Patriots vs. Saints: Winners & Losers

Aug 9, 2012; New Orleans Saints quarterback Luke McCown (11) gets tackled by New England Patriots defensive end Trevor Scott (99) during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium.

Highlighting "winners" and "losers" from the Patriots 7-6 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the preseason opener Thursday evening:

"Winners"

Jerod Mayo, LB: Mayo was arguably the best defender on the field for the Patriots, looking healthy and making several plays against the run and pass. His tipped Chase Daniel pass led to a first half Steve Gregory interception.

Stevan Ridley / Shane Vereen: Both second year backs led the way on the ground for the Patriots, with Vereen being they key player on the Patriots only scoring drive of the game.

Chandler Jones, DE: Jones overpowered Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod on several occasions, while picking up five pressures and drawing two holding penalties in the process.

Steve Gregory / Pat Chung: Starting safeties each tallied a first half interception to halt potential field goal drives from the Saints. Safety was a position of weakness for the Patriots in 2011, and the performances from Chung and Gregory marked a nice start towards improvement.

Trevor Scott, DE: Had a strong second half performance; picked up a fourth quarter strip-sack on Luke McCown and made several other hurries, while also proving capable against the run.

Marcus Forston, DT: Undrafted rookie came up with two run stuffs in the fourth quarter. A longshot to make the roster, Forston took advantage of his limited snaps last night.

"Losers" after the jump!

"Losers"

Nate Solder, LT: Got called for two holding penalties in the game, and looked slow at times. At this point, not what you want to see from the 2011 first round pick, especially when factoring in the uncertainty surrounding many of the other spots on the offensive line.

Julian Edelman, WR/KR: Led the Patriots in receptions, but made a couple of questionable fielding calls on punt and kick returns. For a player whose primary value to the Patriots will be on special teams, it's never a good thing to struggle in that area.

Ryan Mallett, QB: The second year quarterback finished 8/19, and seemed to struggle with his accuracy for most of the night, failing to lead the Patriots on a single scoring drive.

Britt Davis, WR: Dropped a pair of passes before going down with a right shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.

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