Tom Brady (apc99 - Patriots Look Poised For Another Super Bowl Run Drew Stafford, Jonathan Kozub/National Hockey League/Getty Images Bruins Trade For Drew Stafford Claude Julien Black and Gold Bruins Turn Yellow On Parade Day ( Inconsistency Will Continue For Bruins Unless A Change Is Made

Patriots 30, Panthers 7: What we were watching for

Patriots running back Stevan Ridley must hold on to the football. (USA Today Sports)

The Patriots played their third preseason game in Foxboro against the Carolina Panthers Friday night, winning 30-7. The third preseason game is usually a dress-rehearsal, meaning the teams go through regular game-prep through the week, and both teams starters will likely play into the third quarter — and they did.

This is the one of the four preseason games where watching the starters will be more intriguing than the fringe players. Here is a list of what we were watching:

  • Running Back: It will be very interesting to see how the reps get divided during the first half. Stevan Ridley struggled to hold onto the ball last week, but I doubt he’ll see his workload decrease in a preseason game. James White, who was a bit of a disappointment last week, will need to play better to ensure that he has a role carved out entering Week 1. (What happened: Ridley had 8 carries for 28 yards, Jonas Gray had 9 for 20 yards, Shane Vereen had 6 fpr 18 yards and White had 4 for 15 yards)
  • Linebackers: Tonight will be the first time (we hope) that Mayo, Collins, and Hightower are on the field together this preseason. This has the potential to be a very potent unit with Hightower assuming the role that Brandon Spikes held the past few seasons. (What happened: Mayo did not play. Belichick said, “Jerod is doing well. He’s making good progress” in a pre-game interview, calling the absence injury-related)
  • Brian Tyms and Malcolm Butler: The two big surprises of training camp could lock-down roster spots with strong performances tonight. Butler started across from Darrelle Revis last week, and he should garner more first team reps tonight. Tonight will likely be our first look at Brady throwing to Tyms. (What happened: Tyms had one catch for 15 yards on 3 targets. Butler started again, finishing with one tackle. Nothing too notable occurred)
  • Josh Boyce: If Brian Tyms continues to impress, Josh Boyce will likely be in trouble. The second year receiver has failed to develop into a reliable receiver, and there could be a decision to make in Week 5 when Tyms returns from his suspension. Don’t be surprised if Boyce is wearing a Jet or Dolphin uniform sometime this year. (What happened: Boyce is probably still in trouble. He didn’t register a catch or play an offensive snap until late in the third quarter)
  • Safety: Strong safety remains one of the few open starting spots on this team. Duron Harmon came into camp as the odds-on-favorite, but he hasn’t seized the job yet, and both Kyle Arrington and Logan Ryan received safety reps last week. (What happened: Harmon finished with two tackles, Harmon with one. Not sure if they are any closer to a final decision. Patrick Chung started alongside Devin McCourty)
  • Offensive Line: Offensive line has been a mess in the pre-season. The lack of tight end depth forced the likes of Nate Solder and Josh Kline to play tight end last week. Hopefully tonight we can see the first-string linemen play an entire series or two together. (What happened: The O-line was better, allowing zero sacks on Brady, Ryan Mallett or Jimmy Garoppolo)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


No comments for “Patriots 30, Panthers 7: What we were watching for”

Post a comment