Pre-Season Meal: Atlanta Falcons

NEPD Staff Writer: Brian Delabarrera

The Patriots concluded practices with the Falcons with a heavy focus on the deep ball, both offensively and defensively. While Brady worked on his long passes, the New England secondary (Wilhite & Wheatley) also got victimized by Matty Ice.

The preseason is funny; while so much is very important, there are still a plethora of unknowns left at the end of these four games. Even though the Pats continue to face injury problems and depth chart questions, the silver lining does exist in the sense that more young players can take more reps and really get a chance to develop.

Who knows how much of an asset that could become as the grueling 16-game season runs its course. As tonight’s game approaches and the Patriots we’ll take a quick look at some things to pay attention to.

What Will Wes Do? – Yes his recovery up to this point has been remarkable. Yes I think he should be able to play week 1; I think he could, in fact, play tonight. The fact of the matter is that it may just be too early to risk a set back. No matter how far he’s come in his recovery, his knee is still telling him to be careful. Not to mention the turf down in Georgia is a lot harder than at Gillette, so maybe it may be better just to wait.

Buying Time - The face of the o-line is being reconstructed. The timing and the connection between them and Tom Brady is going to be a defining part of this season. If he can trust his line and comfortably allow his receivers to break free, the Patriots will be back to their old ways of keeping defenses up on the eves of game day. Dan Connolly, I’m lookin’ at you.

The Committee - That’s what I’m calling our backfield this year; a proper noun. Against the Saints, it was BJGE’s turn to work with his blockers and get accustomed to the flow. Tonight, I expect a good amount of carries to go Maroney’s way. Coach Fears sounds pretty amped about what The Committee will be able to accomplish this year and so should we. Let’s just hope Laurence shakes, bakes, and drops the football in the end zone… not on the field.

High Class Problems - Wait okay, so with Torry Holt gone from New England faster than he came what can the Patriots possibly do to fill that void? Answer: Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, and Taylor Price. Unlike past years, this 2010 squad is forced to pass on some extra veteran leadership and thrust a few youngbloods into a more serious role. But these guys can handle it. Speed at the WR position is abundant and they will face quite a test against a Falcon defense that is pretty quick on its toes as well.

Pressure’s On - Against the Saints, Coach Belichick really pulled out the stops and sent the house more often than not. I don’t see any reason to change that plan. The theory is simple: the less time Matt Ryan/Chris Redman have to sit back in the pocket, the more talented the secondary looks. Without bodies in the QB’s face, the NFL becomes a little more like Madden 11, especially against certain CBs whose surnames being with ‘W’. The pressure is on the defense as a whole to 1) prove that last week wasn’t a fluke 2) show the rest of the league that this is a new team. Let’s have Ryan and Redman singing like Freddy Mercury tonight. (“Under Pressure”)

Tags: Pre-Game Meal

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