Pats scare…and some exhibition thoughts…

I know the first Patriots preseason game was 5 days ago.  But I’ve been meaning to throw some opinions out there about it.  And looking forward a bit to the game this Friday night.  Then Brady goes down today.  Seems as if he/the team avoided a major catastrophe, but I guess we will never know until he gets back on the field.  Bill’s not going to tell us.  All I know is that he is the one guy that can’t go down.  That’s really not a newsflash of course.  But during the last decade or so, if the Patriots lose a player…to free agency, trade, injury, release, whatever…they are usually able to replace that player for the most part.  Jeez, even Cassel went 11-5 in 2008.  Though I also think everyone knew there would be no championship that year once Brady got hurt.  I remember thinking, after the disappointment of not being perfect in 2007, that with the schedule in 2008 being pretty easy “on paper”, they had a chance to make another run at perfection if everyone stayed healthy.  Always a big “if” of course.  And that dream was shattered with Brady’s injury right from the get-go.  In no way do I think they will make a run at perfection this year at all.  But a division title should be pretty easy.  Please don’t try and sell me on the Dolphins.  And the J-E-T-S and Bills should be pretty brutal.  So playoffs here we come again.  But with Mallett and/or Tebow?  Hmmmm…not so sure about that.  So hopefully Tom answers the bell Week 1…because I don’t care if I don’t see him again until that game.

Some basic likes and dislikes from the 31-22 win over the Eagles follow.  Keep in mind that I’m not getting the coaches copy of the game and breaking down film like Jaws does impeccably.  I didn’t re-watch the game, as some people do (how many times can you really watch an exhibition game anyway?  Sometimes it is trouble enough getting though it the first time.  Unless you are getting paid for it.  Which I am not.).  I can’t judge the offensive line all that much unless someone repeatedly gets turnstiled…then it’s pretty easy of course.  Some guys you don’t even notice on the field and then the coaches say they had a great game…like a TE that handles all his blocking assignments and never is asked to catch a pass.  I’m not going to make any bold predictions or in depth analysis of things like that.  So take some things with a grain of salt, I guess.  Just one dude’s thoughts from a game in real-time.  And believe it or not, there were way more dislikes than likes.  Maybe it’s just because it was the first game of the year and many people played and everyone, including the coaches, had to work out the kinks.  But hopefully they’ll get better.  Anyway…

Likes:

Brady-2 drives, 2 TD’s.  Yes, one was all runs, but who cares?  I was saying after that let’s sit him down and we’ll see him in the opener.  I am up for that even more after today.

Ridley-for the most part.  Little disappointed in him not being able to finish off that long run though.  I’m ok with putting him away until the opener as well.

Blount-Yeah, the run was nice.  But the guy is a good back.  The trade was a steal.  Jeff Demps?  Have fun running track dude.  I’m surprised that most think he is fighting for a spot.  I would guess he’s a part of the team regardless.

Thompkins-People have been raving about this guy all through camp.  It was only one game, but he looked good to me.  Let’s see what happens when the real competition begins, but looks like he is a keeper.

Ryan Allen-I know, a punter.  But he looks like a legitimate threat to Mesko, and Mesko has been good for the Pats.  Plus he had a tackle.

Collins-Kind of.  Looks like a player, but whiffed on a perfect sack attempt.  Looking forward to seeing more of him.

Dislikes:

General sloppiness-Maybe because it was the first game.  But there were a handful of things I saw that were just sloppy, or someone had their head up their arse.  Mallett overthrew a wide open Boyce; Edelman fumbled twice; Collins and Bequette whiffed on easy sacks; Justin Green didn’t tag a guy who caught a pass near him and fell to the ground…he ran right by him; Gostkowski missed 2 FG’s; Bolden got called for roughing the punter (though it was a great acting job), but why did he not go for the block?  Seemed he just cruised by him and barely touched the punter; Mallett didn’t throw a block on Blount’s run…didn’t even fake an effort…stuff like that.  Hopefully that all gets cleaned up.

1st team defense-Watching Talib get burned, that was fun, eh?  Not sure how many of them were out there that long, but nothing stood out from anyone.

Defensive backs in general-Logan Ryan and Tavon Wilson didn’t excite me…Harmon looked ok, Green wasn’t anything special.  Talib mentioned above.  Arrington was ok though.  No McCourty or Dennard, so maybe there is hope.

Tebow-Pretty awful.  I think he makes the team.  And I am glad to see they put in some plays specifically for him.  That’s how it could possibly work.  But he was pretty brutal in the passing game.

