Digging Deeper: Analyzing Preseason Game One –New England Patriots vs Green Bay Packers

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Aug 13, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) makes a pass during warm-ups before a preseason NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots opened the 2015 NFL Preseason with a 22 to 11 loss to the Green Bay Packers. With four of the five expected starting offensive linemen out, the offense was going to be limited. The Patriots played without center Bryan Stork, tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer, and guard Ryan Wendell (guard Josh Kline got some snaps at center). In addition, top backup tackle Marcus Cannon did not play.

In addition, expected lead back LeGarrette Blount and versatile running back Brandon Bolden did not suit up, and nor did veteran receiving backs Travaris Cadet and Dion Lewis. All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler and top wide receivers Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell. Danny Amendola was on the field just a handful of snaps. Expected top backup wide receivers Brian Tyms and  Aaron Dobson were sidelined as well.

On defense, the Patriots were without top rush defenders defensive tackles Alan Branch and Sealver Siliga along with Joe Vellano and Chris Jones. Linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Jerod Mayo and Dane Fletcher did not play for the Patriots defense. In the secondary, it was just veteran cornerback Tarell Brown who did not get on the field.

With all these players held out or injured, it was hardly a representation of the Super Bowl champions which will be on display on opening night on September 10th against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, with Green Bay playing a number of starters on both sides of the ball, it was an impressive showing for the New England defense and backup offensive players to lead 11-9 at halftime.

Digging deeper into the game tape and following up with other sources, it was clear that the New England coaches were going to have their work cut out for them getting the team improving on both sides. Here is a deeper examination of preseason game one looking at all aspects of defense and offense:

Next: The Pass Coverage on Defense