, 39 yards) left with an ankle injury in the first half and did not return. Ezekiel Elliott carried 17 times for 52 yards.
The Chargers (5-7) were led by quarterback Justin Herbert, who completed 22 of 37 pass attempts for 212 yards.
The Chargers took a 6-0 lead by halftime on a pair of field goals by Cameron Dicker, both coming after Los Angeles started drives on New England’s side of the field.
The Patriots have a short week ahead, returning to action on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5), who lost to the Cardinals on Sunday.
Not a good day for Patriots’ next opponent — 5:45 p.m.
James Conner ran for 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns against his old team as the Arizona Cardinals beat the Steelers 24-10 on Sunday.
The Steelers face the Patriots on Thursday this week.
Pittsburgh (7-5) saw all the progress shown by its offense a week earlier in a win over Cincinnati vanish. The Steelers lost starting quarterback Kenny Pickett to an ankle injury late in the first half and scored their only touchdown in garbage time.
Pickett wore a boot on his right foot during the second half while backup Mitch Trubisky took over and struggled to do much of anything as the Steelers let a chance to strengthen their position in the AFC playoff race slip away.
– Associated Press
Bailey Zappe: ‘I tried to do too much’ — 5:15 p.m.
Quarterback Bailey Zappe made his first start of the season for the Patriots on Sunday in some less-than-ideal circumstances, as New England was shut out at home for the second time this season on a rainy day in Foxborough. The Patriots had multiple chances to piece together scoring drives, but never found the end zone.
“There were some good things, some bad things,” Zappe said. “We had a chance there at the end. Defense played great. Offense, that starts with me. I’ve got to make plays, toward the end I’ve got to throw better balls, I’ve got to make balls catchable especially in conditions like this. It starts with me on the offensive side with getting things going.”
David Andrews: ‘You’ve got to score points’ — 4:45 p.m.
As he is each week, Patriots center and captain David Andrews was the first to the podium after Sunday’s 6-0 loss to the Chargers, and once again the veteran was left to answer for another disappointing performance.
“Look, it’s a very simple game, you’ve got to score points to have a chance to win,” Andrews said after New England was shut out at home for the second time this season. “You can boil it down to whatever you want, but at the end of the day it comes down to points and we’ve got to find ways to generate more points. And that’s 11 guys being consistent every play. I believe in that. It takes 11 guys each play. Just got to find a way to generate points, and especially here on a short week.”
Instant Analysis: Zappe isn’t the answer, either — 4:20 p.m.
Benching Mac Jones for Sunday’s game was the right call by Bill Belichick. Jones has been a turnover machine, and there has been a clear loss of confidence in Jones by his teammates, and by Jones himself.
But at least we got a definitive answer — Bailey Zappe isn’t the answer, either. While the rainy conditions made it more difficult to throw, Zappe showed us why Belichick released him at the end of training camp, and why he has been hesitant to put him in the game this season. Zappe threw for just 141 yards on 13-of-25 passing, took five sacks, and did not get the Patriots within scoring range, with the farthest penetration the Chargers’ 28-yard line.
Zappe at least didn’t throw any interceptions, and made a few decent throws in the second half, including a 27-yarder to DeVante Parker and a deep ball to Tyquan Thornton that should have been caught. But the Patriots made the Chargers’ 32nd-ranked defense look like the Steel Curtain, getting shutout for the second time this season and gaining just 257 total yards. Sunday’s game almost marked the first time since 1993 that the Patriots were shutout in the first half in consecutive games.
Patriots can’t convert on fourth down — 3:45 p.m.
That might do it for the Patriots. Bailey Zappe had a couple nice throws on that drive and looked to have found DeVante Parker for a huge play down the left sideline, but Parker couldn’t keep his feet in bounds.
New England was bailed out by a pass interference call on third and 2 (and a blown call on replay review as it appeared the ball was tipped at the line, which should have negated the penalty), but Zappe was nearly intercepted on third and 8 and had his fourth-down pass broken up to put the Chargers on the brink of an ugly win in Foxborough.
Just when it looks like Patriots are rolling ... — 3:29 p.m.
Another promising drive, another brutal sack (two this time) to give the ball back to the Chargers.
