|08.16.14 at 12:52 am ET|
FOXBORO — It wasn’t much of a test for a preseason debut.
Darrelle Revis suited up like he did against the Redskins the week before but this time he actually stepped on the field for game action. He might as well not have.
Whether it was his reputation as the game’s best shut-down corner or wanting simply to test other parts of their offense, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and quarterback Nick Foles didn’t challenge Revis all night long in a 42-35 Patriots’ win that evened New England’s preseason record at 1-1.
With Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper out, Revis was matched up against Arrelious Benn. Revis played on Philadelphia’s first three series (the first series was one play and a turnover) and not a single pass was thrown to Benn.
“I don’t know what their game plan is,” Revis said. “My thing is just to go out there and do my job. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. But you always have to be ready at all times.”
Perhaps just as impressive is that for all the penalties that were called against both secondaries, not a single yellow cloth landed on Revis Island.
“It’s a new rule in 2014 that they’re emphasizing about illegal contact down the field on plays with the wide receiver and the defensive backs,” Revis said. “Like I said before, we have to do the best that we can by being comfortable with the new rules and trying to do the right things out there on the field. I don’t know how many penalties it was. It was a lot, just watching the game and going through it, but I don’t know. It was a lot, but at the same time, the refs are going to call what they see.”
Of course to Revis, it’s all about the secondary getting better as a unit, with he and Devin McCourty leading the charge. Malcolm Butler started opposite Revis and continued to show progress, stripping a receiver in the second half and recovering the ball. Kyle Arrington even got the starting nod at safety with McCourty.
“We’re getting better every week,” Revis said. “We’re trying to reach our peak by the time Week 1 comes around. We’ve been working hard and we’ve made a lot of great plays out there today on defense so those are the types of things we are looking for. The coaches always stress turnovers to us so we’re just trying to do a good job of that and tonight we did.”
|08.16.14 at 12:51 am ET|
FOXBORO — After sitting out the first preseason game with the Redskins last week, Tom Brady got his first action of 2014 Friday night against the Eagles and he couldn’t have been more excited.
“It’s fun being out there. Sitting on the sideline like last week isn’t nearly as fun, so getting out there and getting a chance to play a little bit was great,” said Brady. “It was a great experience for me — fun to be out there with my teammates, so I enjoyed it.”
Brady and the Patriots were looking good on their opening drive of the game as they ran nine plays, going 39 yards to the Eagles’ 41-yard line, but it suddenly came to a screeching halt. Brady was picked off by Eagles cornerback Cary Williams and he returned it 77 yards for a touchdown.
The pass was intended for tight end Steve Maneri, but there was a miscommunication between the two and Williams was able to step in for the interception.
“It happens and I’m glad it happened in the preseason,” Brady said. “The one thing about offensive football is all 11 guys have to be on the same page, so those are things we’re all trying to try to correct.”
Brady settled down after the interception as on the following drive he led the offense on a nine-play, 74-yard drive, capping off with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins.
“KT [Thompkins] made a great catch,” Brady said. “I’ve got so much confidence in him and what he’s been able to do and continue to achieve for us has been great, so hopefully there will be a lot more of those.”
The quarterback’s night was done after the touchdown drive and he finished 8-for-10 for 81 yards with the touchdown and interception. Playing two series’ is the standard for Brady in the second preseason game as in four of the six previous second preseason games that is what he’s done.
“We had a good drive going there to start the game and we showed a little mental toughness getting the touchdown there on the second drive, so it was great,” said Brady.
|08.15.14 at 11:52 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Eagles cornerback Cary Williams was all talk before this week’s joint practices with the Patriots and preseason game Friday night, calling the Patriots “cheaters” and saying they don’t get anything out of joint practices.
After three days of joint practices and Friday’s game, Williams had a change of heart and met with Patriots coach Bill Belichick at midfield following the game.
“He told me he respected me as a player, and he told me that he respected the fact I came out earlier this week and said some nice things about the [Patriots] organization,” Williams told WEEI.com. “I told him I was sorry for what I said. I just reacted out of emotion.”
On Tuesday, after the first day of joint practices Williams said it was “tremendous” to practice with the Patriots and Tom Brady. The cornerback said he made the comments originally because of the joint practices last season, in which he was thrown out of one of them for starting a fight with Aaron Dobson as well as playing the Patriots in the playoffs with the Ravens.
“Just from playing those guys on a consecutive day basis it was just so consistent playing those guys so you’re kind of develop a dislike or strong dislike for a particular organization, whatever the case may be — you say things you didn’t mean,” he said. “That was said out of pure emotion.”
Williams picked Brady off in the first quarter and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown, but injured his hamstring and didn’t return. He did stick around to meet up with Belichick, though.
“I’m sorry, I regret it, but at the end of the day it was two guys at midfield just respecting one another and understanding that I said that out of emotion rather than coming from the heart,” he said.
|08.15.14 at 10:48 pm ET|
FOXBORO — In a game dominated by penalties, the Patriots snuck past the Eagles for their first preseason win of the summer Friday night at Gillette Stadium by a 42-35 count.
