Once again, the Patriots win with their stout defense and their strong running game.
Still good: LB Dont'a Hightower gave up a play or two but considering his workload and versatility he had a great rookie debut. SS Patrick Chung muffed one play but made another huge one, and did a good job managing the much-questioned backfield. FS Steve Gregory looked better than any #2 Safety that the Pats fielded throughout all of last year.
No explanation needed: OC Dan Koppen first and foremost, OC/OG Dan Connolly, LT Nate Solder, RT Marcus Cannon, OG Jeremiah Warren. Hmm why do I sense a theme? I stick by naming Koppen/Connolly ahead of the sophmore Tackles.
Still bad: CB Marquis Cole is suppose to be a special team ace, so explain that block in the back? Julian Edelman made some plays but shouldn't he have learned from last year about his decision making in the return game? I like CB Kyle Arrington as a slot-corner, not a more traditional CB.
The remaining questions:
Who's the KR/PR? Hopefully not Woodhead or Edelman.
Who's the 4th Safety? Having James Ihedigbo be the 4th Safety wouldn't be half as bad as last year when he was the 2nd Safety.
Who's the 2nd DT/DE? We got a good pair of NT/DTs in Wilfork/Love, and then Jonathan Fanene who's currently injured. Myron Pryor seems PUP bound, Gerard Warren is up there, Ron Brace teased us and is now his usual self, and then we got an assortment. Brandon Deaderick seemed like the favorite but now Marcus Harrison and Marcus Forston may challenge him for snaps- I need to rewatch but both looked like they had solid performances.
Who's the 3rd DE/OLB? Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, and then who? Maybe Andre Carter shows up later but for now I think it's a 3-man race between Jake Bequette, Jermaine Cunningham, and Trevor Scott. Francis needs to flash at some point in preseason or he's PS-bound.
Who's the 5th WR? Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, and Matthew Slater in my mind are still the locks. 1-2 spots for Deion Branch, Britt Davis(PUP-bound?), Julian Edelman, and Donte Stallworth to fight over.
McCourty, Arrington, Dowling, Moore, and then who? Dennard to PS/PUP/jail? Williams back to the PS? Allen for his slot-CB/Safety versatility? It won't be Cole, that's for sure.
FB or no FB?
Did I miss anything?