The New England Patriots finished their third week of the preseason with a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their second game of the preseason. While it is preseason, there are some notable things that fans of the Patriots can takeaway from the 25-21 victory over the Buccaneers.
1. Injury, what injury?
Despite being injured on Wednesday after being hit in the left knee by offensive tackle Nate Solder, Tom Brady looked perfectly fine. Actual, scratch that he looked great. He completed his first 11 passes of the game and finished 11-12 for 107 yards and one touchdown while carving apart the Tampa Bay secondary.
If anyone is still concerned about whether the Patriots gamble on signing Danny Amendola over bringing back Wes Welker, you shouldn't be. Amendola caught all six passes for 71 yards and a 26-yard touchdown reception on the team's opening drive. If he can stay healthy Patriots fans will quickly forget losing Wes Welker.
3. Tight end Zach Sudfeld could be the answer at TE
While Rob Gronkowski heals from his assortment of surgeries and the team tries to find a replacement to Aaron Hernandez, Zach Sudfeld continues to impress both in camp and in live action. Sudfeld had a two point conversion on the opening drive, and more notably, a 22-yard touchdown reception from backup quaterback Ryan Mallett. While Sudfeld won't be tearing apart the league anytime soon, it is encouraging to see that the Patriots may have some insurance for both Hernandez's production down the line, as well as, a capale replacement should Gronkowski not be ready for the beginning of the season.
4. Ryan Mallett is the backup quarterback, plain and simple
Mallett relieved Tom Brady and was 12/20 for 137 yards and one touchdown in the second preseason game. Meanwhile, Tim Tebow continues to struggle at quarterback as he was 1/7 for -1 yards and one interception. Tebow did have 30 yards on six carries, however, clearly is still struggling from under center.
5. The defense is going to be able to bring pressure
The defense got after Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman right from the get go. On the two series that Freeman appeared in, the Patriots defense sacked him three times. Linebacker Brandon Spikes had two sacks, while defensive end Chandler Jones had one. Rob Ninkovich also had a sack as well, albeit, on rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. However, if the Patriots can bring the pressure like they did last night, this defense will take the pressure off their secondary and put the ball back into Tom Brady's hands.
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