The preseason is finally over.
I think I speak for everyone when I say, “HELL YEAH”. We were all pretty excited when the preseason began, but after four weeks of this nonsense, I need some real football.
The Patriots played their usual preseason finale against the Giants tonight, losing by a score of 16-13. It was a sloppy game, as both sides played their second and third stringers for the majority of the contest.
The two sides played a scoreless first quarter, before a 24-yard Josh Brown field goal early in the second got the scoring started. However New England responded quickly, as Jimmy Garoppolo connected with Aaron Dobson for a 33-yard score a few minutes later. Dobson was the biggest bright spot for the Pats tonight, as he showed that he is ready to have a breakout 2014 campaign. The Patriots went into the fourth quarter leading by three, but two Giants field goals in the fourth ultimately gave them the meaningless victory.
There is never much to take away from the final preseason game, and this year is no different. Now we look forward to Saturday’s cut deadline, as Bill Belichick and company must trim their roster down to 53 players. This team is very talented, so Belichick will be faced with a few tough cuts, specifically at the wide receiver position. For example, Josh Boyce is a good player, but it looks like he will be caught in a numbers game here in New England, and will be released in the next two days.
I will have a full piece with my thoughts on tonight’s game up in the morning, but here are a few notes for now:
- Jimmy Garoppolo had an up and down game, which in my opinion was not enough to bump Ryan Mallett off of the roster. The Patriots have the best quarterback situation in football, and I think they will stick with it for the 2014 season.
- We got our first look at tight end Tim Wright tonight, and I am away extremely impressed. The Pats used him a lot like they used Aaron Hernandez, which gave Wright a chance to show off his impressive receiving skills. He is a solid route-runner, has good hands, and is fast for his size. He will definitely help Tom Brady‘s passing attack this season.
- The experimenting at the safety spot continued, as Belichick tried putting Alfonzo Dennard at this spot for a portion of the game. I think this was just a case of Belichick trying out different things in a meaningless game, because Dennard will be used exclusively as a corner this year. He is a terrific cover man, and the Pats don’t want to waste his ability by moving him back to safety.
- James Morris was one of my players to watch tonight, but he suffered a knee injury in the second quarter, which will probably end his chances at making the 53 man roster. It really is a shame, because Morris was having a good preseason up until now, and I thought he would fit well as a depth linebacker for New England.