Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pats vs. Redskins

The general rule of thumb in the NFL is the third exhibition game (yes, I called it the old name - exhibition game - the powers that be in the NFL don't like that) is the most important one of training camp. It's the barometer of where a team finds out how their starters are doing and an opportunity to seriously analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a football team.. I had the opportunity to watch last night's Patriots-Redskins game and here are my observations from what I saw:

Bad News for the NFL - Tom Brady and Randy Moss are back! They were so in sync last night, you would've thought it was November 2007. Moss terrorized Redskins CB D'Angelo Hall during the first half.

Young DB's Having Difficulty - Jason Campbell is a middle of the road QB. Last night he picked on Darius Butler. Butler struggled, getting two interference calls on one play. Patrick Chung muffed another punt and looks shaky as a returner.

Big Vince - Vince Wilfork really came to play last night. He was disruptive, both making tackles and clogging the line. Mike Wright looked good up front, too.

I Still Don't Like the OL - I still am not crazy about the OL. I'm hoping air craft carrier sized rookie OL Sebastian Vollmer can step in and supplant Nick Kaczur at RT. In pass protection the OL is good enough (although I still have nightmares over their performance in the Super Bowl vs. the Giants), but they can't run block. The Pats OL are more of the mauler type of linemen, not the gifted, light on their feet, athletic type. I'd love to see the team invest a draft pick in a big time left tackle, like Bryant McKinnie of the Vikings.

Kicking Game - The kicking game remains in good hands with Stephen Gostkowski.

Laurence Maroney - If he can finally stay healthy, I have high hopes for Laurence Maroney this year. He still tippy toes to the line instead of hitting the hole hard, but he looked better last night as opposed to the tentative style with which he ran with last year.

Backup QB - Kevin O'Connell - Yikes! A dreadful performance.

Brady's Shoulder - Tom Terrific got slammed to the turf on a clean play by Albert Haynesworth. It looked like he landed awkwardly, but after the play was on the sidelines and not receiving medical attention, so it didn't look too serious. Typically, Coach Belichick was vague in his response to questions regarding the health of the shoulder after the game.

Last night's game was quite entertaining for an exhbition game and while the first team looked good vs. the Redskins, there are still some things that need to be worked on. The defense is the key to the team. If the youngsters in the secondary can gel and the front seven can get a pass rush going, the team will go a long way.

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