Preseason week 2 is underway with the Patriots taking on the Eagles. The teams practiced against each other all week in Philly, which makes this a much anticipated game to see if any emotions flare from the week. Here’s a little Patriots-Eagles recap.
The Pats got lucky early on with a bad snap over Flacco’s head that resulted in a turnover in the red zone. The turnover did come about due to great pursuit from Matt Judon, who has popped a lot since becoming a Patriot. He has been a great fit in this system so far, and more time will only do him better. Damien Harris ran very hard and looked fantastic early on. He took advantage of great field position and scored the first TD, and showed great field vision through the 1st quarter. JoeJuan Williams was fantastic starting on the outside corner against Devonta Smith.
The big story of the first quarter was Cam Newton. Cam came out like he took the “checkdown king” nickname personally. His pocket presence was incredible, moving up as the rush came from the outside. He also kept his eyes downfield, even when there was running room to find a receiver running open. He was very much on the same page as Jakobi Meyers. They connected a few times on crossing routes, ultimately resulting in a TD. Cam also wasn’t afraid to find his new receiver Kendrick Borne across the middle as well. Sure he might have been playing against a lot of backups, but he was hitting his throws and looked like a brand new QB.
Mac also came out firing right from the gate. He was put in a 3rd and long situation and he stayed calm and cool and completed the pass he needed to make to Harry. He connected with a few different receivers, and connected with Sony Michel a few times. Michel looked decent, but the minute Rhamondre Stevenson touched the field he was absolutely electric again. He never goes down on first contact, and was running through defenders left and right. This guy looks like he will definitely have a role in this Patriots offense. Mac also showed some decent athleticism, escaping the pocket a few times to avoid the rush. He commanded the offense in a drive that took up almost the entire second quarter, and showed that he can lead this offense.
As the game went on Harvey Langi made a case to make this roster. He came up with a pick, a sack, and seemed to be running the defense in the 2nd half. Chase Winovich also looked decent, however he also played very late into the game with backups. That might be a sign that he is a guy on the bubble right now. The Pats pass rush either looked really good or the Eagles o line was really bad.
Overall this game showed that this QB battle has been broken wide open. Both Cam and Mac showed up and showed out in their time on the field. Neither player wants to give an inch in this battle, and come week 1 Bill is going to have a hard decision to make. Its also clear this team has been built for a strong running game. No matter what running back was on the field they were gaining positive yards. Sony Michel looked solid, and Rhamondre Stevenson was untoppable. J.J. Taylor is also fighting for his life on the roster, and he never gets tackled in the backfield. That will be another tough decision to make any cuts at. Kudos to the offensive line paving the way for all of these backs all game though.
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-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)