The New England Patriots’ defense showed its ability to take the ball away in their game against the Houston Texans, with Jalen Mills intercepting a pass on the first possession. The offense, however, failed to capitalize on the turnover. Despite this, the defense had a strong start, with notable plays from Daniel Ekuale, Anfernee Jennings, and rookie Keion White. Rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez also showed promise in his first NFL action. Overall, it was a positive start for the Patriots’ defense in terms of causing turnovers. Mike Dussault reported
The Patriots defense has a reputation for consistently taking the ball away, and Jalen Mills showcased this skill by intercepting a pass from Houston’s rookie quarterback, C.J. Stroud, during the opening possession of the game. Mills, who has transitioned from cornerback to safety during training camp, positioned himself as a robber and capitalized on Stroud’s errant throw.
Unfortunately, the offense failed to capitalize on the turnover, struggling to gain yards and settling for a field goal instead of a touchdown. This lack of complementary play mirrored the team’s struggles in the 2022 season.
Despite the offensive setback, the defense had a strong start overall. Daniel Ekuale recorded a sack, while Anfernee Jennings and rookie Keion White applied effective pressure on the opposing offense. Jennings drew a hold penalty later in the second quarter, and White disrupted a handoff, leading to a fumble recovery by Calvin Munson.
In terms of cornerback play, Christian Gonzalez and Jack Jones started the game, allowing the rookie first-round pick, Gonzalez, to gain valuable experience. Gonzalez demonstrated his playmaking ability by forcing a fumble, although it unfortunately rolled out of bounds. He also contributed on the kickoff team before being substituted midway through the second quarter.
While Mills made an impressive play early on, it was the top two draft picks from April, Gonzalez and White, who continued to create turnovers. Their impactful contributions marked a promising start to their NFL careers..