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Preseason week 2 Patriots vs Eagles highlighted the huge gap between Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer

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The difference was striking.

Washington Redskins v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Alec and I spoke at length on our podcast about how New England Patriots back-up quarterback Brian Hoyer did not look great in the first preseason game. Hoyer’s passes lacked the necessary velocity to compensate for his elongated throwing motion, which led to a lot of opportunities for defenders to close any separation with the receiver and swat away the football.

Watching Tom Brady carve up the Eagles defense over the first half, and then watching Hoyer play in the third quarter was extremely jarring to the system. The difference in the zip of the football made me check to see if my television was running too slowly. Brady throws lightning bolts and javelins, while Hoyer was tossing muffins.

Hoyer’s “success” in the second preseason game wasn’t much of an improvement over the first game, either. He benefit from an exemplary run-after-the-catch by Cordarrelle Patterson to notch a “passing touchdown” to his state sheet, but Hoyer’s been pretty underwhelming this preseason. He’s completed 21 of 36 passes (58.3%) for 176 yards (4.89 YPA), and 1 touchdown. His passer rating is a sub-mediocre 80.3.

While Hoyer’s still clearly a superior option to rookie seventh round pick Danny Etling (2/6 for 21 yards in his appearances), the drop from Brady to Hoyer was expected to be large because of how great Brady is, but I wasn’t expecting the gap to be this huge.

And that’s something the Patriots will have to live with this year because there aren’t any other options, unless former Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore, former Texans quarterback T.J. Yates, or former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, or, uh, former Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett really sparks your interest. Or the team could add Colin Kaepernick, who is probably the best quarterback that remains unsigned.

I’m hoping that Hoyer will never have to play a snap over the course of his contract with the Patriots and that he earns every penny of his deal inside the quarterbacks room. But I’m honestly concerned about the viability of the offense if Hoyer ever has to line up under center.