The New England Patriots went toe-to-toe with a Super Bowl contender in the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but they came up just a little short in a 35-29 overtime loss at Gillette Stadium.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott gave an MVP-caliber performance, throwing for 445 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He led a game-tying drive to end regulation and won the game in overtime with a 35-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.
How much blame does the defense deserve for New England's Week 6 defeat that dropped its record to 2-4? In the latest episode of NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Talk Podcast, Phil Perry explained why it was actually the offense that let the team down.
"Everybody is going to look at the defense and say 500 yards of offense for the Cowboys -- what in God's name is happening on the defensive side of the ball? I'll tell you what. They're on the field way to often on Sunday afternoon," Perry said.
"You want to listen to the play breakdown for how the Patriots went through the middle of this game? After two touchdowns to start, it went strip sack, blocked punt, punt, knee to end the half, 3-and-out, 3-and-out, 5-and-out, and it wasn't until the fourth quarter that they put together a 13-play touchdown drive."
The Cowboys won the time of possession battle 39:17 to 26:51, and it began to take a toll on the Patriots defense in the second half.
"Bill Belichick had it at 91 snaps (the defense) ended up playing when we talked to him this morning. The defense was gassed. They couldn't get pressure on Dak Prescott," Perry said.
"They don't have the horses to run with the Cowboys, but I actually thought the coverage, for the most part, was pretty good. It was up front where they were hurt, and I think they were hurt because they were tired. And they were tired because the offense didn't do a dang thing in the middle the game. They need more from the offensive side of the ball, especially going against a Dallas defense that forces turnovers but doesn't do much else."
Also in this episode: Curran and Perry talk about the Patriots needing to take the training wheels off of quarterback Mac Jones, second-guessing the team's decision not to go for it on fourth-and-3, how much has the absence of Stephon Gilmore hurt the defense, and more!