On August 16th, 2013, New England Patriots Football returned to us with the Patriots paying a visit to the Philadelphia Eagles in week one of the preseason. In this recap I will be going over how the three quarterbacks performed, what the positives were, and what the negatives were. With that being said, lets jump right into it.
Tom Brady- Brady looked like near perfection in his short time on the field, even though he only played two drives, and one of those drives consisted of zero drop backs. Brady went 7/8 in his one passing drive, where his only incompletion came on his first attempt. On that drive, he marched the Patriots down the field, passing for 65 yards en route to a Shane Vereen touchdown in the back of the endzone. Brady looked fantastic on this drive, connecting with rookies Kenbrell Thompkins four times for 23 yards, and Aaron Dobson once for 23 yards, showing that he already has an impressive report with these two young receivers. He also completed one pass to Danny Amendola, the Patriots biggest offseason acquisition, for only six yards. The touchdown pass that Brady threw was near perfection as he managed to place it perfectly over Vereen’s shoulder, where only he could make a play on it. Overall, Brady was very impressive, as Brady almost always is. Hopefully next game he can get a little more time, so we can see how he reacts to some failure.
Ryan Mallett- Mallett replaced Brady on the third drive of the game, giving us some valuable time to look at the Patriots backup quarterback. Mallett did not look nearly as good as Brady did, but he showed some flashes of the talent that he could be. He was rather inconsistent going 9/18 on his throws, which was a combination of some drops by his receivers, but also some easy throws that he just misses. One big one came on a throw over the middle to rookie Josh Boyce where he would’ve had an easy touchdown, but Mallett just overthrew him slightly. Mallett looked good to me, as he was making the right reads on most of his throws but whether it was a drop, or an under throw or overthrow, he wasn’t able to complete the pass. This is just the first preseason game for Mallett and no one expected him to light the world on fire with his play, so I would expect him to show even more improvement in the Patriots next preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In total, Ryan Mallett led the Patriots offense to a field goal and a touchdown. It’s also worth noting that Mallett actually got knocked out of the game in the second quarter when he took a hit to the chin. Mallett did not return, but at that point, there would’ve been no point in putting him back in and risking further injury.
Tim Tebow- Finally, Patriots fans had the pleasure of watching the enigma that is Tim Tebow have some game action. And boy did he ever look, very Tim Tebow like. After Ryan Mallett was knocked out of the game, Tim Tebow came into the game to finish the drive, and proceeded to throw two incompletions, and take a ten yard sack. Not exactly what you want to see from Tebow in his first action as a Patriot. Tebow calmed down a little after, and showed some glimpses as to what he was capable of, running the ball and using some read option stuff as well. It’s worth noting that the Patriots offense changed quite a bit when Tebow was under center as they were utilizing a lot of read option plays. Tebow led the Patriots offense on only one scoring drive, that ended in a Blount touchdown run. All in all, Tebow didn’t look very good, he showed some good stuff, but it always seems like Tebow is thinking too hard, and not letting plays develop, and doing what he naturally does best, and that’s make plays, be that with his legs or arm. It’s never going to be pretty, but he can make big plays and put scoring drives together. Tebow played the most time and possessions of all the Patriots quarterbacks with five series.
With all this being said, the quarterbacks were quite sharp. Brady was near perfection in his time, Mallett showed some great flashes of what he might be capable of, and Tebow was just, interesting, to watch play. Next game, I’d like to see Brady get the first quarter, and Mallett get a quarter and a half. I really think Mallett would’ve had a much better game had he not been so jumpy. The next Patriots game is Friday, August 16th against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which means, Darrelle Revis time. It should be a nice test as we see the Patriots get more crisp.
I will actually be at next weeks game making the four-hour flight to Boston from Canada. I’d love to meet some people, so if you see me, kind of short, long hair, Patriots snapback, and a Hightower, Brady, Amendola or McCourty jersey, flag me down and we can talk some football.
You can also follow me on twitter @TheMattyWin, and we can talk about some Patriots football.