New Orleans Saints @ New England Patriots
NO 0 7 14 3 24
NE 10 7 7 3 27
2nd Qtr: Reggie Bush 2-yd Rush (Garrett Hartley kick)
3rd Qtr: Larry Beavers 97-yd Kick Return (Hartley kick)
3rd Qtr: Chris Ivory 2-yd Rush (Hartley kick)
4th Qtr: Hartley 23-yd FG.
Pierre Thomas, RB
I don’t get why Sean Peyton keeps thinking he needs to give other players carries. Thomas showed once again why he’s the man in New Orleans. Reggie Bush does the cute stuff, but Thomas is and will be the main man this season. Hopefully Peyton doesn’t get cute and starting giving carries to guys like Chris Ivory or Lynell Hamilton.
Garrett Hartley, K
It’s amazing how many place kickers struggle with punting, but Hartley could definitely get the job done if called upon like he was in this game. Also showed good awareness and did a good job slowing Devin McCourty down on a kick return. One less thing for Peyton to worry about.
Jon Stinchcomb, RT
He routinely was made to look stupid by Marques Murrell. He looked good with run-blocking, and has virtually no chance of losing his starting job, but there’s a reason he plays RT.
Courtney Roby, KR
He didn’t show any creativity or fighting for yards on any of his returns, often falling on first contact. Throw in the fact that the other guy vying for the job, Larry Beavers, took his first opportunity 97 yards to the end zone, and I’d say there’s a decent chance he won’t make the roster.
The Saints' first-team offense definitely did not look like the usual first team offense. They went the entire first quarter without scoring against a transitioning Patriots defense. I know it's only the preseason, but I had a feeling going into the game that the Saints are going to take a step backwards this year, and this first preseason game only strengthened that feeling.
1st Qtr: Stephen Gostkowski 35-yd FG
1st Qtr: Benjarvus Green-Ellis 6-yd Rush (Gostkowski kick)
2nd Qtr: Laurence Maroney 5-yd Rush (Gostkowski kick)
3rd Qtr: Maroney 1-yd Rush (Gostkowski kick)
4th Qtr: Gostkowski 28-yd FG
Julian Edelman, WR
If for some reason Welker isn’t ready for the first game, don’t worry about the Patriots at all. Edelman will more than suffice. Edelman showed many of the same skills, including run-after-catch skills and punt and kick return skills. In fact, if I were Wes Welker, I’d start taking notice. I’m not saying that Welker will lose his starting job. It’s just that Belichek knows when to trade players to get maximum value and maximum usage (see Seymour, Richard), and as good as Edelman looked, if he keeps it up Welker may become expendable.
Devin McCourty, CB
Looked good in coverage, helping to relatively shut down the Saints high-powered passing attack. Even more impressive, however, was his kick return skills. Edelman at PR and McCourty at KR make the Pats special teams pretty scary, potentially.
Brian Hoyer, QB
Showed a lot of the mental skills that Tom Brady brings. Not nearly as talented as a thrower and Brady is still the man, but as far as a backup/QB in waiting goes, they could do a lot worse than Hoyer. He may be better than the Patriots’ last backup QB.
Zoltan Mesko, P
Got some good distance on his punts, but I mainly mentioned him because he probably has the coolest name of any punter in NFL history.
Zac Robinson, QB
Looked like a rookie, somewhat of a deer-in-the-headlights look. Expected from a QB playing his first time in a pro-style system on a pro team. No big surprises. Did throw a nice screen to Darnell Jenkins.
Darius Butler, CB
Gave up a penalty that led to a Saints TD. May end up being the #2 CB behind McCourty, but will still likely start.
Brady and Moss looked like their usual selves. Those two looked like they were on a mission to prove they still have it. I wouldn't expect 50/22 TDs this season, but they'll definitely outproduce last season. Don't be afraid to draft either in your fantasy league this season, regardless of the format.