New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

5 Things We Learned from New England’s Preseason Loss Against Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Eagles might have won the meaningless preseason game, but they suffered the biggest loss of them all. Starting quarterback Michael Vick left Monday night’s game with an apparent rib injury after suffering a blow from New England Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham.

Vick was forced to leave the game and had X-rays done in the locker room. Fortunately for the Eagles, the X-rays on Vick’s ribs came back negative.

With Vick’s injury highlighting Philly’s 27-17 victory, let’s take a look at the five things that we learned in New England’s perspective.

1. Ryan Mallett has improved

Coming off of his worst performance as a professional quarterback this past week against the New Orleans Saints, quarterback Ryan Mallett put up a promising performance Monday night.

Mallett got the nod tonight as the team’s starting quarterback, as Bill Belichick chose to sit his starters, and Mallett took advantage of the situation.

The Arkansas product completed 10 of his 20 passes for 105 yards while tossing one touchdown and did not commit one turnover and wasn’t sacked once.

As New England sat their starters, Andy Reid sent out his starters for a large chunk of the first half—which is notable, as Mallett was able to succeed against Philly’s starting defense.

 

2. Brian Hoyer wasn’t able to find a rhythm 

With Ryan Mallett starting the game, Brian Hoyer came in for relief and then was later taken out in favor of the second-year quarterback.

While Hoyer was in the game, he was facing Philadelphia’s second defense and did not look good at all—he actually looked lost out there.

Hoyer completed just five of his 17 passes for 55 yards while being sacked twice and finished with a putrid 40.6 quarterback rating.

 

3. Tom Brady wasn’t spotted on the sideline

As Tom Brady was among several Patriots that didn’t play Monday night’s game, he wasn’t even spotted on the sideline.

There has been no word why Brady wasn’t on the sidelines, but I like to believe that Belichick and Brady decided that it would be best as he wouldn’t be a focal point of media attention.

 

4. Patrick Chung injured his shoulder

Patrick Chung’s injury might be undisclosed right now, but it’s a pretty clear shoulder injury as he left  Monday night’s preseason game early after engaging in a tackle.

There have been no details on the severity of Chung’s injury.

 

5. Left tackle Nate Solder continued to struggle

This is probably the biggest concern for the Patriots heading into 2012—Can Nate Solder step up as the team’s starting left tackle?

As of right now, things are not looking good. In fact, they are not looking good at all. I have yet to see anything promising out of the second-year left tackle.

Solder struggled yet again Monday night as was constantly beat and was even pancaked by Philly’s defensive end Trent Cole.

New England doesn’t have too many options right now for left tackle, which makes it even more critical that Solder needs to settle down and step up as Tom Brady’s blindside protector.


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