The New England Patriots began their preseason schedule last night with a 31-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. It was one game and while a win is a win we cannot come to any conclusions yet on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. The first play from scrimmage showed a very nice 62 yard run by returning starter Stephan Ridley. The interior line blocking was impressive. More impressive was the blocking down field of rookie wide out Aaron Dobson. The broadcasters were right Ridley needs to take that to the house. A bit of a surprise that after the big run it was LeGarrete Blount coming in to replace Ridley. Three runs later it was first and goal. Ridley then capped it off with a touch down run. The defense gave up some big plays on the first drive. None bigger than the touchdown to Jackson. He had a step on Aqib Talib. Replays show that Steve Gregory was late coming over. This was an issue last season as the Patriots safeties had issues getting wide. The second drive by Brady and the boys was pass happy. New free agent wide receiver Danny Amendola grabbed a typical Wes Welker ball and then the rookies took over. Kenbrell Thompkins had a nice back shoulder catch for a first down. He also had two more catches on the drive and appeared to be in the right place. Dobson had a great 20 yard comeback catch that showed off his size. The drive was capped off by a beautiful catch and throw from Brady to third year running back Shane Vereen. That was it for Brady. Two drives ending with touchdowns. Both drives went 80 yards and showed the Patriots versatility. Ryan Mallett was so so before leaving with an injury. He made faster decisions than last year. He had a nice touch pass to Julien Edelman, but over through a wide open Josh Boyce for a would be score. Tim Tebow wasn't good running the regular offense. He has a long way to go to make the team. He looked good running the pistol formation. His mechanics throwing have improved so all is not lost. What I liked. The rookie wide receivers. Much has been said about the teams lack of developing young wide outs. It looks like Thompkins, Dobson, and Boyce all could develop into play makers. Shane Vereen. I have been raving about him on my radio show Patriots Goal 2 Go (Sunday night 8:30 pm on CLNS Radio) and he did not disappoint. He showed great hands and body control on his touchdown reception. He also ran well when given the chance. He was used all over the field and could be a valuable asset to this team. Interior pass rush. Tommy Kelly had some nice pressure up the middle. One such play combined with Chandler Jones or a strip sack. What I did not like. Stephen Gostkowski. I have always been a fan of his, but the two missed field goals are a concern. I don't have the confidence in him to drill the game winner through the uprights in a preseason game let alone the Super Bowl. Brandon Bolden. He did have a nice catch and run on a screen pass for a touchdown. Other than that he didn't impress me. He had a penalty for running info the kicker (mistakenly called on Shane Vereen). He didn't hit the hole with speed. At this moment I believe it's Bolden or Tebow for the final roster spot. Pass defense giving up a third and 20. That can't happen during the season. The defense needs to get off the field. One game is in the books. The most important thing was the Patriots coming out of the game healthy.
New England Patriots Win Preseason OpenerWritten by Jeff Kane
Jeff Kane is the Patriots Beat Manager for CLNS Radio He is the lead host for Patriots Beat and Host of the Patriots Post Game Show. His quick-witted style and knowlege of the New England Patriots are some of his endearing qualities to CLNS listeners.
Jeff is a lifelong Boston sports fan who grew up right outside of Boston. His passion for the New England Patriots dates back to watching his first game in 1984. Jeff grew up with love for the Larry Bird led Celtics, watching games after his bedtime with his father Chuck.
A self describe football know-it-all. Jeff says his favorite sports memories are the Snow Bowl Game and attending game one of the NBA playoffs with his father in 2008.
Jeff currently resides in New Hampton, New Hampshire with his Wife Michelle and his two sons Connelly and Saygen.
Jeff can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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