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First half notes from the Patriots vs. Saints preseason opener:
- Not a great start for Tom Brady and the Patriots passing offense. Brady looked particularly frustrated after a 17 yard completion to Brandon Lloyd was called back because of a Nate Solder hold.
- The best offensive performance in the first half for the Patriots: Stevan Ridley. He picked up 40 yards on 8 carries, and looked decisive and explosive. It's still early, but it looks like the running back job is Ridley's to lose.
- Serious struggles for Nate Solder in the first half. He looked slow, got called for multiple penalties, and allowed a strip sack on Tom Brady. Not a great start.
- The defense on the other hand was a different story. They essentially held Drew Brees to two three and outs, with the Saints' only points coming off a turnover.
- Chandler Jones was the start of the defense, getting constant pressure on quarterbacks, and abusing Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod (picked up back-to-back holding calls).
- Also was impressed by Jerod Mayo. He looked really good, and was all over the field. His tipped pass also led to an acrobatic Steve Gregory interception.
- Up and down first half for Ryan Mallett. He made some really impressive plays, but also made some questionable reads and errant throws.
- Jermaine Cunningham had a few nice pass rushes. Nothing too notable, but he was able to beat the tackle and turn the corner on a few separate occasions.