There are not too many goals a coach, or team, has when they enter a preseason game. It is, essentially, not a game. I mean, don’t you have to want to win for it to be a game? The Pats were not worried about winning on Wednesday. They were not worried about the game. They wanted to see what their entire defense has the capability to do and they wanted to shut down Eli.
First and foremost, the secondary looked good. The Super Bowl MVP looked like Jamarcus Russell. Eli played more than any other starting QB in the NFL on Wednesday. And he had many of his fellow first rounders out on the field to help. He only completed 4 passes for 29 yards. He never moved the ball into New England territory, missed a wide open pass, and only had a first down in one of his four series. Most of this happened with the Pats backups out there. Also, Jermaine Cunningham put the hurt to Eli. He may have earned himself a roster spot after putting the Giants on watch. He had two sacks, a pressure, and he forced a penalty.
All around the defense embarrassed Eli, which felt good after their last matchup.
On the down side, their offensive line showed it has work to do. None of the three QBs that played had as much time as they needed. In the end, it was this fact that cost them this game and one can only hope it won’t cost them a real one. The Pats used four different centers and rotated OL away from their natural positions.
I know this is preseason, the time to do anything and everything, but I think this shows how unsure the Pats really are about their O line. New England’s Donald Thomas said, “I think it’s great, honestly, having guys at different positions.” I do not see how this is possible. A running back should not be rotated to the QB position because he is not battling for that spot. In the same essence, a Tackle should not be competing for the Center position.
After this game I have more confidence in the secondary, but am more scared of the O line than ever. So, the Pats have only fixed half of what lost them the Super Bowl last year. If that O line doesn’t get better, Brady will have to watch Eli match Super Bowl rings while on his back.
About the Author
Written by Adam Sharp
I have always loved The Pats and I have always loved writing.