Stock Watch: Running Backs Dominate; Quarterbacks Struggle
Photo Credit: Boston Herald
Another week that ended with another disappointing loss for the New England Patriots and their fans, though it’s still preseason, players cannot afford to end up on the wrong end of this list.
Stock up: Rex Burkhead
In one of the most surprising debuts for a free agent signing, running back Rex Burkhead got the first team nod against the Texans and exceeded virtually everyone’s expectations.
On two possessions, Burkhead touched the ball 10 times with six straight touches on the second possession, with 50 of Brady’s 56 passing yards belonging to Burkhead. Culminating in a 24 yard angle route from quarterback Tom Brady that gave the Patriots the lead for the time being.
Burkhead was quick to deter the spotlight away from himself in an interview with the Boston Globe.
“We have a lot of versatility, that’s for sure,” Burkhead said. “The key is putting it together and making sure we are all on the same page. Because if we are not, then talent means nothing. But we definitely have it, and as long as we stick together and try not to be selfish about things, then the sky is the limit.”
Keep an eye out Patriots fans, you could be seeing a star of the 2017 Patriots club.
Stock down: Matt Lengel
Everyone who is possibly in the running for third string tight end is making a strong case for why they should remain, accept for the one who came in with the job Matt Lengel.
Lengel has been sidelined and no where to be found on the practice field with no big plays to his name.
The Eastern Kentucky alum maybe looking for a new home as final cuts begin.
Stock down: The backup quarterbacks
Garoppolo in short did not have his best performance in a Patriots uniform against the Texans. Though he went 15 for 23 for 145 yards and had a touchdown pass that looked like deja vu of Brady and Burkhead, he was just plain careless.
A quarterback known for never turning the ball over threw a horrible under thrown that was intercepted and lost a fumble in a two out of three drive stretch.
Jacoby Brissett didn’t do much better completing on 13 out of the 23 passes he through. Brissett had a chance to redeem himself by leading the Patriots a game-winning drive but held onto the ball to long and was stripped of the ball as he was about to throw with it rolling out of bounds for a touchback ending the game.
Both quarterbacks are holding onto the ball too long, making poor reads, and not exhibiting the good pocket awareness that we have seen these quarterbacks do in games before.
Chalk it up as a bad day for the two behind Brady, but their stock still takes a plunge until play improves behind center.
Stock up: D.J. Foster
After a great performance by Rex Burkhead, fans were given a sequel performance that was worthy if not better than the original.
Second year running back D.J. Foster dominated whenever he was on the field.
Foster gave a good performance in the run first second team offense of the Patriots running for 30 yards on 10 carries with a three yard average per carry and a touchdown.
More damage was done in the passing game where he caught seven passes for 85 yards with another touchdown as addressed earlier that was near identical to Burkhead’s score.
Foster is consistent and incredibly versatile, Belichick cannot get away with waiving him and shelving him on the practice squad. Sacrifices may have to be made to maintain the speed back in the lineup.
Stock up: Harvey Langi
A little trivia on why there’s so much hype around a guy that went undrafted in this past draft.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick loved him so much on film that he gave Langi an $115,000 signing bonus which is the second most ever given to an undrafted free agent.
It shows that they are trying to get Langi acclimated now as he has had two starts this season with one on the first team defense.
Playing 73 snaps and getting a hit on the quarterback, Langi is showing everyone why he’s worth and is truly impressing his coach with his defensive and special teams play.
“He’s learned a lot,” Belichick said Monday. “He has a lot to learn. He played off the ball and on the ball and played in the kicking game in college. He’s done all those things here. He’s been more on the ball than off the ball in this camp, but more off the ball than on the ball in the spring. We’ll see where we end up on that, and he’s done multiple things in the kicking game as well.”
As of right now, expect Langi to get a lot of time on special teams and on defense during the regular season as he is definitely a lock to make the 53-man roster.
Stock up: Cyrus Jones
Cyrus Jones finally gave a good performance returning the ball on special teams and in coverage on defense and his stock goes up for it this week.
Jones led the team with 94 snaps at cornerback and performed well as he seemed less oblivious to where he was on the field with above average coverage.
Jones had a perfect outing returning the ball with not one hint of a possible muffed punt or kickoff. Compiling almost 200 yards total with both punt and kickoff returns as well as a stellar 34-yard run to set his team up with great field position, Jones has boosted the confidence in himself and the fans.