Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/21/12
Nfl_new_england_aa57

Three games in 10 days forced Bill Belichick to change his normal preseason routine. Belichick sat twenty players, including Tom Brady who left Gillette stadium before the game even started. It seemed like a long night was in store, but the underlings showed up to play.

Ryan Mallet got the start at quarterback, and with an offensive line that had a lot of trouble blocking the dangerous defensive line, Mallet did some good things (10 for 20, 105 yards, 1 TD). Mallet showed command of the offense, and was able to lead them on a scoring drive.

The offensive line struggled as (left to right) Nate Solder, Nick McDonald, Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, and Marcus Cannon started the game. Mallet was under constant pressure, having to scramble or get rid of the ball quickly. The Josh McDaniels’ effect was clear as the screen game that seemed to find the back seat with Bill O’Brien, was back.

Deion Branch made a strong case to make the team, getting the starting nod opposite Donte Stallworth, Branch shined beating the eagles top corners for 3 catches for 51 yards.

The big story line was the Patriots second string defense, as they accepted the challenge of Micheal Vick and the Philly offense. The defense gave up one first down on the Eagles’ first possession, and then knocked Vick out of the game on their second.

Vick was hurt when he was flushed out of the pocket when tackle Kyle Love shot through the middle. He looked downfield, but when he threw the ball, the quarterback was drilled by Jermaine Cunningham.

Rookie Nick Foles came in for Vick, and was sacked by Ron Brace on the same drive.

Without the top defensive players, the second team eventually wore down, but the showed they could compete against one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. Dont'a Hightower came as advertised making a few open field tackles on Lesean McCoy, and showing his comfort in the defense, also breaking up a pass attempt.

The Patriots next test is Friday against the Tampa Buccaneers in Tampa, and the second stringers will take a backseat to Brady and the starters on both sides of the ball.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Joe Mixon drafted by Bengals; fans boo pick

Vikings land Adrian Peterson’s replacement, trade up for Dalvin Cook

WATCH: Kris Bryant launches moonshot completely out of Fenway Park

Kevin King, alone in green room, taken first in Round 2 by Packers

Felix Hernandez, Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks for Mariners

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

CFL fines head coach for meeting with Johnny Manziel rep

Reuben Foster hung up on Saints when 49ers called him

Packers ‘taking calls’ for No. 33 pick in draft

Bears confirm that Mike Glennon is their starter for the 2017 season

Report: Jets making calls trying to trade Sheldon Richardson

Broncos players take to Twitter to call for team to sign Gary Barnidge

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

Box Score 4/28: NFL Draft gets younger every year

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Don't sleep on the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The 'Beast Mode as a parting gift' quiz

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

Our favorite undrafted players of all time

Kicking it: Orlando surges while the Galaxy struggles

Three Up, Three Down: Madison Bumgarner gets grounded

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'NFL Draft Day is finally upon us' quiz

Most memorable 'NFL Draft weekend drama' stories

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Eastern rivalries take center stage

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker