Friday, August 19, 2011
I Know It's The Preseason...But
The Pats looked pretty damn good last night didn't they? By the time I got home it was already 14-0, thanks to two Tom Brady touchdown passes to Ochocinco and the old Ochocinco, Aaron Hernandez. The Patriots did whatever they wanted last night, en route to a 31-14 victory.
The first team looked like they had not missed a step from last season, as they moved down the field at will and scored a TD on four of their first five possessions.
The usual stars were impressive last night in a rainy game. Brady was 11 of 19 for 118 yards and two scores in one half of action. Wes Welker looked to be in midseason form, catching five passes for 56 yards while BenJarvis Green-Ellis led the first teamers in rushing with 11 carries for 51 bruising yards, including two scores.
While you know what you're going to get with the offense (for the most part), most of the concern lies in the defense. If last night was any indication, I am fired up for the front new-look seven. The defensive backfield was a little shaky at times last night and were bailed out by a couple of drops by Tampa Bay wideouts.
Overall the Patriots looked great, save for a few instances, but Pats fans should be satisfied with their progress, especially given the shortened offseason.
*Andre Carter was an absolute MONSTER last night. He was just abusing the Bucs left tackles over and over again on each play. The pressure he created helped collapse the pocket, as well as helped draw a few holding penalties. This type of consistent pressure is something that the Patriots have missed in the last few seasons. I don't expect Carter to play this way each week, but its refreshing to see him play his ass off especially with the absence of his former teammte Albert Haynesworth.
*BenJarvis Green-Ellis is quickly becoming my favorite Patriot, the spot that has been vacated since Vrabel was traded. I just love the way he attacks the holes, puts his head down and keeps his feet churning. He looks much different than what's his name. You know, number 39 with the dreadlocks, the guy who couldn't hit holes. Yeah, him. Ellis is unquestionably the number one back and will rush for over 1000 yards this year.
*You gotta love Kevin Faulk pumping up the team from the sidelines. I learned last night from Randy Cross that Belichick doesn't normally allow injured players on the sidelines, but Faulk is pretty much an assistant coach/player at this point. You can tell he still has love for the game and I can't wait to see him back in uniform.
*Quick question for Randy Cross and whoever the play by play guy Don Criqui. Can you at least familiarize yourself with the players on the team before you get behind a live microphone? Last night, they referenced "Gerard" Mayo, Brandon "Mayweather" and pronounced Ninkovich "NinKOvich". Jesus Christ, clean it up. Or at least let Zolak in the booth.
*There was a scary moment in the third quarter when Danny Woodhead was on the punt coverage unit. In pursuit of the returner, he was absolutely clobbered on a crackback hit. He was shaken up but left the field and remained on the sideline.
*Ryan Mallett impressed in the first preseason game against the Jaguars but fell back to earth a bit last night. His interception in the second quarter was just a terrible throw. He tried to lob a pass to the middle of the field where there was absolutely no one. QBs like Mallett need to use their arm to make big time throw, rather than put needless touch on the ball.
*Lastly, Stevan Ridley had another nice game, rushing for 84 yards on 14 carries. He could be a good third-down option if Faulk misses any significant time in the regular season.