New England broke off its biggest play of the day on a 39-yard end-around run from Tyquan Thornton and got all the way to third and 3 at the Los Angeles 28. That was as far as the Patriots would get, because Zappe was sacked trying to step up in the pocket, then Bill Belichick decided to go for it on fourth and 5 from the 30, and Zappe never had a chance as Derwin James came free up the middle on a safety blitz to turn the ball over on downs.
Solid drive for Zappe — 3:18 p.m.
That was a solid drive for Bailey Zappe, but not really for anyone else; Zappe hit DeVante Parker for 27 yards to get the Patriots out of their own end zone, then looked like he might hit Tyquan Thornton for a huge play on a deep shot that fell just out of the grasp of Thornton, who had plenty to do at full sprint and full stretch in the rain.
Zappe did well to step up in the pocket on third and 5 to find Hunter Henry, but a bad day for the tackles got worse when Conor McDermott looked surprised to see Khalil Mack coming off the edge and did little to get in his way as Mack wrapped up Zappe for the second time today. Zappe hit Jalen Reagor for 11 yards on third and 16, but it wasn’t enough to give Bryce Baringer any more rest as New England punted again.
• Mack needs a half-sack for 100 in his career, which would tie someone who wore these red Patriots jerseys before they were retro: the great Andre Tippett. – Finn
• Austin Ekeler has been next to useless for the Chargers today. Nine carries for 12 yards, two catches for 9 yards. – Finn
Third-quarter analysis — 3:12 p.m.
Three quarters are done here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots trail the Chargers, 6-0.
• The Patriots’ defense has allowed one touchdown the last 10 quarters.
• A 21-yard connection from Zappe to DeVante Parker was the highlight of the first drive of the second half for the Patriots, a series that included Zappe picking up a first-down on a fourth-and-2 scramble. But a pair of back-to-back sacks — the second of which came from All-World pass rusher Khalil Mack — forced the sixth punt of the day from the Patriots.
• On the next series, Parker was on the receiving end of the longest play from scrimmage of the afternoon, hauling in a 27-yarder along the sidelines. The catch — and Parker’s stat line — made me think of something Parker told me about Zappe earlier in the week: “He just puts [the ball] where only I can go get it.” A nice moment for a receiver that has had issues with consistency much of the year.
• Keenan Allen has struggled to get untracked this afternoon for Los Angeles, but still has three catches for 38 yards on the afternoon. He had a nice third-down catch to move the sticks on a drive toward the end of the third quarter.
• We still have yet to see Malik Cunningham on the afternoon.
• Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) and Shaun Wade (illness) were both ruled out for the rest of the afternoon.
Patriots on the move, until they weren’t — 2:53 p.m.
Bailey Zappe made two of his best plays of the day on the Patriots’ first drive of the second half, first hitting DeVante Parker on a deep crossing route for 21 yards to move the ball near midfield, then picking up a crucial fourth and 3 just outside of field goal range.
Then the protection fell apart — Zappe was buried on both second and third down, with Mike Onwenu playing matador at right tackle and waving Khalil Mack through to sack Zappe and the Patriots out of field goal range and bring Bryce Baringer out for his sixth punt of the afternoon.
• Baringer and JK Scott are having quite a punt-off if you’re into that sort of thing. Twelve punts between them, eight placed inside the 20. – Finn
Stevenson, Wade out — 2:46 p.m.
Running back Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) and cornerback Shawn Wade (illness) have both been downgraded to out of the game.
First-half analysis — 2:29 p.m.
Two quarters are in the books here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots trail the Chargers, 6-0. Here are a few quick notes:
Stats: Bailey Zappe: 5-for-12, 39 yards; Rhamondre Stevenson: 9 carries, 39 yards; Justin Herbert: 10-for-18, 96 yards
• It was a mostly lifeless first half in front of a soggy, undersized crowd. The highlight so far? Probably the sight of the Pat Patriot throwback uniforms, the Lewiston boys’ soccer team ringing the lighthouse bell, and a pregame flyover that was so low it had the windows in the press box rattling. Other than that, it’s been a slow, slog of a ballgame between two sub-.500 teams looking for a December spark.
• If you are a glass-is-half-full type, you can point to the fact that the Patriots’ defense has allowed just one touchdown in the last nine quarters of action. (The only scoring from the Chargers in the first half came by way of a pair of second-quarter field goals from Cameron Dicker.) You take it with a grain of salt because they’ve faced some pretty inept offenses in that time, but the truth of the matter is that the defense has continued to do more than its share of keeping this team in games. They continue to slash their points allowed per game average, while the offense has largely sputtered, regardless of who is at quarterback.
