Patriots Performers of the Week (Preseason Game 1)
Football is back baby. After a long drought of no Patriots football, it was such an excitement to watch them play again even if it is only the first week of preseason.
The Patriots traveled to Detroit this Thursday to play the Lions and absolutely steam rolled them. New England won 31-3, with Detroit’s only points coming in the final minutes of the game.
There was a handful of great performances. Here are the ones that stood out.
Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham
Both quarterbacks played really solid games so it was tough to choose just one to talk about. Hoyer started the game and went 12/14 for 147 yards and a pair of TDs. He completed his last 9 attempts in a row, as well. The rookie Stidham came in and held his own. He threw for 179 yards and a TD, completing 14/24 of his passes. Both backups looked exceptional, Stidham especially. The rookie looked like a tenured vet out there already. He was stepping up in the pocket and taking hits but was also scrambling outside and throwing the ball away when he had to. You could tell he had a real sense for the pressure around him. Consistency and limiting turnovers is all you can ask for from your backups in the preseason. Both QBs won’t be seeing the field in the regular season, it’s tough to crack the top of the depth chart no matter how well you play when you have Tommy Boy aka The Goat aka Jesus reincarnated in front of you. Both seem ready to keep the team afloat God forbid something happens to Tom though, and I look forward to seeing Stidham progress.
Meyers led the team in receptions (6), receiving yards (69), and hauled in two TDs. The rookie caught his first and second ever NFL touchdowns in tonight’s first preseason game. Meyers has been turning heads in training camp so it was exciting to see his talents in a real game. The thing that stuck out to me was how he caught a TD from both quarterbacks. He drew numerous targets from Hoyer and Stidham. Having a rapport with both and being able to make quick connections like that is valuable. He is certainly making a name for hmself and giving good reason why he deserves a spot on the roster.
Defensive Line and Linebackers
Not only was the Patriots offense on fire tonight, but the defense was spectacular. The linemen and linebackers were standout stars. They combined for a total of 9 sacks against Detroit. Now I know they’re lining up against third stringers but that is still insanely impressive. Rookie standout Chase Winovich, who is in line for a big role in the Patriots defense, chipped in a sack and a half and was impressive all night long. Derek Rivers had 2, and a handful of others had 1, including Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton, Ja’Whaun Bentley, and more.
Preseason is such a tease. It is so nice to be able to watch the Pats play after months of absolutely nothing. But it is still a reminder that the real thing is still weeks away. It can’t come fast enough, I’m sure everyone agrees with me there.
“Patriot Performers of the Week” is going to be a new weekly installment of mine after every game this season, so be sure to check back next Saturday for the recap after the Patriots vs Titans preseason game.