New England Patriots Starters Shine in Preseason Game Two

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Aug 15, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) on the sideline as they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half during the preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 42-35. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

First down pass to Maclin for a first down in front of Butler.

  • Eagles in hurry-up offense. Quick tempo.

Jones and Ninkovich at OLB/DE and Vellano, Kelly, and Wilfork inside still.

  • Kyle Arrington is at safety with McCourty. That is a new look. Like running a three cornerback and one safety alignment. Very interesting.

A run by McCoy. Stopped by Kelly.

  • Kelly and Wilfork very stout inside against the running game. Two solid veterans there.

Second down and McCoy again. Ninkovich was out very wide, sealed off the edge, made the tackle in the backfield.

  • Ninkovich a very underrated run defender. One of the best in the NFL.

Third and eight, Arrington back to slot cornerback. Butler and Revis out wide.

Jones and Ninkovich bringing pressure from outside around the corner. Ninkovich with the sack on third down

  • Hightower rushing inside with a good push.
  • Collins in press coverage on tight end in slot on right side of defense.
  • Eagles never looked towards Revis, let alone challenged him.

A turnover and a punt. Solid start for the defense.

Most interesting with the defense is the3-4 base defense without Mayo playing and is really a 5-2-4 base with 3 defensive tackles, 2 defensive ends, and 2 linebackers as the 7 man front. It makes it easier to substitute against the hurry up and they just take off the third defensive tackle (Vellano) to sub in a third cornerback (Arrington) for the nickel. With Mayo injured and Spikes in Buffalo this is best for getting playmakers on the field. Both linebackers–Hightower and Collins–showed their skills as far as coverage and rushing on that third down. It is going to be hard for Mayo to stay on the field with these two young linebackers maturing quickly.