• The biggest difference in going from Mac Jones to Zappe can be seen in the general sense of decisiveness. There’s a confidence (albeit occasionally wildly misplaced) with Zappe back there as opposed to Jones. While Jones has looked rattled as of late, he doesn’t appear to be afraid to make a mistake. There’s no hesitation or caution. Of course, that’s not always a good thing, but it is what it is.
• One of the best offensive plays of the first half came on a 23-yard completion from Zappe to Ezekiel Elliott that got New England into Los Angeles territory roughly midway through the second quarter. It was a well-placed pass from Zappe, and Elliott ran hard and set up some blocks for the biggest gain of the first half for the Patriots.
• The best offensive sequence for the Patriots came on their second series, when New England was able to pick up multiple first downs on some well-executed runs and pass plays. There was a tush push-style QB sneak from Zappe, and a couple of good connections from Zappe to JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker. That sequence came to an end when Stevenson fumbled, giving the ball back to Los Angeles at its own 33 with 4:13 to go in the first quarter.
• Even with the first-quarter fumble that stalled a promising drive, Stevenson was the best part of the New England offense in the early going. He has 9 carries for 39 yards, tops for either team. Stevenson left with an ankle injury after losing the handle, and we haven’t seen him since. Cornerback Shaun Wade is also questionable to return with an illness.
• The Patriots did some personnel shuffling on offense. Trent Brown started at left tackle, but they flipped to Conor McDermott for a stretch before going back to Brown for the rest of the half.
• We haven’t seen Malik Cunningham in game action yet.
• Not sure if it’s a case of him dealing with an injury, but Keenan Allen wasn’t involved in the early going for the Los Angeles offense. The Patriots have used multiple defenders against him, a group that’s included Myles Bryant. Allen’s first catch came on the first play from scrimmage in the second quarter, a 15-yarder from Herbert against Jonathan Jones.
• Bryce Baringer — who I learned this week is the best golfer on the team — continues to have an excellent season. He’s averaged 52 yards on his five punts. He’s done his job when it comes to tilting the field.
• The Chargers will get the ball to start the second half.
A few more points on the board — 2:23 p.m.
Chargers 6, Patriots 0 | :44 second quarter
The Patriots defense held up again, particularly in coverage, to quickly force another field goal for the Chargers and keep New England in the game.
A familiar pattern — 2:22 p.m.
A couple missed throws, a false start, a three and out, a punt — the Patriots offense is following a familiar pattern. Derius Davis took the punt back to the New England 27, putting the Patriots defense up against it right away.
Another Patriots drive stalls — 2:04 p.m.
Another promising drive — mainly thanks to a 23-yard catch and run from Ezekiel Elliott — came to a screeching halt again just beyond midfield, this time thanks to a seemingly avoidable delay of game on third and 7 that set the Patriots back to a third and 12 they never came close to converting. That is four punts for Bryce Baringer midway through the second, for those keeping score at home.
• Patriots are averaging 3.7 yards per rush and 3.9 yards per pass. The latter makes the former look pretty good. – Finn
• Chargers are swarming those Zappe screen passes. – Finn
Meager crowd at Gillette Stadium — 2:01 p.m.
With two sub-.500 teams in action and cold rain in the forecast, it wasn’t a big surprise to see large swaths of empty seats in the upper deck at Gillette Stadium early in Sunday’s Patriots-Chargers game.
The Patriots have enjoyed widespread fan support for the last several decades, but with 30 minutes to go before kickoff, tickets in the lower bowl were going for as little as $5.
Some points have been scored — 1:57 p.m.
Chargers 3, Patriots 0 | 9:09 second quarter
The Patriots defense did well to hold the Chargers to a field goal after Los Angeles took over at the New England 47 and Justin Herbert quickly hit Austin Ekeler for 11 yards and Quentin Johnston for 8 more to open the drive. Jalen Mills made a great play to break up a pass that could’ve put the Chargers inside the 5, and Herbert couldn’t connect with Keenan Allen on third down as Los Angeles settled for the first 3 points of the day.
Three-and-out, Part 3 — 1:48 p.m.