Special teams-Edelman’s fumbles; long punt return; Leon Washington’s very average kick returns; Gostkowski’s misses; Bolden’s roughing.  Hopefully it’s a case of them trying a ton of guys in a ton of different spots and working out the kinks from there.  But not a good start for those guys.

Looking forward to the next game.  Would like to see Mallett give us more confidence.  Is he actually as talented as everyone said he was coming out of college?  Or is he another Brian Hoyer…hyped up as a Brady backup, in the Pats’ system for a few years, but nothing special in the end?  Hopefully we’ll be able to take some positives out of this next game…though…it is only an exhibition game.  Just sit Brady…that’s all I really ask for…

10 thoughts on “Pats scare…and some exhibition thoughts…

  1. gfncourtin

    What can you really tell from pre-season? Very little. To me the pre-season is really for the fringe players to get their chances to make the team. The starters and second team players sort themselves out in front of the coaches during practice. To your point, does watching Brady run two series really mean anything? No. Although I would love to see him get his bell rung…hahaaaa. One thing that I always find awesome about pre season games is the overreaction fans and some pundits have with regards to the back up QB. Not just for the Patriots. People need to remember they are back ups for a reason…they aren’t good enough to start (for the most part). I think the whole Mallet for a first round pick is so asinine. Kid has a big arm…that seems to be about it. I could see Mallet going by the Hoyer path…Patriots have been jaded by what happened with Cassel. Not sure you can replicate that.

    Reply
    1. mpdenton Post author

      I agree…to a point. I think for the starters it is a chance to get some in-game reps, preferably against the other teams’ defensive starters. But not much more. But I do think it means something for even the definite backups on the team, including the backup QB. Gets guys some live reps, which they may not see all year, but need to be prepared for it if they do. This is really the only way. And some teams’ backup QB may be better than other teams’ starters. Hell, I’ve seen enough of Mark Sanchez to think maybe Mallett is better than him! Maybe not, but I bet a lot of teams’ backups could start elsewhere. Not sure Mallett is one of them, none of us have really seen anything from him yet. But you never know. Mallett seems to have better physical tools than Hoyer, and Jed is still kicking around. He does seemingly have problems on the short, touch passes (few last night), but if he gets in the right offense, he could succeed. Or he could be Sanchez. Or Ponder. Or Fitzpatrick. But really, no one has seen enough of him in game action to be a true judge.

      Reply
  2. gfncourtin

    Agree on the QBs. They might be the players that need preseason the most out of any other players. They are similar to the Vice President – totally anonymous until the #1 goes down, then they are the most important people. I am not convinced in Mallett, he feels like a typical “over hyped” Patriot back up QB. Clearly done to get his value up so the Patriots can try and recoup something for him. Justify wasting a 3rd round pick on him.

    I also agree that Mallett might be better than Sanchez, well can’t be worse!

    Reply
    1. mpdenton Post author

      Good value for him in the 3rd round. The Pats have taken worse guys higher for sure. But they also find some pretty good late round/free agent guys.

      Reply
  3. gfncourtin

    Good value? For a team like the Patriots with an established starter in place and one that does not seem ready to move on any time soon? I would argue that is a wasted pick. Could the Patiots have been better served taking a WR such as Shorts or Brown, who went after Mallett? Again I realize that drafting after the fact is very easy. My point is – not sure spending a third round pick on a back up QB was a good value move for a team like the Pats. There is no reason to draft a QB if you have the likes of Manning, Brady, Brees or Rodgers…unless a talent like a Rodgers falls into your lap.

    Reply
    1. mpdenton Post author

      You are entitled to your opinion and thanks for that. But my opinion is that it was not a wasted pick. You are right about drafting after the fact being very easy. They also should have taken Mike Wallace instead of Brandon Tate in 2009. Hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes you just take the best player available. There was talk of Mallett being a 1st round talent. He was there in the 3rd. Good value. Maybe not the best fit on the Pats. But speaking of Rodgers and GB, didn’t they always seem to take a QB in the draft and develop (and eventually trade) them, even though Favre was entrenched there? The Pats could afford to take gambles as well. As you said, they had an established QB in place, but also had other top pieces in place too. Not a crying need for someone who could start immediately (not that a 3rd rounder would have started somewhere immediately anyway). Not to mention that the entire draft is a crapshoot anyway, first round included. Wasn’t Aaron Maybin drafted 11th overall? He just got cut again today, no? By what, his 3rd or 4th team? Inexact science, my friend. I had no problem with the pick.

      Reply

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