|There’s Hope for a Hanley Trade||Marcus Cannon and Aqib Talib are Keys to Pats vs Broncos||Connelly’s Top Ten: Belichick’s Greatest Move||Red Sox Targeting David Price|
Entering Friday Night’s firsts Patriots Pre-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles there were a good amount of questions with the most obvious being the new receiving corps. However, Patriots fans finally had a chance to take a look at Ryan Mallet, Tim Tebow and the running game.
Tom Brady tested the waters with his receivers going for 65 yards on 7 completions and 8 attempts. Among his targets were Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Shane Vereen. He also completed two big touchdowns including one to Shane Vereen.
Both Stevan Ridley and Lagarrette Blount shared the carries in the first half. Ridley ran for about 90 yards on on 8 rushes. Blount stood out the entire game with a huge 51 yard touchdown in the first half. Blount really demonstrated his impeccable athletic ability dodging Philadelphia defenders.
Unfortunately, both Nick Foles and Michael Vick picked apart the patriots back field wit 159 passing yards between the two of them but not to worry the first team defense was not on the field much.
Ryan Mallet completed 50% of his passes after 18 attempts and threw about 100 yards. He did not play the rest of the game after he took a big hit from Eagles linebacker Jake Knott. It was disclosed as a head injury, but he did look fine on the sidelines for the remainder of the game.
Yes of course, how could I forget, there was even a Tim Tebow sighting in the first half! Tebow went 1-4 with 15 yards.
In the second half, Tebow continued to perform under center, although it was not an excellent performance, he did look strong in the pistol formation and several draw plays. Tebow would finish the game with 3 more passing completions and 35 more yards, as well as rushing for 31 yards.
Legarrette Blount continued to add to his great performance adding another touchdown in the third quarter putting the pats up 31-14 which was all the Patriots needed to win. He would finish with 100 total rushing yards on 11 attempts.
Stevan Ridley also finished with a similar performance with 92 rushing yards on 8 attempts, and a touchdown.
There was not much to be said about the Patriots second team defense with the backfield getting torched by the Eagles. Tom Brady has most assuredly not lost his job after shaky performances for Ryan Mallet and Tim Tebow in the 31-22 win. All in all the offensive production was great especially from the running game and there was a solid balance between passing and rushing. The offensive line looked solid protecting the quarterback as well.
It is only the first pre-season game so it definitely should be taken with a grain of salt but it was exciting to finally have an opportunity to look at the new acquisitions and young guys. Clearly there is a good amount of work to be done in practice for these young guys but moving forward it should be an exciting few weeks of preseason football.