Here is this week’s New England Patriots stock watch, based on their 26-24 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Garoppolo was a surgeon on Saturday, completing 28 of 33 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown. He was quick with his decisions, made accurate throws, and aside from one major blunder, he was smart with his decisions as well. It is looking like the Patriots will have Tom Brady starting week one against Pittsburgh, but if not, they will be in good hands with Jimmy.
The battle for the third down back spot is still wide open, as Lewis has now made a strong case to be the guy to replace Shane Vereen. He is quick, explosive, can make plays in the passing game, and is a capable blocker.
He didn’t make a huge impact in the box score, but if you actually watched the game, Sheard dominated the competition. I said when New England made this move that this would prove to be one of the steals of the offseason, and through two preseason games, that is proving to be correct. Watch out for this defensive line in 2015.
Chris Harper/Brandon Gibson
These two wideouts combined to grab 13 balls for 137 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, as they continue to make strong cases to make this final roster. Right now there are a few players battling for the fourth and fifth spots on the depth chart at receiver, and with Aaron Dobson sidelined, Harper and Gibson are making the decisions tough for Bill Belichick and company.
Guys like Harper and Gibson are playing their way up the depth chart, while Logan Ryan is doing the exact opposite. Coming into this offseason, I thought Ryan would be the guy to start opposite of Malcolm Butler, but through two preseason games, he is far from starting material. Once again he looked mediocre against the Saints.
Collins is the most athletic player on the Patriots, and in a few years, he might very well be the best defensive player in football. But he struggled against New Orleans, getting beat in coverage, taking bad angles, and missing some tackles. Hopefully he will rebound once he has his starting mates beside him in the regular season.