The New England Patriots had into their second week of the preseason against the Chicago Bears and there is a lot to analyze.
The offensive line looks head-and-shoulders better than it did last year and rookie left guard Joe Thuney looks like a multi-year veteran out there. Once left tackle Nate Solder recognized his ability, the line was able to do a great job protecting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
And Garoppolo did as well as he could, considering the circumstances. He was playing without running back Dion Lewis, wide receivers Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan, and tight end Rob Gronkowski. By all expectations, those five make up the Patriots projected starting line-up; in other words, Garoppolo was playing with the second team offense and did well enough.
The defense showed a lot of promise with younger players like edge defender Trey Flowers and cornerbacks Jonathan Jones and Cre’Von LeBlanc really stepping up when called upon.
There were also a few veterans that didn’t play up to their pay grade, which means that the next few weeks should be very interesting.