Posted by: Mike B. | August 14, 2009

Pats are back!

Last night the New England Patriots including former league MVP Tom Brady took the field for pre-season game number 1 and quite frankly I was not surprised at all while watching the game which ended with a final score of 27-25. The biggest story for the Pats was Brady coming back to go 10-15, 2 TDs and 1 INT; I guess most of the rust is gone already. Both of Brady’s touchdown passes went to new acquisition and former Jet TE Chris Baker. His lone interception came in the first quarter when he got too much air under a pass to Randy Moss (which showed the off-season rust of Moss cause I still think he should have beat Sheldon Brown to the ball). Brady and Moss seemed to still be on the same page as Moss completing 3 passes and just missing a long bomb TD pass to Moss that was broken up by Asante Samuel and flagged for pass interference. Brady ended his night after the first half, leaving the game with a Patriots lead of 21-6.

The second half was a completely different story as the first half lead dwindled down to make the game a close one. The Patriot’s defense was very shaky at times but on a positive note was only flagged for 2 penalties all night. Patriot’s rookie and return specialist Julian Edelman made his presence felt in the second quarter with a 75 yard punt return for a TD. Gostkowski continued his outstanding kicking going 2-2 in field goals with a long of 49 and 3-3 on extra points. Running back Lawrence Maroney continued to disappoint me having 6 touches for only 14 yards. Running back BenJarvus Green-Eliis (4 touches for 31) looked the best of the Pats running backs but seems like the position the Pats will be the least reliable (though we didn’t see Fred Taylor last night).

The Patriots defense is still scaring me to be quite honest, I know that it is still pre-season and all but this is a younger Pats D then we are used to seeing. With the loss of former team captain Mike Vrabel leaving there will be a lot of Patriots fans watching to see how this defense will react to and read the opposing offense. There were two sacks by Patriots in the game (Banta-Cain and Pryor) which was a good sign while Brady went virtually untouched (though 1 sack was given up in the game). The Patriots had no forced fumbles or interceptions in the game but my main focus in watching their D will still be focused on their field coverage and cover packages, I do however think the Pats D is a lot faster than last year which will improve their coverage quite a bit.

Overall it was a GREAT start to the season and an overall great sign to see Tom Brady perform well in his return from last season injury. On a side note the big story of the night was the opposing team the Philadelphia Eagles have picked up troubled former Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick. My guess is that they will use him to run their own version of the Miami Dolphins “Wild Cat” offense which in my opinion will be very deadly behind Vicks running ability. The next Patriots pre-season game is on Thursday August 20th in Gillette Stadium at 7:30 PM EST vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.

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