The New England Patriots defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25-21 in Week 2 of the preseason, and Danny Amendolahad an excellent home debut that will earn him the “Game Ball” honors for this preseason match-up. Amendola caught six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, so he averaged 11.8 yards per attempt. He also needed just seven targets to produce those numbers, so Amendola finished with a catch rate of 85.7% and had 10.1 yards per target.
Those are impeccable numbers, and Amendola lived up to his billing in his second preseason game with the team. He’s been as good as advertised in August, and Amendola is clearly the best wide receiver in the building. He made some terrific catches on the right sideline, and he looks much more comfortable on the outside than Wes Welker did. Amendola’s route-running is exceptional, his quickness is elite, and he showed he can stretch the seam with that 26-yard touchdown bomb from Tom Brady. That play was mostly the result of incredible accuracy from Brady, but you can’t forget what it takes in order to get open. Amendola ran a perfect route, and he made a nifty catch.
Throughout the first half (Amendola doesn’t need the second-half reps, so the Pats naturally pulled him to give the rookies those reps), Amendola showed off some good ball skills and strength on the outside. The rapport between Amendola and Brady, as I’ve said before, has already budded, and I am willing to bet (obviously you can’t measure this tangibly) that it will reach the level of chemistry that Welker and Brady had. Both Brady and Amendola were not only on the same page, but they were reading each word simultaneously with proficient speed.
Danny Amendola is going to be a joy to watch this season, and I’m sure I’ll find myself rooting as hard for him as I used to (well, I still root hard for him too) root for Wes Welker.