Final: Patriots 34, Saints 22
This lead is being written before the game is officially “over,” but Jimmy’s night ended at half so these thoughts have got to get themselves onto electronic paper before they up and disappear like a fart in the wind. To me it’s pretty clear that the answer to the implied question in the above tweet is more “middle of the road” than anything else.
11/18 for 168 isn’t bad of course, but there were a couple pretty questionable decisions in there, including a very Jay Cutler-esque pass deep, over the middle, across his body and into triple coverage. Easily could’ve been picked if Roman Harper’s ass wasn’t weighing him down, but resulted in a field goal right before the half.
Don’t overreact of course. Remember Drew Brees in Super Bowl XLIV? He had to be eased into the situation and as the game progressed he thrived. For Jimmy it’s the starting role as a whole and not just one game. Certainly there were plays when the o-line failed, such as Nate Solder getting blown off the line on the Patriots’ 3rd play from scrimmage for a sack and some disgusting blown assignments on the interior line. Dropped passes and a lack of Julian Edelman, Gronk and Chris Hogan in the lineup were apparent, but there was a clear connection between Jimmy and Martellus Bennett early on.
All the offense needed was a break, and that break came when Malcolm Mitchell seemingly snapped his arm.
Rumors are it’s a dislocated elbow, which according to the Internet is a 3-6 week recovery period. 4/55 was a pretty sweet statline, including this great pass from Jimmy:
…and this nice move to evade two defenders:
With so many key components riding pine, I don’t think this game is an entirely accurate showcase of what Jimmy could be come week one.
Elsewhere, the running back battle is heating up. Bolden, White and Gaffney all played great. Really hard to give it to one of them, but there’s three more weeks to weed out the weakest link. The hypetrain certainly says Gaffney in big, red, blue and silver letters on the side after his run in the second half.
The defense had a bell curve night. They started out strong with Jabaal Sheard’s forced fumble and Jamie Collins’ pick six, started giving up point in the 2nd, and ended strong, namely the strip-sack-fumble-TD by Trey Flowers. On the Rob Ninkovich front, it looks like there’s viable depth with Jabaal Sheard and Trey Flowers.
After this game Cyrus Jones is the clear nickelback. He tipped the pass that Collins took to the house and played great in coverage. Justin Coleman? Not so much. Besides a one big hit on a pass that was already dropped, he should’ve been fined for loitering around so many receptions.
Regardless of who comes out on top of all these battles, the Patriots have depth at almost every position, sans offensive line.
I’d also like to point out how horrible this broadcast was. I first noticed it with these WBZ preseason games last year. Christian Fauria is electric in the booth- no doubt about it. He pumps energy into the broadcast. But everyone else sucks. They’re so hesitant to speak and clearly overthink everything they say. Stumbling over your words is not a good look. And yes I do feel qualified to make these critiques seeing as I’m play by play for UMass Lacrosse, which is a high position to have in the industry.
I will say that when the Mike Thomas (who is the real deal btw) catch was being reviewed, the guy who said “I think the third step is you have to file a W-2 right?” – that was fucking hilarious. Also them rapping into Trey Flowers’ TD. As a comedy guy in the booth myself, I love it.