Lockout Hasn’t Slowed Patriots Down
But just because these games “don’t count” doesn’t mean these games do not matter. The preseason gives fans the opportunity to get a glimpse into how well-prepared their team is for the regular season. Fans hear or see how well the players are playing against their own teammates at practice but it’s a different story when players get to the stadium and play in front of thousands of screaming fans against a different opponent. Some times a player, particularly a rookie, can get caught up in the moment and look like a deer in headlights and not play with the same intensity that they did in practice.
So unlike many people, I actually take the preseason seriously and take note of a team’s flaws and successes.
The team that has impressed me the most so far are the New England Patriots.
The Patriots have scored 78 points in eight quarters and allowed 26 points from their opponents. Tom Brady’s stats in one game: 11/19, 118 yards and 2 touchdown. Rookie quarterback Ryan Mallett’s stats in two games: 21/33, 235 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
Patriots starting running back, BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 51 yards with 11 carries and had 2 touchdowns in his first game action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last night. In two games, Patriots third round pick Stevan Ridley has been a stud, rushing for 148 yards with 30 carries and had 2 touchdowns
The thing that impresses me the most about coach Bill Belichick the Patriots front office is their ability to find talent in non-big name players. Not only are the starters playing well but the rookies and undrafted free agents are playing well too.
If God-forbids something happens to Brady, Green-Ellis or any other starter the Patriots have a reliable back-up who can contribute to the team just as well as a starter.
I know the Patriots have been the super bowl favorites the past few years and have lost in the playoffs and in Super Bowl XLII. But if I had to my AFC representative in this year’s super bowl it would the Patriots.