That’s another three and out for the Patriots, who got to third and 2 at their own 17 but forgot to block Morgan Fox coming free up the middle to bury Ezekiel Elliott for a 6-yard loss and keep punter Bryce Baringer busy.
• Patriots defense has done a nice job so far. Chargers have 62 total yards and are 0-for-3 on third down. – Finn
First-quarter analysis: Zappe shows confidence — 1:38 p.m.
One quarter is in the books here at Gillette Stadium, and the Patriots and Chargers are knotted in a scoreless tie.
• As expected, Bailey Zappe (3-6, 13 yards) got the start at quarterback for the Patriots. It was the first start of the season for the second-year signal-caller, and third of his NFL career.
The biggest difference in going from Mac Jones to Zappe can be seen in the general sense of decisiveness. There’s a confidence (albeit occasionally misplaced) with Zappe back there as opposed to Jones. While Jones has looked rattled as of late, he doesn’t appear to be afraid to make a mistake. Of course, that’s not always a good thing, but it is what it is.
• After a three-and-out, things started rolling for the Patriots on their second drive, as they picked up a first down on a well-executed tush push-style QB sneak from Zappe, and a couple of nice connections from Zappe to JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker. Things came to a screeching halt as New England approached the Chargers’ red zone, however, as Rhamondre Stevenson fumbled, giving the ball back to Los Angeles at its own 33 with 4:13 to go in the first quarter. (Stevenson left with an ankle injury — his return is questionable.)
• Even with the fumble, Stevenson was the best part of the New England offense in the early going. He has nine carries for 40 yards, tops for either team.
• The Patriots swapped out Trent Brown for Conor McDermott at left tackle on the second drive. (Brown returned to the lineup on the following drive.) They also used Pharaoh Brown as a fullback on a third-and-short situation. We haven’t seen Malik Cunningham in game action yet.
• Not sure if it’s a case of him dealing with an injury, but Keenan Allen hasn’t been involved in the early going for the Los Angeles offense. The Patriots have used multiple defenders against him in the early going, a group that’s included Myles Bryant.
What a beautiful punt — 1:33 p.m.
Another third and out for Bailey Zappe and the Patriots offense, but Bryce Baringer booms a 70-yard punt to flip the field — he might be the bright spot for New England today.
The Chargers take over with 1:16 left in the first quarter.
• Should have picked Baringer as the player to watch. – Finn
Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson injured — 1:22 p.m.
A very promising second drive for the Patriots came to a grinding halt when Rhamondre Stevenson fumbled after the Patriots drove into field goal range. Stevenson was a crucial part of a solid drive, carrying five times for 29 yards before Tuli Tuipulotu jarred it loose on Stevenson’s sixth carry and jumped on the ball to stop New England in its tracks.
To add injury to insult, Stevenson had to be helped off the field and couldn’t put any weight on his right leg in a brutal sequence for the Patriots.
• Rhamondre Stevenson can’t put any weight on his right side and is immediately headed to the locker room after appearing to injury his right leg on that last carry. Prior to the play, Stevenson had started to find a rhythm against the Chargers’ run defense.
The Patriots ruled Stevenson as questionable to return with an ankle injury. – Yang
• And we thought this season couldn’t get worse. – Finn
• Stevenson’s injury happened at the 4:25 mark of the first quarter. He had as many carries (9) today as he had in the entire game versus the Commanders, when he ran for 87 yards. – Finn
Patriots go three-and-out to start — 1:09 p.m.
A less than ideal start for Bailey Zappe and the offense, who go three-and-out to begin the game. Zappe was 1 for 2 — DeVante Parker couldn’t hang onto a ball thrown slightly behind him on a slant route, Rhamondre Stevenson gained a couple yards up the middle, and a screen pass on third down got nowhere near the sticks as Bryce Baringer punts it away for the first time today.
Chad Finn’s players to watch and predictions — 12:54 p.m.
Patriots player to watch: Malik Cunningham. This is what it has come to: an undrafted rookie quarterback who was waived at the end of camp, returned, struggled in his previous opportunity, and has been practicing primarily at wide receiver is the most interesting thing about this offense. Hopefully Bill O’Brien has a package of plays cooked up for him, and hopefully Cunningham is more prepared to execute than he was against the Raiders.
