It's only just now sinking in that that last Patriots game I couldn't care less about is officially in the books, and from here on out it all matters big time. The fact that New England will be playing a meaningful game next Sunday is pretty crazy; I mean, what happened to this offseason? It's already Septemter.
Now I'd be lying if I said I paid all that much attention to last night's game. It was on at the bar I was at, but I'm currently in New Hampshire for the weekend trying to get the most out of these last few days of summer and this game just wasn't all that exciting. But I do think it helped clear up some things on the back end of the roster, and I'd like to think that things are now a little bit clearer regarding who makes the team and who doesn't.
Since this was more or less a non-game, this is a much abbreviated version of Fan Notes. We're about to get serious here, so we have to take advantage of this downtime when we can.
- In a game full of non-stories, the biggest standout was Berkevius Mingo and it isn't even close. Just a few highlights from his night:
- A perfectly timed blitz through the A-gap to force an incompletion,
- Two forced fumbles,
- Three individual backfield run stuffs,
- Two edge crashes.
- You don't want to put too much weight into a game like this one, but it's hard not to be excited about what we saw from Mingo in his first game as a Patriot.
- I'm also going to try very, very hard not to make too many Blazing Saddles jokes when it comes to Mingo - but since we just recently lost an all-time great in Gene Wilder, I'm going to just get them all out of the way right now.
- Mingo just pawn in game of life.
- Spanish balloons? Mingo take chance!
- You know what - that's enough. I'm too excited about what Mingo can bring to the table in 2016 to waste any time quoting one of the best comedies ever made.
- Seriously - RIP Mr. Wilder. Show me somebody who wasn't traumatized in some capacity by his performance as Willy Wonka in that goddam tunnel and I'll show you someone who didn't have an enjoyable childhood.
- Did DJ Foster do enough to make the team last night? Other than a costly fumble, he showed nice vision, ran well between the tackles, represented a true receiving threat, and collected 132 total yards. If he didn't do enough to make the squad, he for sure did enough to garner the attention of another team.
- Geneo Grissom, on the other hand, may be on his way out the door. In the game late and not much to show for it.
- Last night was probably Jacoby Brissett's best game as a pro, for what it's worth. His stat line wasn't anything remarkable, but he was looking down the field more and was less quick to just take off.
- Clay Harbor or AJ Derby - who do you got? Both played well, both played late, and both offer a specific skillset that can help the team. The odds of Derby clearing waivers for a practice squad stash are slimmer than the odds of me ever getting over the fact that Tommy B is sitting for four games for something he didn't do, so I don't think cutting him is an option unless they're prepared to lose him outright.
- Last night was the first time this preseason when I watched the game on the New England-based feed, and thus it was the first time I saw the latest Putnam Investments commercial. And all I have to say is - what the hell is Ryan Allen doing running a toss play to Justin Coleman?
- Also - really, Tommy? Dow Furniture? You're better than this, bud.
- Rich Hill has to be happy about Kamu Grugier-Hill's play as a gunner on punt coverage. Some absolute truck stick hits.
- In case anybody was wondering - yes, there are currently two #27s on the roster, DJ Foster and Darryl Roberts. That probably doesn't bode well for both of them making the team.
- I feel like this game, in a lot of ways, was a microcosm of what we're going to see in the first four games of the year - not much to write home about offensively, but tons to write home about defensively. If the defense can keep it close, Jimmy G will be in position to win every singe game he starts late.
Lots to pay attention to over the next few days...some very tough cuts to make for sure. And I hope every one here got their fill of Brady's flowing locks, because we won't be seeing them for another month. Dammit.