Found August 09, 2012 on Boston Sports Then & Now:

First round draft pick Chandler Jones forced two holding penalties and will pay immediate dividends.

With great excitement, NFL season kicked off tonight for the New England Patriots tonight. The Super Bowl loss is behind this 2012 team and the page has officially been turned. Unfortunately, it was not the greatest start to season for the Pats as they came out very flat in Thursday night’s 7-6 win against the Saints. Sure, it’s just preseason, but the fact remains – they did not look good.

The play that stands out is Brady getting crushed in the first series on a sack where he lost the football. Thankfully he was okay and returned, but he held onto the football too long behind an offensive line missing three starters.

Three Up:

Chandler Jones – On three consecutive plays Jones made an impact in the first half. On the first two he drew holding penalties. During the third play, as the pocket collapsed, he took two steps back and threw his hands up which altered backup QB Chase Daniel’s throw which went for an incompletion. He had one tackle in the stat sheet, but the impssive and massive rookie made an immediate impact.

Shane Vereen – It did not start well for the second year running back, as he saw zero first half snaps at running back. However, he dominated running back touches in the third quarter and on the team’s 97-yard TD drive, he had a 10 yard catch and three consecutive runs of 18, 14, and 10 yards. Vereen is not a pounder by any means, but he made guys (third stringers) miss. It will be interesting to see if and when he gets burn with the starters.

Zoltan Mesko – A big night for Zoltan, as he notched eight punts (four inside the 20) for a 45.9 yard average. The third year punter looked to be in mid-season form too, on a second quarter punt where he was roughed (a flag was thrown) and he “played dead” on the ground for the official to see.

Honorable Mention: Jerod Mayo (pass deflection set up INT), Steven Gregory (showed good hands on INT and a nose for the football), Stevan Ridley (5 YPC), Kyle Love (stout and unheralded), Marquice Cole (trying to make team as fifth corner, impressive speed as gunner in punt formation)

Three Down:

Nate Solder – The second year left tackle was whistled for two first quarter holding penalties. One put the team in a 1st and 20 position on the drive where Brady was sacked and he fumbled. The other penalty erased a beautiful 17-yard reception for Brandon Lloyd over the middle. At least one of the penalties was questionable, but the new book-end for the Patriots would be better served not hearing his name heard.

Thankfully the Patriots have 11 days before their next game to work out the kinks.

Sterling Moore – Last year’s AFC Championship hero had a tough night. An early pass with him in coverage saw him turned around and not ready to defend. Next, he saw a possible interception go through his hands. Later in the game a 46-yard pass interference penalty was inadvertently called on Tavon Wilson when it was indeed Moore who made the contact. He is firmly behind McCourty, Arrington, and Dowling.

Dan Koppen – Tough to tell with offensive lineman, especially when you have a sideline view in the stands, but Koppen was taken out after one series then re-inserted later (no injury). Perhaps after not even playing a full game in 2011 the team wanted to pace him, but the offensive line with the first team appeared to be better with him off the field on the second series.

Honorable Mention: Stephen Gostkowski (53 yards is no gimmie, but he missed it to close the first half), Ryan Mallett (started off shaky, but shook cobwebs out as time progressed), Dane Fletcher (real tough luck for the back-up LB and core special teamer who tore his ACL on a punt that was called back following a penalty)

The Patriots do not play until Monday August 20th, which will give the team plenty of time to dissect and build on tonight’s preseason performance. Good to have the team back on the field and also very good that the team still has one month before it counts.


THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Dane Fletcher tears ACL in preseason opener

Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network is reporting that LB Dane Fletcher suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the first quarter of Thursday's preseason game against the New Orleans Saints. The Patriots won 7-6, but a loss like this to kick off the season is never a good sign. Fletcher started the game at ILB, but his injury occurred while on the punt unit. Tough break...

Joe Vitt Says Patriots the 'Microsoft' of NFL, Bill Belichick the 'Bill Walsh of My Era'

The Patriots and Saints both heaped praise on each other after practicing together on Wednesday, but New Orleans interim head coach Joe Vitt is particularly impressed with how New England operates. "This franchise that we're going against is the Microsoft of our industry, what they've done," Vitt said. "Bill Belichick is the coach of my era. He's the Don...

