Patriots football is back! Yes, it’s only week 1 of the preseason, but there were still lots of takeaways from the game. After every game this year, I’m going to try to highlight some for you. Here are my takeaways from last night’s game:
– I’ve been saying since he was drafted that Ja’Whaun Bentley could help this team at LB. Last night was a great first step in proving me right.
– Ralph Webb looked great. Yes, it was against backups and guys who probably won’t make the team, but he ran hard, showed great vision and burst, and his catch and dive into the end zone on the 2 point play was special.
– Ryan Lewis looked good in coverage again, and had a big hit that caused the Redskins receiver to spit up blood on the sideline, but he’ll be getting yelled at by the coaches during film session. On Grissom’s fumble return, he was celebrating what he thought would be a TD while a WR ran right by him and made the tackle at the 1, not great awareness on that play.
– Jordan Richards sucks at football. If he somehow makes the team, which I can’t imagine he will, please don’t ever let him play defense again. Missed tackles everywhere by him, and the angles he took were just not good.
– Mike Gillislee might be the odd man out in the backfield. Jeremy Hill ran hard and made a nice catch and run out of the backfield too. After one game, I’d put Hill over Gillislee, and that’s not even taking Webb into consideration.
– I was hoping we’d see something from either Riley McCarron or Braxton Berrios that would set them apart from each other, but we got nothing from either of them. Both returned a few punts, but they were all fair catches, and the kick returns didn’t go far either.
– Two receivers we saw plenty of were Cordarrelle Patterson and Devin Lucien. Patterson made a few nice catches, and looks like he may be able to contribute on offense as well as special teams. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a roster spot for Lucien, but if he keeps playing the way he did last night, maybe that will change.
– It may have been the end of the game, but Trent Harris definitely flashed, with a nice strip sack that led to the Grissom return and a solid stop in the backfield on the next possession. Probably a practice squad guy, but players that can get to the quarterback are good to keep around.
– Danny Etling played pretty well. His release was the biggest thing I was looking for, and I was happy to see when he identified where the ball was going, he got rid of it quick. He did, however, cause the fumble on the RPO. Left the ball in the back’s belly too long, when he realized he should be keeping it, it was too late and the back had already clamped down. He eventually made the right read, but he’s got to do it faster than that.
– The outcome of the game didn’t matter, but it was still good to see the Patriots fight back and win the game last night. Hoyer started terrible, but ended up leading them to victory, which is a positive on a night when he did not look good.
– I’m glad to her that it looks like Derrius Guice isn’t badly hurt. You never want to see a rookie’s season end during he first preseason game. It also helps fantasy drafts, so that’s a positive.
– On a personal note, I took my daughter to her first game last night and she had a blast. The best part about sports is sharing them with the people you love, and spending last night with her made me as happy as I’ve ever been at Gillette.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @wtplane