The ExPats: Garoppolo injured, Vrabel’s Titans beat Jaguars, Jordan Richards catching flak in Atlanta

Also: Ben Watson proves he can still be productive in the Saints offense, and Jacoby Brissett's Colts cameo.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is carted off the field after being injured during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is carted off the field after being injured during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs. –AP

The Patriots faced a number of former teammates on Sunday night in the loss to the Lions. Matt Patricia got his first win as an NFL head coach against his old boss, Bill Belichick.

Here’s a look at how a few other ex-Patriots performed in Week 3:

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Facing the juggernaut that has been the Chiefs offense so far in the 2018 season, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled to keep his team in the game. Yet with plenty of time remaining in the second half, a touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin cut the deficit.

Unfortunately for Garoppolo, he collapsed without contact due to injury on what proved the 49ers’ final drive of the game (as the Chiefs ultimately won the game). After being carted off the field, San Francisco fans were given a grim update:

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Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans

A week after the Jaguars soundly defeated the Patriots to achieve what appeared a signature win, Jacksonville struggled in a 9-6 loss to the Titans. For Tennessee, it was a statement win of their own.

The team’s Twitter account had no problem pointing out the Titan’s pregame underdog status:

In the postgame, Vrabel happily handed out the game ball to Marcus Mariota, and announced that the team would have a day off.

Jordan Richards, Atlanta Falcons

The former Patriots safety was once again pressed into action due to injuries. He played 25 defensive snaps (32 percent), and wasn’t exactly praised for his work. Still, he will now get a prolonged opportunity to start with multiple teammates out for the season.

Previously, Richards was criticized for his performance in Week 2.

Against the Panthers, he got run over by running back Christian McCaffrey before missing a tackle on D.J. Moore’s touchdown.

Other notables

Chandler Jones: The defensive end has continued to be a bright spot for the otherwise backpedaling Cardinals season so far. The former Patriot had two tackles and a sack in the 16-14 loss to the Bears.

Ben Watson: The 38-year-old tight end is still a legitimate target for Drew Brees in the prolific Saints offense. Watson caught five of six targets for 71 yards in New Orleans’ wild overtime win against the Falcons.

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Jacoby Brissett: The former Patriots quarterback was brought into the Colts game for the final play: a Hail Mary to the end zone. Brissett was subbed in for Luck because he can “throw it a country mile,” though ultimately the pass fell incomplete in a Colts loss.

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