Takeaways from New England Patriots 7 - 6 win over New Orleans Saints

Tom Brady found himself under pressure when he was on the field.
Source: ESPN
Football is back. Doesn't that feel good. Though after watching this warm up game, I can't really wait for the regular season, aka proper football.

As a fan of the Patriots in the UK, staying up until 3:30am to watch preseason football isn't the most pleasurable task, but having football back made it kind of worth it. (Safe to say that I was a little annoyed to see the Patriots have 3 "prime time" games this season).

Anyway, back to the game against the Saints. The main takeaway is that Chandler Jones looks like one heck of a football player. He dominated Jermon Bushrod, the Saint's left tackle, forcing the QB out of the pocket, and he reacted well to QB scrambles and running plays. He reminds me of Jason Pierre-Paul, with his long arms and his ability to rush the passer. Which is what we need.

Can Ryan Mallett cut it at this level? The main thing said about him is that he has arm strength in abundance. This led to him overthrowing a lot of his receivers, and his accuracy wasn't brilliant. Meanwhile, Brian Hoyer looked pretty composed in the pocket, and I could see the offense doing pretty well with him leading it if the unthinkable happened to Tom Brady.

That might be a real possibility this year. The offensive line looked pretty shaky. Nate Solder needs more time to switch from right tackle to left tackle. He gave away 2 holding penalties and allowed Will Smith through to Brady for a sack, on which Brady fumbled and the Saints recovered. We will need Logan Mankins, Brian Waters and Solder to be back and at their best before week one @ the Titans.

Finally, spare a thought for Dane Fletcher. Although not a key player on the Defense, the line backer had a big part to play as a role player this year. However, he tore his ACL against the Saints, so he'll be out of action for a while.

So overall, not a bad start to pre-season. Things are looking promising on defense, as did the running game. If the O-Line can improve their pass protection over the next three weeks, it'll be a successful year for the Patriots.