Posts Tagged ‘Patriots Preseason’

Final Auditions: Unsung Patriots Make Push in Preseason Finale vs. Giants

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Undrafted running back George Winn wasn’t the only overlooked Patriot to seize the moment versus the Giants. (Photo:

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots capped off the exhibition schedule with a 28-20 victory over the New York Giants on Thursday night. But for those who saw their most extensive action of the preseason during the Week 4 tilt, it was about far more than the final score.

It was about the final auditions.

The Aug. 29 game at Gillette Stadium served as an unofficial farewell party for dozens of current Patriots. A large fraction of whom will never don the “Flying Elvis” helmet again, while some will never play in the league again. Because by 6 p.m. on Aug. 31, New England’s roster – and the 31 other NFL rosters – will be cut from 75 men to 53 men. And the whittling has already begun.

With that reality set in, the battle versus New York was a vital one for every Patriots player firmly entrenched on the bubble. Many played like it was vital, capitalizing on the limited reps to give the coaching staff a lasting impression. (more…)

Not All Is Lost: Revisiting Patriots’ Preseason Week 3 Loss to Lions

Monday, August 26th, 2013

The Patriots’ one-sided loss to the Lions was not without memorable glimpses. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

Preseason or regular season, losing by 31 points is unacceptable for an NFL team. And following the Aug. 22 shellacking by way of the Detroit Lions, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reinforced that notion.

“We just have to get back to work and do better than that in every area of the game,” said Belichick in a next-day conference call. “I don’t think there’s anything different than what the picture was last night. There were a few good individual plays here and there but overall just, we can’t play like that and expect to do well against a good team.”

The Patriots were beaten in all three phases of the game during the 40-9 defeat last Thursday night. New England’s offense turned the ball over four times and went 5-for-16 on third- and fourth-down opportunities. The offensive line was beat physically and mentally, allowing two quarterback sacks, 15 hurries and an abysmal 68 rushing yards. And the defense – which was put in a tough spot early – broke down once the second- and third-teamers filtered in, conceding 24 second-half points.

The squad’s effort was certainly not enough, but not all was lost in the end result. (more…)

Reading Between the Lines: Patriots Offensive Line vs. Lions Defensive Line in Preseason Week 3

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

The New England Patriots lost the battle up front against the Detroit Lions in Week 3 of the preseason. (Photo: NFL Preseason Live)

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

The Detroit Lions defeated the New England Patriots, 40-9, in a gruesome preseason Week 3 contest at Ford Field. But the one-sided final score of the Aug. 22 tilt was a byproduct of more than New England’s secession in all three phases of the game and four first-half turnovers.

It was a byproduct of the line-of-scrimmage battle between the Patriots’ offensive line and the Lions’ defensive line.


Forging Through: Examining Chandler Jones’ Preseason Performance vs. Buccaneers

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones showcased progression versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2 of the preseason. (Photo: NFL Preseason Live)

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots’ defense could boom in 2013. And if it does, it will be because second-year defensive end Chandler Jones booms as well.

In 2012, the first-round draft pick amassed six sacks and three forced fumbles over the first eight games. He flashed explosion off the line. He swung around the blind side to make plays. He looked the part of a 6’6”, 260-pound pass-rusher. But when an ankle injury hampered his health in the second half of his rookie campaign, his overall effectiveness was hampered, too.

Yet now, entering year two of his development, the Syracuse Orangeman is readying himself for the next step. In an interview with Patriots Football Weekly in May, Jones acknowledged the responsibility that comes along with his sophomore season in Foxborough, Mass:

“I feel like you can go two different ways in your career with year two,” said Jones. “I feel like this is the year that establishes you as a player.”

Vying for establishment, Jones added 10 pounds of muscle over the offseason. He is more refined in his hand and arm movements, following technique sessions with a boxing trainer. He’s doing the little things in the hopes of making a big difference.

But can the 23-year-old’s hard work off the field translate to further success on the field?

In the Aug. 16 preseason tilt versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it certainly did. (more…)

Charting the Patriots’ First-Team Defensive Front vs. Eagles in Preseason Opener

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

What can be gleaned from the preseason debut of New England’s first-team defensive front? (Photo: NFL Preseason Live)

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

In the days following the New England Patriots’ preseason victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, head coach Bill Belichick was quoted as saying, “There’s no first team, at least none that I’m aware of.”

Now at this point in time, Belichick’s characteristic statement may be accurate. New England’s coaching staff is in the process of ironing out personnel groupings and finding the right pieces for the right situations. But regardless of how Belichick chose to slice it, the Patriots’ brass did use particular players by quarter.

And in the first quarter of the Aug. 9 tilt at Lincoln Financial Field, the Patriots’ brass elected to use a combination of players to field the defensive front.


Timing and Trust: Patriots Wideout Kenbrell Thompkins Builds Connection in Preseason Opener

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Kenbrell Thompkins is establishing chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady. His performance versus the Eagles proved it. (Photo: NFL Preseason Live)

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

On his second offensive drive against the Philadelphia Eagles’ first-team defense, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady converted seven of eight passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

No. 12 didn’t hold much back in the Aug. 9 preseason opener.

After handing the ball off six consecutive times on New England’s first drive, Brady distributed the ball to four different receivers on his second drive. He hit free-agent acquisition Danny Amendola for six yards. He hit rookie second-round pick Aaron Dobson for 23 yards. He capped it off by hitting third-year running back Shane Vereen for 13 yards.

Yet over the course of a seven-play sequence, Brady hit another target four times.

That target was Kenbrell Thompkins.


Tale of the Tape: First-Team Glance at Patriots’ Preseason Victory over Eagles

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

New England’s first-teamers left their mark on the field, and in the tape. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images.)

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

Despite a late surge, the New England Patriots managed to hold off the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-22, in the preseason opener. Yet for all intents and purposes, the final score was insignificant.

How individual players and personnel units fared was what carried weight.

Now like all exhibition contests, the Aug. 9 tilt was less so about the end result than it was about the performances that led to the end result. Cohesion is a work in progress at this point for the Patriots. And with a 90-man roster, the first-team offense and defense garnered a limited workload during Week 1 of the preseason.

But they still did garner a workload.


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