New England Patriots

JuJu Smith-Schuster takes blame for interception that cost Patriots

The Patriots had plenty of chances to beat the Commanders on Sunday.

NBC Universal, Inc.

JuJu Smith-Schuster extended the New England Patriots' final drive of Sunday's Week 9 matchup against the Washington Commanders with a fantastic catch on a fourth down play.

But just a couple plays later, the veteran wide receiver cost his team a chance to win the game by failing to haul in a pass on second down.

The ball went off Smith-Schuster's hands and was caught by Commanders safety Jartavius Martin. The turnover was the final nail in the coffin for the Patriots, who had many chances to beat the Commanders but couldn't execute. Washington left Gillette Stadium with a 20-17 win.

Smith-Schuster took accountability for what happened on the play after the game.

"It was a good ball, went through my hands, interception. Game over," Smith-Schuster told reporters in the Patriots' locker room "It’s all on me. (Mac Jones) put the ball in a good position. I just got to catch and secure it and get into field goal range. Obviously I didn't do that.”

There's no question Smith-Schuster should have caught the pass from Mac Jones that resutled in the game-ending interception. It wasn't a perfect throw, but when the ball hits both hands, it has to be secured.

Smith-Schuster's first season with the Patriots has been a disaster, frankly. He has tallied 21 receptions for 140 yards and one touchdown in seven games. The Patriots let veteran wideout Jakobi Meyers leave in free agency last offseason and replaced him with Smith-Schuster. Meyers has played very well for the Las Vegas Raiders and has six touchdowns in eight games.

The Patriots chose not to play Kayshon Boutte on Sunday despite the rookie wide receiver having, according to head coach Bill Belichick, his best week of practice. After another lackluster performance from Smith-Schuster, the Patriots would be better served giving their young wideouts more reps. What do they have to lose with a 2-7 record?

Contact Us