Chargers player to watch: Let’s stick with Keenan Allen, whom I wrote at length about in the Unconventional Preview. One factoid about him that I did not mention: The Patriots drafted Aaron Dobson 17 picks before the Chargers took Allen in the 2013 NFL Draft. Ugh. (And Dobson went four picks before the Chiefs took Travis Kelce. Double ugh.)
Prediction: Chargers, 24-10. Jabrill Peppers wasn’t wrong, you know.
Pregame scenes and observations — 12:38 p.m.
• Patriots quarterbacks Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe ran on to the field together for warmups. They were then joined by Malik Cunningham.
One thing that seems all but certain: Zappe is preparing like he’s the No. 1 QB right now. Taking reps ahead of Jones and Cunningham.
QB reps in the early stages of warmups: 1) Zappe; 2) Mac Jones; 3) Malik Cunningham.
Malik Cunningham has practiced with multiple position groups during warmups. He was throwing with the QBs for several minutes, but just jumped into a 7-on-7 warmup drill as a receiver.
• Patriots OL in warmups: LT Trent Brown, LG Cole Strange, C David Andrews, RG Sidy Sow, RT Mike Onwenu.
• Jabrill Peppers, Ty Montgomery, and Jalen Reagor lined up as returners in warmups for the Patriots. Brenden Schooler getting returner reps as well, as is Myles Bryant.
Nicole Yang’s players to watch and prediction — 12:30 p.m.
Patriots player to watch: Bailey Zappe. All signs point to nothing changing even with Zappe starting, but the 2022 fourth-round pick has a chance Sunday to show he’s worthy of keeping around. Coach Bill Belichick said he’s not thinking about 2024, but it certainly feels as though Zappe’s future will be contingent upon how he fares in this game and beyond.
Chargers player to watch: Whichever Chargers receiver is matched up against J.C. Jackson. The rainy weather conditions may impact the play calling a little bit, but if Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito and receiver Jalin Hyatt were able to pick on Jackson, just imagine what Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen can do. Things didn’t end well with Jackson in Los Angeles, so it would not be surprising if the Chargers have extra motivation to stick it to him.
Prediction: Los Angeles, 24-17. The Patriots get a little bump from Zappe but still have to show a lot before they can be picked to win a game.
Chris Price’s players to watch and prediction — 12:13 p.m.
Patriots player to watch: Malik Cunningham. The Patriots are certainly doing a better job setting him up for success this time around than they did in that October loss to the Raiders – he’s at home, with a healthier offensive line, and facing some winnable situations. The rookie had a series of plays installed over the week that should cater to his skill set. Now, it’s up to him if he can execute.
Chargers player to watch: Austin Ekeler. The dynamic back is a huge part of the Los Angeles offense. This week, Lawrence Guy compared him to former Patriots back James White. If he can produce like White this afternoon, it could be a long day for the New England defense.
Prediction: Los Angeles, 17-13. The Patriots continue to fight with one hand tied behind their back. The defense, which has slashed its points per game allowed by almost a touchdown in the last month, remains as competitive as any in the league. If only the offense was trending in the same direction.
The Patriots quarterback situation — 11:53 a.m.
Quarterback Mac Jones, who has started all 11 of the Patriots’ games in 2023, is active. He has yet to take the field for any sort of pregame warmup, which is a bit odd because he’s active. I am curious to see how he handles the new backup role on the sidelines.
Also, say, Bailey Zappe needs to get benched for performance. Do the Patriots go back to Jones? Or give Malik Cunningham the reins? – Yang
Inactives: Deatrich Wise a late scratch — 11:41 a.m.
Patriots: WR Kayshon Boutte; WR Demario Douglas; CB Alex Austin; RB Jamycal Hasty; OL Verderian Lowe; DE Deatrich Wise Jr.
Chargers: RB Isaiah Spiller; DB Ja’Sir Taylor; OL Zack Bailey; TE Nick Vannett; WR Simi Fehoko; DL Scott Matlock.
Chris Price’s analysis: All three quarterbacks on the Patriots roster – Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe, and Malik Cunningham – are active on Sunday.
Rookie receivers Demario Douglas (concussion) and Kayshon Boutte (shoulder/illness) were ruled out on Friday. Between Douglas not being available and his track record with Bailey Zappe, it will likely mean more targets for veteran DeVante Parker. I’d also expect Tyquan Thornton to get some more chances in the passing game as well.
