Patriots Preseason Update: Brady Is Brady

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick

The NFL must have a written rule that requires a score be kept during all pre-season games. So, for what it’s worth…

Tom Brady’s play is always a primary concern for fans of New England Patriots. Last night he showed why he’s Brady. Oh, and that knee thing? Well, that won’t be a problem. The hooded one even said so. ”We’re so far past that,” he said. ”We’re way beyond that.”

TB12 started 11-11 and finished 11-12 with 107 yards and a touchdown. After two appearances, Brady is 18-20. The rest of Bill Belichick’s new-look offense looked as efficient as ever in the team’s first drive. Danny Amendola caught six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. He was as good in the Wes Welker role as anyone could expect after two fake games. Shane Vereen looks ready to be a versatile go-to guy for Brady in 2013 after four rushes and four catches.

The surprise of the night could be Zach Sudfeld. He caught a 2-point conversion pass from Brady and got a touchdown after showing some nifty hands securing the ball. They are the kind of plays that help a rookie free agent earn a spot on a team.

It looked like Belichick has been coaching up his defense, too. The starting unit looked solid with three sacks in the first quarter and four for the game. Brandon Spikes (2), Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich got to the quarterback. Logan Ryan did make a big play with an interception return for a touchdown. He also

Brady’s back-ups played like back-ups again. Ryan Mallett improved a bit since Philly. That’s not much of an accomplishment. He was 12-20 with 137 yards and a TD. At best Mallett is adequate. Tim Tebow was terrible. You all saw it. There’s no need to pile on.

Bill was as grumpy as ever in his press conference after the game.He found plenty not to like in addition to Tebow. Such as…

There were a few glaring penalties that would hurt the Patriots against a good team. Two penalties pushed a field goal back to 50 yards and cost the Patriots three points. Stephen Gostkowski should make that kick regardless of that, but poor execution of some basic football drives Bill crazy. Penalties (10 of them) are bad. Penalties that take away points are very bad. Special teams errors are very bad, too.

As for Logan Mankins and his 15-yard penalty…I wouldn’t want that dude mad at me and I would want him protecting me, but he can’t lose control and must stay disciplined.

One added bonus was seeing Randy Moss appear as a studio commentator in the brief pre-game presentation on Fox. Moss gave great answers when he did post-game press conference as a player and comes across, to me, as very intelligent. He said he knows how tough Brady is and considered the knee injury concerns a “smokescreen.” During the game, Moss praised the Patriots offense because they were that good. But, he described the offense as “magic” or “magical” and “the sky’s the limit” for the rookie receivers and said it is an honor to play with Brady. I don’t entirely disagree with him as Brady, Amendola and Vereen were clicking. FoxSports1 might want Moss to drop the pompoms.

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