This was a great game despite the results (i.e. the controversial finish). I try not to complain about losing a game on a non-call but this one was pretty blatant, as much as I love Kuechly as a player.
Should be a great test for the Pats tonight! But of course, most importantly, NO INJURIES!!!
Pats Posits: Thoughts on a solid preseason showing vs. Eagles
The New England Patriots had a solid showing in their second preseason game of the 2014 summer as the roster battles continue to take shape. Here are some quick-hit thoughts on what stuck out to me.
- Brady is still Brady.
- Hard for a rookie quarterback to be much more impressive than Garoppolo has been in his first two starts. Yes, there’s still a ways for him to go, but his quick release and good decision making continue to shine. He’s an excellent fit for the Patriots’ offensive philosophy.
- All of the Pats’ running backs had their moments, and while I could see them using primarily a three-man rotation of Ridley-Vereen-White, Bolden, Finch and even Jonas Grey made cases for a roster spot with their skillsets.
Iron Sharpens Iron: Will Revis’ biggest impact for Pats be on Brady?
There’s no secret that the New England Patriots defense hasn’t been stellar in recent years.
They’ve certainly had their moments - 2011’s squad with a healthy Andre Carter and Mark Anderson generating the kind of pass rush the Pats have lacked since the late-2000’s. And in 2012/2013, Aqib Talib gave them their first shutdown man-to-man corner since Ty Law.
But the sum of those parts never quite added up to a top-10 defensive unit, usually due in part to injuries. They flash at times, but most often the Patriots won in spite of their defense, not because of them.
I’ve often joked that Tom Brady and the offense must just march up and down the field on the Patriots defense in practice. Especially when you consider the things the Pats defense wasn’t good at - defending the middle of the field, stopping tight ends and running backs - are very much the strengths of the Pats offense in recent years.
But this year the reports out of camp are that the defense is challenging Brady in a way not seen in a long time in Foxboro.
There’s been plenty of speculation of what the acquisitions of Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis, along with the maturation of various other young pieces like Chandler Jones, Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower, will mean for the Pats’ competition. But their biggest impact might be for the Patriots offense.
We wrote about it earlier this week and there’s little debate that Brady hasn’t quite had his best outings against the better defenses in the playoffs the last few years.
Could it be that the Patriots defense just hasn’t been able to provide enough of a challenge lately to force Brady to the absolute top of his game?
He certainly was pushed by the veteran dynasty defense in the early-2000’s, so perhaps this could result in more performances like we saw out of Brady in 2004’s AFC Championship, when he cut through a very tough Steelers defense in Pittsburgh like warm butter.
It might be a stretch, but early in camp it’s apparent that Brady hasn’t seen this kind of consistent challenge in practice day after day in a long time.
Perhaps this is just what Brady and the Pats need to get over the hump against the best defenses.
Kind of a poor throw by Brady, he looked off his intended receiver but Revis read it all the way. Brady was off balance and partially affected by Wilfork getting some late disruption past Wendell.
It’s still sinking in the kind of player Revis is and that I will actually be able to root for him. I always enjoyed watching his tape even when he was on the Jets (gasp!). He’s special and no matter how long he’s in New England it will be fun.
PatsPropaganda is written and edited by Mike Dussault, a card-carrying Belichickian. He has a soft spot for hard core X's and O's, and believes in "throw to score, run to win", low pad level, and touchdown celebrations that last two weeks.
He is a Patriots Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report, and his work has been featured on FoxSports.com, Yahoo Sports, and SI.com. He also co-hosts the weekly PatsPropaganda & Frenz Podcast with Bleacher Report's AFC East Editor Erik Frenz.
PatsPropaganda was TruFan.com/CSNNE's 2011 winner for Best Patriots Blog.
He can be contacted at PatsPropaganda [at] gmail.com
This blog is in no way affiliated with the NFL nor the New England Patriots.