BOSTON (CBS) — Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville was a rough scene for the Patriots’ defense, a unit that allowed Blake Bortles to look like Peyton Manning en route to a 31-20 Jaguars win. While such defensive struggles are generally the result of team-wide breakdowns, cornerback Eric Rowe was seemingly the player singled out by the coaching staff, as he was replaced mid-game by Jason McCourty.
After the game, Rowe didn’t make excuses or complain about the coaching decision, instead admitting that he simply wasn’t getting the job done.
“I mean, it hurts, but I wasn’t getting the job done. I mean, it’s hard to admit but I wasn’t getting it done,” Rowe said, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “It’s the NFL, there’s no time to sit and self-loathe so I just gotta go back to work on practice.”
Rowe also noted that the Jaguars essentially forced the Patriots to play catch-up all afternoon.
“They definitely brought the energy. They got the jump on us,” Rowe said. “Usually we try to come out and start fast on teams, and they came out and they started faster. Kind of momentum was swung their way and we were kind of in the hole from the jump and we had to climb out of it.”
With Bortles throwing for four touchdowns and 377 yards, Rowe said that performance was somewhat a surprise, but not entirely.
“I mean, he did a number on us,” Rowe said of Bortles. “We didn’t really expect that, him coming out and throwing like that. But we did expect their best shot, so it kind of wasn’t a surprise. We knew Jacksonville didn’t like us that much, and you know, they kind of worked extra hard on us. So it wasn’t like a surprise surprise, but he did have a good day.”