Patriots Preseason: The Team Wins – Who Loses?

Quentin Sims making a play.

Quentin Sims making a play.

A few hours before the opening kick of Patriots preseason game number four last night, Bill Belichick answered everybody’s first pre-game question: Tom Brady did not play against the Giants. You also didn’t see players like Danny Amendola, Vince Wilfork, Chandler Jones, etc.

Brady did some pre-game work with Amendola.

Since Brady didn’t get into the game, we all saw Ryan Mallett under center for the first half. It was an effective performance as #15 went 10-16, 117 yards and a touchdown. Mallett’s TD was his highlight play as he connected with Josh Boyce on a 40-yard score. Boyce made a great play to catch it and that means he should get more credit than Mallett does. Returner Leon Washington set the stage for that score with an impressive return, the kind of play that could secure a player a job. Of course, Washington also fumbled a punt to totally negate the good return.

That brings us to Tim Tebow. Awful. I really can’t determine what he did to earn a spot in the 53-man roster this summer. I know about the touchdowns that that won the Patriots last night’s practice game, but those scores were more about Quentin Sims making plays and taking Tebow along for the ride. Don’t be surprised if Tebow is on the roster. Sims might have earned a practice squad spot last night.

The other question mark for the offense is the tight end situation. With Rob Gronkowski possibly on the PUP list and missing six games and Aaron Hernandez, well, not here, no remaining player distinguished themselves last night. Zach Sudfeld seems to have already secured his spot. Daniel Fells and Jake Ballard played, even if you didn’t notice. Both were just let go.

Rookie Michael Buchanan stood out with three tackles and 2.5 sacks. Marquis Cole delivered a solid effort, too.

I’m not sure if Justin Green will make the team’s regular season roster or not. Bill certainly knows by now. But, he took at least two hard hits on special teams and he got up from both. Call it toughness or resilience, but it’s certainly a football player’s trait.

Adrian Wilson played a lot for a seemingly established veteran player.

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