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Preseason week 4 Patriots vs Giants: Quick-hit thoughts
01-14-2019, 05:25 PM
Post: #1
Preseason week 4 Patriots vs Giants: Quick-hit thoughts
on New England’s 17-12 victory in the preseason finale The New England Patriots defeated the New York Giants 17-12 in a rather slow and mostly uneventful preseason finale. The good news: the preseason is now over and the next time the Patriots take the field Womens David Andrews Jersey , the team will look a lot different – with the result hopefully more entertaining. With all that in mind, let’s still take a quick look back at the game.Danny Etling had some ups and downs – and one spectacular momentWith roster locks Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer both inactive, rookie Danny Etling was given the start at quarterback. His game looked mostly like the rest of his first NFL summer: he had his moments but in general struggled with inaccuracy, foot technique and feel for the pocket. Etling, who completed 18 of 32 for 157 yards as well as a touchdown and two interceptions, also had the game’s signature play when he took a bootleg run 86 yards for a touchdown.Injuries could help decide roster battlesWhile the top of the depth chart appears to be mostly set across the board, the battle for the depth spots was still underway today. What may help the coaching staff make decisions is health, as multiple players had to leave the field at one point. While two returned quickly – linebacker Marquis Flowers and safety A.J. Moore were back shortly after exiting the game –, others ended the contest in the locker room: cornerback J.C. Jackson was carted off due to dehydration, offensive lineman Ulrick John injured his foot and was later seen in a walking boot. Jackson should be fine, but John’s roster outlook may have just taken a serious hit.Jason McCourty received more snaps at safetyDuring last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers, cornerback Jason McCourty lined up at free safety for the first time in his professional career. Today, he continued seeing snaps at the position. With the team set at the top of its cornerback depth chart – Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe are the starters at the perimeter, Jonathan Jones and Duke Dawson appear to be the top options in the slot –, the versatility to line up elsewhere could play a big role in helping McCourty make the team.J.C. Jackson stated his case for a roster spotUndrafted rookie J.C. Jackson was named one of our players to watch before the game – and he certainly delivered a noteworthy performance. While not all was perfect, he was active in man coverage and finished the game with two interceptions before leaving it due to the aforementioned dehydration. It was nevertheless an encouraging performance for the cornerback, who was one of New England’s standout performers during training camp but so far did not live up to the hype during preseason.Players coming off injured reserve received plenty of snapsThree of the Patriots’ higher draft selections of the last two years spent 2017 on injured reserve: defensive linemen Derek Rivers and Vincent Valentine, and cornerback Cyrus Jones. All three were given plenty of opportunities today and played from start to finish. While this could be an indication that they are on the roster bubble, it appears to be more likely – at least in Rivers’ case – that the team simply wanted to give them as much exposure as possible after a year on the sidelines.Preseason is overThe exhibition contests are over and the next time we see the Patriots hit the field is September 9: New England will host the Houston Texans for its regular season opener. Over the next few days Authentic Lawrence Guy Jersey , roster cutdowns will decide who will be on the team. If anyone figured the 2018 NFL season would emulate 2017, they have positive proof through seven weeks that just isn't so.Sure, the Patriots are an AFC power, even though they aren't overpowering anybody, and the Chiefs again won their first five games before losing. The Giants and 49ers are dredging the bottom of the NFC once more.But take a look at the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles. And the Jaguars.The Titans, the Falcons and the Bills.Don't take a long look, though, because it's pretty ugly.It's most unsightly in Jacksonville, where a locker room incident punctuated a third straight loss. The Jaguars, who led the Patriots in the fourth quarter of the AFC title game in January, are 3-4, and in the last three defeats are minus-8 in turnover differential. They're minus-12 on the season, the offense has disappeared and quarterback Blake Bortles was benched in a 20-7 home loss to division-rival Houston.Calais Campbell was seen holding back fellow defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, a carry-over from the screaming, shouting and finger pointing after the latest flop."We've got to do something, but the first thing we've got to do is stop turning the damn ball over," exasperated coach Doug Marrone said. "Period. That would be the positive of how we can build."A defense that appeared ready to dominate this year has been inconsistent. Injuries have been a factor.And the psyche seems damaged."Frustration's a part of the game, and we're emotional people and this is an emotional game," Campbell said. "At the same time Authentic Shaq Mason Jersey , I think these guys, this group of guys, we have a different kind of heart to us. At the same time, losing sucks, you know, especially losing three in a row. Stacking losses, that's not who we are, that's not what we want to be."But it is who we are 'cause that's what's going on right now. I do believe that we will get it fixed. We have no choice but to get it fixed."They'll set about it in London against the Eagles , who blew a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter at home against Carolina. Another team with plenty of injuries, the Eagles' resilient nature that carried them to the top is ebbing.Like the Jags, the Eagles recognize it. They simply can't get caught up in expectations."There's enough pressure," coach Doug Pederson said. "Just the game itself brings its own sort of pressure. We don't have to go force anything. We don't have to go looking for plays. Let the plays come to you and then make them when they come, and that's where we're at."Actually, where they are at is 3-4 — they lost only three times last season — trailing 4-2 Washington in a muddled NFC East. And now they head overseas."You just isolate this game in this week and move on to the next. You learn from it," quarterback Carson Wentz said. "I sound like a broken record every time we lose up here, but it's on to the next. There is no time to feel sorry for yourself, there is no time to be (ticked) about it. You have to learn from it quick and bounce back to next week."Tennessee showed some guts in going for a 2-point conversion in the final seconds, trailing 20-19 in London. It failed — twice, the first negated by a Chargers penalty.The Titans (3-4) have dropped three in a row Womens Julian Edelman Jersey , too. Their offense has been awful and the rush defense weak.They are hardly a lost cause, though. The Bills and Falcons probably are.We would gladly give Atlanta a break because no team has been ravaged by injuries the way the Falcons have. For the first month of the season, they lost a starter or more per game, especially on D. Top runner Devonta Freeman now is on injured reserve.No one gets a break in the NFL, however, and the fact star receiver Julio Jones has yet to find the end zone is emblematic of underachievement. At 2-4 in the highly competitive NFC South, the Falcons, who wasted away the 2016 championship with a second-half collapse in the Super Bowl, won't be participating in the big game they will host in February.Of all the struggling 2017 playoff qualifiers, the demise of the Bills was most predictable. From some strange roster decisions to the inability to replace key lost blockers to not building on potential momentum from their first postseason berth since the turn of the century, the Bills have been a mess. Like all of the teams discussed here, they've been struck by the injury bug. Unlike the others, they didn't have the talent base to compete from the outset.Turnover in the playoffs lineup happens each year in the NFL, of course. For every one of these disappointments thus far are the risers: the Bears, Ravens and Texans. Houston began the season with three defeats and now leads the AFC South."I think we started believing more," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "We started the season 0-3. No one was negative. We all know we were really close to winning the game. We kept working and tuned out a lot of the outside noise."Anytime you win four games in a row you set a standard for yourself."Too bad some teams aren't approaching the standards they set by making the playoffs last season.
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