Countless turnovers on offense and bad tackling on defense against the Lions Thursday night shows…
Rookies Not Ready
No Danny Amendola and a rookie receiving corps spelled a rough night for Tom Brady.
During the 40-9 drubbing at the paws of the Detroit Lions Thursday night, it is no coincidence the New England Patriot's weakest game of the preseason came during the team's first contest without Amendola on the field. Since Wes Welker left for the Broncos and Amendola became the guy to fill his shoes, it's apparent the key for the 2013 Patriots success may rely on Amendola's chemistry with Brady and his health.
With Amendola out with an undisclosed injury, the Patriots offense seemed out of sync for most of the night. The opening drive began well by the Patriots, but ended with a mistake by a rookie. Brady completed his first two passes, both to rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, as well as a pass to five-year veteran receiver Julian Edelman to move the team downfield. The surge was halted when rookie free agent tight end Zach Sudfeld put the ball on the ground in the red zone for the team's first turnover of the game. A sure scoring drive wasted and Detroit turned the rookie miscue into three points.
Amendola's absence put increased pressure on the younger receivers and they failed for the first time this preseason. Sudfeld's fumble was the start of several rookie mistakes throughout the first half. Brady sent perfect passes that were dropped by rookie receivers Thompkins and Aaron Dobson. Brady's first interception of the preseason came after Dobson could not complete his route in time when he collided with a Lions defensive back. The Patriots had four first half turnovers, including three lost fumbles, two Brady sacks, and one interception.
Even Edelman showed he's a serviceable slot receiver, but will never be a replacement for Welker or Amendola. Edelman finished with only three catches for 18 yards.
The Patriots' only bright spot also had a blemish. Although Brady was able to find Thompkins eight times for 116 yards, Thompkins dropped a key third and short pass stopping an early Patriots drive.
Despite Thompkin's dropped pass, half of Brady's completions went to Thompkins, who averaged 14.5 yards per catch. Thompkins also demonstrated an ability to be a vertical threat, with a 37 yard reception on the first drive and another 27 yard catch in the second quarter.
However, Amendola's absence re-affirmed that if the Patriots are to succeed this season, he will need to stay on the field. With all the rookies, he may be Brady's only reliable veteran option when pass protection breaks down.
Patrick Coyne will be entering his sophomore year at Boston College as a staff writer for the school newspaper. He has been following the Patriots his entire life and has extensive knowledge of the team.
JagsInsider.com Recommended Stories
Michigan: Brandon Resigns, Hackett Interim AD
Michigan President Mark Schlissel officially announced the resignation of athletic director Dave Brandon Friday. Schlissel appointed Jim Hackett as the interim AD with the plan moving forward to hire…Read More
Hoops: Where are the Top Recruits Going?
The initial basketball signing period begins in less than two weeks and there are currently 22 players in Scout.com's 2015 top 100 still uncommitted. Who are those 22 players considering and who will…Read More
Catch Big Fall Bass on Natural Lakes and Rivers
Check out some great tips for bass fishing up north as the water cools on its way into winter. There is some great fishing to be had right now before it gets too cold.Read More
10 Creepy Trail Cam Pics For Halloween
Most of us would prefer to be sitting in our treestand on Halloween, waiting for a rutting buck to wonder past, than following our kids from house to house scrambling for treats. Here are a 10 spooky…Read More
2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
We're at the halfway mark of the NFL season, so here's our first crack at a mock draft. Hey, Oakland Raiders, you're on the clock!Read More