The two teams combined for 21 accepted penalties, which slowed the game to a crawl at times. But in the end, the Patriots had a little more left offensively, as Ryan Mallett helped New England put 21 points on the board in the third quarter on the way to the win.
Tom Brady got the start for the first time this summer and went 8-for-10 for 81 yards, with one interception and one touchdown. Jimmy Garoppolo was the second quarterback, and he went 6-for-12 for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Mallett played all of the third and fourth quarters, and went 7-for-11 for 92 yards, with one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown. In addition, New England did a nice job running the ball, accounting for 250 rushing yards.
Overall, the Patriots also got big numbers from Stevan Ridley (nine carries, 45 yards) and Kenbrell Thompkins (three catches, 32 yards, one touchdown), as most of the starters saw at least some action after sitting for the preseason opener last week against the Redskins.
Here are 10 things we learned about the Patriots Friday night:
1. Tom Brady looks ready for the regular season.
Brady ended up with 22 snaps (including penalties) on two series, and ended up with a crisp 8-for-10 evening with 81 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The quarterback was picked clean on the first drive when a pass intended for Steve Maneri was intercepted by Philly cornerback Cary Williams and taken all the way back (77 yards) for a touchdown. The pick came at the end of a pretty good sequence for Brady and the New England offense, which managed to get all the way down to the Eagles’ 23-yard line before Williams read the situation perfectly and stepped up to force the turnover. Brady had a better finish to his second drive, a nine-play, 74-yard sequence that consumed 5:32 and ended with a sharp 15-yard pass to Thompkins. No real issues for Brady, who appeared to be in control throughout his first preseason action of the summer.
2. The flags are out of control.
In New England’s second preseason game last year, the Patriots and Bucs combined for 15 accepted penalties. New England and Philly blew past that late in the third quarter, and ended the game with21 accepted penalties. The officials spent the week meeting with players about the new points of emphasis, but somewhere along the way, there was a disconnect. Read the rest of this entry »
|08.15.14 at 7:17 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The following players were not spotted on the field for pregame warmups prior to Friday night’s Patriots-Eagles matchup:
Wide receivers Aaron Dobson, Jeremy Gallon
Defensive backs Tavon Wilson and Alfonzo Dennard
Running back Tyler Gaffney
Safety Kanorris Davis
Tight ends Rob Gronkowski, D.J. Williams and Michael Hoomanawanui
Offensive linemen Bryan Stork and Chris Martin
Defensive linemen Dominique Easley, Sealver Siligia, Chris Jones, Jerel Worthy and Ben Bass.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|08.15.14 at 5:53 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Cloudy skies and temperatures in the upper 60s will greet the Patriots and Eagles as they play the second preseason game of the summer. There is no rain in the forecast but it will be breezy and unseasonably chilly by the end of the game, set for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
It will be the likely preseason debut of several players for the Patriots, including Tom Brady, Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower. The game is the culmination of another week of joint practices as the Patriots and Eagles worked out on the fields outside Gillette Stadium.
This will be the 22nd time the Patriots and Eagles have met in the preseason, surpassed only by the 23 encounters with the Giants, which will grow to 24 in two weeks as the Patriots wrap up the preseason. The Patriots hold an 11-10 advantage over the Eagles in the previous 21 meetings.
As for the game, some of the highlights to watch for will be the snap count for Vince Wilfork, who played just the first series last week in Washington before sitting out the rest of the night. Brady will get the start and who will be snapping him the ball bears some close watching, as Dan Connolly got the nod last week with the first unit offensive line.
Both offensive tackles are looking for a bounce back game, especially Nate Solder, who got beat for a sack, a quarterback hit and a holding call that cost the Patriots a first-down conversion.
The Eagles are expected to be without receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper as Nick Foles gets the call at quarterback.
|08.15.14 at 3:01 pm ET|
The Patriots made the acquisitions of defensive linemen Jerel Worthy and Ben Bass official on Friday. In addition, they placed new tight end Terrence Miller on injured reserve. Here’s a portion of the statement from the team on the moves:
Worthy, 24, was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round (51st overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Michigan State. The 6-foot-2, 308-pounder appeared in 16 regular-season games with four starts over two seasons and accumulated 11 tackles, 2½ sacks and one forced fumble. Worthy began last season on the Physically Unable to Perform List before being activated to the 53-man roster on Nov. 23, 2013, and played in two games.
Bass, 24, originally joined the Dallas Cowboys in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M. The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder spent most of the 2012 season on the Cowboys’ practice squad before being activated to the 53-man roster on Nov. 13, 2013. Bass appeared in two games as a rookie before being placed on injured reserve on Dec. 1, 2012. He went to training camp with the Cowboys in 2013 but was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the regular season.
Miller, 22, was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 10, 2014. He was originally signed by the New York Jets as a rookie free agent out of Arizona on May 11, 2014. The 6-foot-4, 234-pounder, was released by the Jets on June 19, 2014. Miller finished his college career at Arizona with 95 receptions for 1,117 yards and three touchdowns.
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