Deatrich Wise Jr., who had “illness” added to his injury report Sunday morning, was one of several members of the roster who were felled by a bug that impacted a few others. Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings will have more on their plate this afternoon with Wise down for the day.
Cornerback Alex Austin, who has taken healthy scratches since he arrived early last month, will sit again this afternoon. Running back Jamycal Hasty, another recent acquisition, is also a healthy scratch. And offensive tackle Vederian Lowe completes the group of healthy scratches.
Among the notable actives is left tackle Trent Brown. The veteran has been in and out of the lineup with multiple issues over the last month-plus, including knee, ankle, and chest issue (he was on the injury report this week with ankle and chest injuries).
Tale of the tape — 11:20 a.m.
If styles make fights, then at least Patriots-Chargers has that going for it.
The Chargers have one of the better offenses in the league, ranked 11th in the NFL with a 347.5-yard per-game average and eighth in scoring at 24.5 points per game behind quarterback Justin Herbert. Their defense, meanwhile, leaves much to be desired and is ranked last in the NFL with an average 390.6 yards allowed per game. Los Angeles has allowed 24.5 points per contest this season.
On the flip side, the Patriots’ offense is about as bland as it gets. Ranked 25th in total offense (293.5) and second-to-last in scoring (13.5 points per game), the Patriots have had four games in which they’ve scored fewer than 10 points, and just one game in which they’ve scored more than 20.
But the Patriots do have a solid defense that has kept them close in many games. New England is eighth in total defense (316.8 yards per game), although just 21st in points allowed at an average of 22.5.
A few other key stats comparisons:
Total yards gained: Patriots 3,228; Chargers 3,822
Total yards allowed: Patriots 3,485; Chargers 4,297
Total touchdowns: Patriots 16; Chargers 31
Field goals: Patriots 12-18; Chargers 17-18
Takeaways: Patriots -8; Chargers +3
Good seats still available at Gillette — 11:00 a.m.
The combination of lousy weather and lousy teams means there are plenty of tickets available on the secondary market for Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium.
A search of Ace Tickets shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday shows a low price of $32 for seats in the upper deck, while lower-bowl seating begins at $84. Prices on StubHub are in the same ballpark.
On TicketMaster around 11 a.m., seats in the 300s were shown as low as $10.
Patriots add to injury list — 10:45 a.m.
The Patriots have made an addition to their injury report, adding “illness” to the injury description for Deatrich Wise Jr. His status for the game remains questionable. The Patriots’ final injury report on Friday listed Wise with a shoulder injury.
Other injury designations:
Out: WR Kayson Boutte (shoulder/illness); WR Demario Douglas (concussion)
Questionable: LB Chris Board (back); OL Trent Brown (ankle/chest); RB Ezekiel Elliott (thigh); OL Riley Reiff (knee); OL Sidy Sow (ankle); DL Deatrich Wise Jr. (shoulder/illness)
How to watch/listen — 10:30 a.m.
Sunday’s game will be televised on CBS (Channel 4 in the Boston market), with Spero Dedes calling the play-by-play, Adam Archuleta as the analyst, and Aditi Kinkhabwala as the sideline reporter.
On radio, Sports USA has the national broadcast, and the game will be aired on Boston-area radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub with Bob Socci and Scott Zolak on the call.
Patriots wearing throwback uniforms — 10:15 a.m.
Sunday will be the second time this season the Patriots have worn their throwback uniforms, featuring red jerseys, white pants, and helmets featuring the “Pat Patriot” logo. These uniforms are based on those from the 1984-1992 era, and they were also worn occassionally from 1994 to 2012.
The Patriots are 7-2 in throwback uniforms, although the two losses came in the last two games they’ve been worn – vs. the Bills in 2022 and vs. the Dolphins in September.
Sunday’s forecast — 10:00 a.m.
According to AccuWeather, there will be rain and drizzle throughout the afternoon at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The high temperature will be just 46 degrees, and that’s expected to be reached right around kickoff at 1 p.m. Maximum wind gusts are projected to be 17 m.p.h.
Of course, everything depends on how you look at it.
Matt Pepin can be reached at email@example.com. Amin Touri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Christopher Price can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him @cpriceglobe. Chad Finn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @GlobeChadFinn.