Here we’ll take a look back on the questions going into the game and how the Patriots answered them.
- How will the quarterback play progress? Answer: About as much as Brooke Hogan from her first to second reality show…not much. After a terrible game against the Ravens, Matt Cassell and Kevin O’Connell again laid an egg, combining to go 12-25 with 118 yards and one pick. Cassel played the entire first half and O’Connell took over in the third but neither quarterback found a rhythm to give Patriots fans any confidence. The Pats seemed determined to establish the run but that didn’t go too well either as they gained just 56 yards on 22 carries (good for 2.5 avg.). Laurence Maroney hasn’t gotten it going yet in the preseason and we’ll see if Matt Gutierrez will get a better look in the third preseason game in hopes of finding a decent backup to Tom Brady, who may miss yet another preseason game this week.
- How much will John Lynch play? Answer: Not nearly as much as I had expected, though my prediction of 20-25 snaps now seems pretty outrageous. Lynch took over early on for Brandon Meriweather, who left with an apparent leg injury in the first quarter (no official word on his condition, pray for the best). Lynch was credited with one solo tackle, so not much really to look into his performance. If Meriweather is out long term however, Lynch may become a very important part of the secondary pretty quick.
- How will the offensive line play? Answer: It’s a mixed bag with terrible quarterback play, but the lack of room for the runningbacks is a bit of an issue. Maroney was dancing quite a bit because of the lack of room in front of him. However, last year as we remember the line played pretty terribly for the first two preseason games, then was one of the best units in the league during the regular season until the Super Bowl. More consistency is the key
It’s only the preseason but it’s a little disconcerting the lack of emotion that has been expelled by the Patriots on both sides of the ball. It looks as though the players (with the noted exception of Jerod Mayo) are just going through the motions. This is all well and good for exhibition games, but there’s always that little thought in the back of your mind asking whether or not the team can just turn it on like a switch when the real games start. Let’s hope Brady’s foot and Meriweather’s knee doesn’t give us any sleepless nights over the next two weeks.
Tags: Brandon Meriweather, John Lynch, Kevin O'Connell, Laurence Maroney, Matt Cassell, Matt Gutierrez, Patriots, Tom Brady