Patriots’ Winners and Losers: Week 1 Preseason
Photo Credit: Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports
The New England Patriots showed out in the Motor City, defeating the Detroit Lions 31-3 in the first preseason game.
There was not much ‘losing’ per se in this game, as it was a quality team win for the reigning Super Bowl champions. But there are some areas that require fine tuning for the team going forward.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as expected was not totally satisfied with the team’s performance, saying there is a lot to work on,
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Belichick said. “Coaching staff, players, but there are a lot of things that we have to handle a little quicker, it was a decent start.”
Brian Hoyer was the starter today and had a fantastic showing. Finishing 12 of 14 for 147 yards passing, he completed his last nine in a row tossing two touchdowns.
Stidham exhibited problems with holding the ball too long like in his first few practices. But after he worked off the jitters, Stidham made great plays with his feet and threw dimes.
Loser: Maurice Harris
Maurice Harris shined in camp and took advantage of opportunities on the practice field. The flag went up and the former Washington Redskin was a dud.
After catching a touchdown in the first quarter, it appeared as if his hands were laced in cement.
Harris had two catchable touchdowns slip right through his hands. A receiver’s job is to catch it, and he did not do it when it mattered.
Loser: Offensive line
It is very hard to find flaws with the performance on offense. But if you look closely, you will find the pocket collapsing a bit too much around Stidham.
Stidham having to run outside the pocket and throw the ball away, more so in the third quarter, is fault on the offensive line.
While it may be nitpicking, the offensive line had by far one the weakest performances as a whole.
Winner: Derek Rivers and Pass Rush
Contrary to the line on the other side of the ball, the Patriots’ pass rush dominated. Jamie Collins Sr., Ja’Whaun Bentley, Chase Winovich, Shilique Calhoun, Danny Shelton, Byron Cowart, Terez Hall, and more contributed to a nine sack total.
But the feel good story of the defensive line tonight was Derek Rivers. After losing his rookie season to an ACL injury and not being active most of his sophomore season recovering, the Youngstown State alum showed the rust was off with two sacks. Expect more from Rivers going forward.
Winner: Jakobi Meyers
Jakobi Meyers took his great practice play to the field. With six catches for 69 yards and two scores. Everything catchable, he caught, his route running was crisp, and his field awareness was superb.
His highlight of the game was not one of his catches. It was when he threw his body at an uncatchable ball in the end zone to make sure that the ball fell incomplete and was not intercepted.
When asked by reporters in his first media appearance about being an undrafted rookie, Meyers said he was just taking things day by day.
“God put me in a position to take advantage of these opportunites,” Meyers said. “I am not on the team yet and I have to keep proving to the coaches and my teammates that I deserve to be here.”