Scott Zolak Officially Named To Replace Gino Cappelletti

Chad Finn had it last week, but WBZ-FM made it official this morning when they named Scott Zolak to be the Patriots color analyst alongside Gil Santos this season. Here is the release: SCOTT ZOLAK NAMED COLOR COMMENTATOR FOR THE PATRIOTS RADIO NETWORK on 98.5 THE SPORTS HUB! Zolak Joins Veteran Play-by-Play Announcer Gil Santos in the Booth 98.5 The Sports Hub is the Official Flagship...

Things to watch in the Patriots first preseason game

Tonight is the first chance to see players like Chandler Jones in a Patriots’ uniform Football is back New England Patriots’ fans. Granted, it is a preseason game and for the most part no one really cares what happens, but there is something exciting about the first preseason game. It is the first time for the fans to see their team back on the field and a preview of what is...

Tom Brady Hit Hard & Fumbles in First Series Of 2012 Pre Season

A.B. First big Brady hit of the “season” is a blindside sandwich fumble. Which is exactly why in a Belichick utopia, Brady would only take 5 snaps max during each pre-season game. I’m pretty sure that everyone in New England stopped breathing for a few seconds there.

New England Patriots Mailbag -- Early results are in - ESPN Boston

New England Patriots Mailbag -- Early results are in - ESPN Boston: Another guy to keep an eye on...

Report: Tom Brady to Play in Preseason Opener Against Saints

Tom Brady isn't taking his time this year. According to Greg Bedard, Brady will play on Thursday night when the Pats line up against the Saints at Gillette Stadium. Brady didn't play last summer in the team's preseason opener. Bedard also notes that Brady played 17 snaps against the Saints in the 2010 opener.

NFL Preseason Week 1 Preview: Saints @ Patriots

2012 Patriots Preseason kicks off at 7:30 After having our hearts ripped out once again in February, we can now turn the page. Another chapter in the Belichick/Brady era is unfolding upon us. Last year, the duo became the winningest coach/quarterback tandem in the regular season and they’re not stopping anytime soon. Brady, 35, has recently expressed interest in playing football...

Vote: Which New Patriot Are You Most Excited to See in Thursday's Preseason Opener?

The Patriots have been hitting a different-colored jersey for a few days now, but it will be official on Thursday when they kick off their preseason games against the New Orleans Saints. While Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are among the familiar faces that fans are looking forward to seeing back at Gillette Stadium, this game will also offer a glimpse at some newcomers making their...

Saints' Mark Ingram Likes Patriots' Running Back Corps (Video)

While, just like every year, the Patriots came into training camp with most of the focus on star quarterback Tom Brady, there are a number of position battles within the club that probably have a little bit less drama than the starting QB role. One of those battles is at the running back position, where Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen (no relation to Ben Vereen, as far as we know...

Patriots 7, Saints 6: Reynolds' Reaction

Offensive line a major concern: Quarterback Tom Brady was under duress for the majority of the 19 plays he was on the field, and was crushed by Will Smith at the end of his first series. This breakdown on the offensive line lead to a fumble and a turnover. Tackle Nate Solder seemed to struggle on the outside, drawing two holding penalties (one of which negated a 17 yard strike from...

Patriots Edge Saints in Preseason Opener

In a meaningless August preseason game between two of the NFL’s normally most potent offenses, the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots struggled with Patriots pulling out a 7-6 win at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Thursday night. The Saints got on the board first in the opening quarter when Patriots QB Tom Brady was sacked, as he seems prone to do, coughed up the ball...

Patriots Tweets Of INTEREST: Spikes Doesn’t Feel The Love, Chandler Jones Has A Love?

In this social media age, NEWS and ODDITIES  are all around you and at your fingertips. With a tap of your smartphone, you can find out what your favorite athlete or celeb is doing and thinking. Some things make you SCRATCH your head or say HMM. The members of the New England Patriots are no different, they are quite in tune with Twitter and MyFace Facebook. Here are some Patriots...

Patriots Deefeat Saints 7-6

The New England Patriots used their ground game to run over the New Orleans Saints Thursday night. Patriots won 7-6 in their preseason home opener.
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.