This was probably one of the most exciting preseason games I’ve watched in years. There was actually a lot of good football played in this game. It might have been mostly because Brady played a full half, but there was some actual football to keep you interested in this game. Along with all the positives, as any preseason game, there were plenty of negatives as well. This was a huge step up from last week though.
On the most positive note, Tom Brady looks like he hasn’t missed a step. He looked phenomenal and really got the offense moving early on. Chris Hogan looked good (one bad drop aside) and James White ripped through the Eagles D like a wet paper bag. The offensive line kept Brady’s jersey relatively clean as well, and kept some very good defensive linemen in check. The opposite happened on the other side of the ball. The Pats pass rush ran through Philly like a sieve. Adrian Clayborn was all over the place and looked like he will be a serious force on this D-line. They amassed 8 sacks in this game, Adam Butler and Derek Rivers also spent a lot of time terrorizing the O-line. And I can’t say enough about Ja’Whaun Bentley. Him and Kyle Van Noy spent the majority of the game in the Eagles backfield. Bentley just has a natural nose for the ball and is constantly disrupting plays. He showed some serious wheels on that TD he scored too. Other rookie linebacker Christian Sam looked pretty good too and added a pick. Cordarelle Patterson looked very impressive and really showed off his ability in open space as well. If the Pats can use that to their advantage he should make some big plays this season.
It would have been nice to see Brady get acquainted with his new receivers more. Not much looked impressive out of Phillip Dorsett, and Eric Decker has looked horrid. He has dropped easy passes and is not looking like he will make much of an impact on this offense. Running backs not named James White did not look impressive either. Not too much out of Hill or Webb, and Gillislee still was not good. The secondary did not look good on defense either. Gilmore looked better, and that was about it. Jason McCourty gave up a Busch League TD to a scrub. Keion Crossen couldn’t stick with a receiver if his life depended on it, but if pass interference calls ended world hunger he would be a hero. It will be nice to see Jonathan Jones and Duke Dawson come back.
The big negative from the night was the loss of Isaiah Wynn for the rest of the season. An achillies tear is a terrifying injury, and he was just getting started and looked pretty good before it happened. It also kills the Pats depth at offensive tackle. Marcus Cannon is already out, leaving them with Trent Brown and LaAdrian Waddle. Brown has been very good, and Waddle has been serviceable in the past. But it leaves them with almost no wiggle room for any injuries. Who knows who else might be on the roster if Cannon isn’t ready to go, and the rest of the preseason will most likely be an open tryout for those spots.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)