Last night the New England Patriots played their second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This game came off the heels of an impressive win over the Eagles last week where the first team offense sliced Philly apart. I was blessed enough to actually be able to attend this game in person, and witness the Patriots live for the first time. This is game two of my quarterback recaps, where I will again be going over the pros and cons of how the Patriots quarterbacks played. So, let’s get right into it.
Tom Brady- Tom Brady started this game despite all the hysteria that surrounded his apparent “knee injury” that he suffered during the Patriots joint practice on Wednesday. If Brady was hurting, he sure didn’t show it. You could even tell in person that Brady was just a lot sharper than any other quarterback on the field. His energy was also very impressive, always bouncing around, and chatting up his receivers and coaches. When it came to the game, he was even better, going 11-12 for 92 yards and a touchdown to Danny Amendola. During the first series, despite an unnecessary roughness and false start penalty, he managed to lead an otherwise flawless drive. He showed some great chemistry with Amendola, connecting with him six times on seven targets over the two series that he was in on. Not much more that can be said about Brady, he did his thing, looked great and surrendered the rest of the game to the backups. Overall, a very impressive second game as we see him get even more in tune with his new receiving corps.
Ryan Mallett- Ryan Mallett came into the game in the second quarter taking over for Brady, and he did not look very good at the start. He struggled mightily on his first drive, but really bounced back well, driving the Patriots down the field for a field goal make on his second drive, and a beautiful third drive where he effortlessly dissected the Bucs passing defense. This drive he went 4-5 for 75 yards, and ended the drive with a great pass through a tight window to Zach Sudfeld for a touchdown. Despite his shaky start to things, Mallett looked a lot better as he progressed. It would’ve been nice to see him play a little more than a quarter, but hopefully that can happen next game. Mallett is a player with a very high ceiling. He’s got the prototypical look of today’s quarterback, but now he just needs to put that all together. He’s been given everything needed to succeed, and I for one will be very content if he continues to develop like he did last night. He finished the game 12-20 for 137 yards and a touchdown.
Tim Tebow- Tim Tebow… He’s always an adventure on the football field. To put it briefly, he was not very good, in fact he was pretty bad. To me it looks like he’s just too jumpy in the pockets while he’s making his reads, as well as it seems like he over thinks his options as well. There were a number of very well run plays, and all Tebow needed to do was make a good throw, and he missed all of them. He finished the game 1-7 for only -1 yards and a very bad interception. Dropping back was not Tebow’s thing last night, but he did show some promise running over defenders. He had six carries for 30 yards total, and had a few nice ones outside and inside as well. He’s a very tough man to try to bring down, as he was barreling through defenders. If he’s going to have any impact on this team this year, it will be running the football, whether this is at running back or in a wildcat type scheme. But Tebow through and through as a quarterback, was terrible last night, and at this point, he may be at risk to not make the team. He’s going to have to put forth some impressive, convincing performances over theses last two preseason game, or he may be looking for a new job in the NFL.
Last night was not only a very impressive performance once again from the first team offense, but a very special experience as well. I was very happy, for one night, to really feel a part of Patriots Nation, in the stands with my fellow Pats fans. To summarize things up, Brady was again spectacular, Mallett started slow, but ended up really picking things up as the progressed, and finally Tebow, who just did not have himself a good night. This was a fantastic experience to be apart of, and while it was only a preseason game, I couldn’t have been happier to watch my favorite team in sports pull out a 25-21 win.
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