Musket Blasts: Patriots and NFL Draft Links, 8/10

Jeff Tarpinian Patriots Linebacker

Jeff Tarpinian might see more time with the loss of Dane Fletcher. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

Come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as I choose my five favorite New England Patriots and NFL Draft links to share. Feel free to submit your own links in the comments.

Shane Vereen had a great 2012 debut for the Patriots last night. (WEEI)

On the Patriots’ 97-yard touchdown drive that led to their only score of the game, Vereen amounted to 73 total yards (63 rushing) before Brian Hoyer tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to Britt Davis. During that drive, the Valencia, Calif. native had three rushes of ten yards or more.

Very unfortunate to see Dane Fletcher go down with an ACL tear. (Boston Herald)

Linebacker Dane Fletcher suffered a torn ACL about three minutes into the Pats’ 7-6 victory against the Saints at Gillette Stadium. Even worse, it happened on a play that didn’t count due to a penalty. Fletcher hit the ground by the sideline and had to be helped off by a pair of trainers, who slowly walked him down the stairs and into the tunnel. After the game, word spread fast.

A look at the snap counts for the Patriots offensive skill positions from the Patriots first preseason game. (ESPN Boston)

Tom Brady, Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez only played the first two series, which reflects their status as the top guns on offense. Donte’ Stallworth saw more action before Jabar Gaffney at receiver (Stallworth played nine snaps on the first two drives before Gaffney even took the field).

Chandler Jones had a very impressive debut. (NEPD on NESN)

Jones didn’t fill up the stat sheet on Thursday, but he did draw multiple holding calls on Jermon Bushrod, and was a constant presence in the Saints backfield. Jones disappeared at times in college, and based on his performance thus far in a Patriots uniform, we might be able to chalk that up to returning to the field before fully recovering from injury.

A New Orleans point of view from the 7-6 Patriots victory. (Canal Street Chronicles)

The New Orleans Saints fell to the New England Patriots Thursday night at Gillette Stadium by a score of 7-6 in a low-scoring and boring game, even by preseason standards. Offense was nowhere to be found for the Saints tonight, as they struggled to get a running game going and quarterback play suffered. Add to that a couple of interceptions and some costly penalties and you’ve got a recipe for epic failure. Courtney Roby was the one bright spot.

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