1.) Kenbrell Thompkins really looked liked a top WR last night. Granted the Lions are not known for excellent coverage, but he was consistently above his man over the top of the coverage. He made most of his catches, outside of one crucial 3rd down drop that was placed right on his numbers, and a nifty 3rd down play, smudged only by an early exit a yard shy of the first down marker. Some rookie mistakes, but the kid can play.
2.)Tommy Kelly. He generated serious interior pass rush, making use of the space afforded him by Jones' apparent draw for blockers. Have the Pats, at long last, have found a complimentary pass rushing outfit? With Jones being the dynamic double-team draw, Kelly will have his opportunities. At the very least, NE has its best interior pass rusher in the better part of a decade.
3.) Nink. He really isn't even hearing footsteps from anyone else at defensive end right now. Forget about the pressure, which has been there, but he made an excellent play chipping on a screen play that saved a TD. Little things like that make a quality player.
1.) Zach Sudfeld. Tough to rag on a kid who has done it all right so far, but the fumble was easily the most inexcusable of the night. He was carrying the football like a picnic basket. He lost playing time from then out.
2.) Patriots' interior offensive line. I understand it is preseason, and the Detroit has one of the best front four setups in the NFL ... but they didn't need to get beaten this bad. I'm giving a mulligan to all the RBs because of how little room they had to move. Vereen's fumble, especially, was terrible in that the kid was basically engulfed the moment he got the ball. He never had a chance. HE should have secured it better, but there is no excuse for an interior line getting abused that bad. Brady was basically in chuck and duck mode whenever he was throwing after that first drive.
3.) Julian Edelman. He wasn't a factor. Ran himself out of a drag route by crossing up with a RB. Cross up Dobson on the INT, essentially running the big WR out of the play. On top of that, BB was giving reps to Washington at PR all night long. While I think Edelman, for his experience out there and his ST value is someone NE might want to keep, it wasn't a great night.
I could add: Blount (tiptoeing on the Pats' 1 yd line ... that is not a way to project your frame and power. In that situation you are running straight ahead. Bolden too for fumbling a pass after a few steps. He never really secured it. Neither he, nor Ridley, nor Blount inspire enough confidence to merit being thrown too in close quarters.
Tebow, he didn't even get a snap tonight. My guess is that NE will keep him for week 4 in a final eval, but it doesn't look good when the team won't even let you take the field outside of a special teams play.
Tavon Wilson, again not even in the game until the very end. Harmon, who was again unimpressive, was at least in there more than Tavon.