Opening night review
Dave Pevear of the Lowell Sun might be right on: "It might have been the best game they've played since the Super Bowl. Maybe even better than the Super Bowl."
The Patriots, 26-6 winners over the Giants, had everything going. They introduced all of their newcomers without a hitch. Rodney Harrison, Tyrone Poole, Rosevelt Colvin, Ty Warren, Dan Klecko, Eugene Wilson, Asante Samuel, etc. fit in almost seamlessly. Tedy Bruschi had the best quote of the night when he said, "I didn't feel as if there was anybody new out there."
The trick is to make sure this continues.
There are three more pre-season games to set a strong tone for the regular season. Sometimes teams start fast and have a little burp in the middle. The Patriots just may have that, but their goal was to get out to a strong start because last season against the Giants in pre-season, they didn't.
The Giants are a good team, but they looked bad last night. Part of it might be that the Giants didn't want to show the Patriots too much given they play one another in the regular season. If the Giants did that good for them. Otherwise, they looked awful.
Here are some observations:
Now for the stuff that's still up in the air. The running game.
It's looking more like a running game-by-committee. Kevin Faulk started and Antowain Smith spelled him, just as we thought. It appears this will continue for a while until someone takes the job. Maybe neither will. Talking to Jim Sims, Jamal Anderson's agent early Thursday, he said the Patriots had not called him about Anderson. Therefore it appears its Faulk and Smith and perhaps J.R. Redmond can thrust himself into the mix when he returns from his rib injury, likely this week.
It was encouraging to see Tom Brady and Troy Brown hook up in the end zone for a 16-yard TD. Brown looks healthy and that could be huge. What the Patriots need, however, is to get Deion Branch healthy and productive again. He could be a real difference-maker. It's apparent that second-year receiver David Givens is taking a bigger role in the offense. Watch the Notre Dame grad because he's a very good special teams player, who can catch the ball.Continued...