The first half of preseason is over and the New England Patriots sit at 2-0 after defeating the visiting Philadelphia Eagles 37-20. While we will have plenty of analysis online over the next week, let’s take a quick look at some of the top stories from the game.
Tom Brady looked sharp in his debut
After sitting out the preseason opener against Washington, Tom Brady was back on the field and looked like his usual self. Playing the entire first half, the 41-year old led four scoring drives and spread the football around – all while making good decisions and moving around well in the pocket. All in all, Brady finished the game with 19 pass completions on 26 attempts for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
New England’s pass rush looks much improved
While the Patriots ran a rather basic defense against the Eagles and were without Trey Flowers and Dont’a Hightower, the team did still get plenty of pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. Registering eight sacks on the night, the front seven looked good playing downhill and regularly won its one-on-one battles – with Adrian Clayborn and Derek Rivers in particular standing out as pass rushers.
Keionta Davis is a dark-horse to make the team
The player leading the Patriots with 1.5 sacks tonight is second-year man Keionta Davis. The former undrafted free agent, who missed all of last season due to injury, received quality snaps against the Eagles and did not look out of place. Davis appears to be the number five defensive edge at the moment and an under-the-radar candidate to make the roster at a comparatively light position – or at least the practice squad.
Isaiah Wynn’s injury is the low-point of the day
As well as the game went for New England, there was one big negative: Isaiah Wynn suffered an ankle injury and had to be carted to the locker room because of it. The first-round rookie again saw considerable playing time with the starting offense as a rotational right tackle, and looked good. However, he came up limping late in the first quarter and saw his night come to an end in the worst fashion.
The punter battle might be over
Ryan Allen and Corey Bojorquez went head-to-head during training camp. During preseason, however, it has been all Allen: after punting six times last week, the veteran added seven more kicks today. Undrafted rookie Bojorquez, meanwhile, did again not see the field and had to watch the incumbent punter deliver a solid performance – all while also serving as the holder on field goals and extra point attempts.