Dobson... first pro game of his career.
Thompkins... second pro game of his career.
Both thrown into the fire, into starting roles, against a Division rival (the most hated rival the Patriots have) which I'm sure they knew meant a lot to their teammates and coaches.
It's a heck of a lot better having them getting their OJT now, it will only benefit their development, it will only get them acclimated to the NFL that much faster.
This was as big a win - win scenario as the Patriots could have. Beating two Division rivals five days apart, while depending on Thompson and Dobson to be out there playing almost every snap, and being targeted over and over again... you can't make it any tougher for two rookies than that.
There is a good chance it only gets easier for them from here on out.
This is very good for the Defense too... they are forced to go out there and make the clutch plays, have the game rest on their shoulders. There is no 20+ point lead with a quarter to go... it isn't a lax, 'no pressure' scenario, its a step up big or lose the game one... and that helps develop the defense, its confidence, its toughness.
This is a great way to START the season...
And hopefully, as its nearing its end, they are getting Vereen, and Amendola, and Gronk fully back into the swing of things and fully healthy... because thats when it really matters... thats when they need to be able to put up 30 points in a game and run like clockwork... now is the time to win ugly and develop the rookies along the way.
AND LET ME ADD-
For those fans who are angry with BB for not surrounding Brady with more talent (and I want to know just who was out there in FA this year other than bone-headed Wallace that is better than Amendola) or for letting Welker go...
When they drafted, when they made all the big FA moves... Hernandez and Gronk were still expected to be here, starting, come day one.
How the hell was BB supposed to know Hernandez was going to become a Charles Manson nut job.... How was he supposed to know Gronk's arm was going to keep getting infected and repeatedly operated on for months?
How was he supposed to know he was going to lose Amendola and Vereen first game of the season?
I don't think it was in his plans back then for Dobson and Thompkins to be starting against the Bills and Jets as the season started out.