Friday, August 8, 2008

Patriots Lose First Pre-Season Game

A rather sloppy game was played at Gillette Stadium on Thursday night. Both teams looked very unpolished, but what can you expect in the first pre-season game? The Patriots had a dreadful first half as they only put up three points. They did counter with twelve points in the second half, but that wasn't enough to put them ahead of the Baltimore Ravens. The final score was 15-16.

Back-Up Quarterback Situation

Matt Gutierrez only passed for 76 yards, not to mention he got sacked a couple of times and threw an interception, but overall he looked like the best out of the three competing quarterbacks. He completed 63% of his throws whereas rookie Kevin O'Connell (46%) and veteran Matt Cassel (25%) both finished under the 50% mark. In the case of Cassel, he looked awful. Ravens defenders manhandled him for most of the time that he was in there. O'Connell did a solid job for his first professional appearance.

Lamont Jordan's Stock Rises

With Sammy Morris unavailable (for a reason unknown), Lamont Jordan, a heavy power back, got a majority of the hand-offs last night. He didn't fail to impress either: 19 rushes, 76 yards, 1 TD. If he proved anything, it was that he can take it up the gut for a few yards every time. Laurence Maroney, the projected starter, had a less than spectacular performance. He averaged 1.0 yards on the ground in 6 attempts. If he wants to handle first and second down all by himself, he must certainly improve. If Jordan continues to play at a high level, I wouldn't be surprised if the two split time.

Chad Jackson's Stock Falls

Granted Jackson didn't have much stock in the first place. A third year player with 13 career receptions isn't much of a player at all. It was clear that the Patriots' quarterbacks wanted to give Jackson as much of a chance to shine as possible. They did by throwing about five passes in his direction; however, only one landed in his hands. He ended up being absolutely rocked by Ravens linebacker Nick Greisen for no gain.

Rookie Linebacker Duo Impresses

Both Jerod Mayo and Shawn Crable, drafted by the Patriots in 2008, had a great game. Mayo's presence was felt both when he tackled and when he didn't. Either way, he seemed to have always been around the ball. Crable, who is tall and slim (not a combo you would expect out of a linebacker), had four total tackles, a half of a sack, and one interception. With Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel not playing, these two certainly showed why they deserve time in the linebacker mix.

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