Pre Season Week 3 Part 1
This week after several ridiculously long posts, I will be splitting the reviews into smaller chunks of 2-4 games. So let’s get started with the Thursday games.
New England Patriots 9 Detroit Lions 40
Ok New England fans DO NOT PANIC, IT IS JUST PRE-SEASON. That being said…wow. The main difference was turnovers. Some of the younger players seemed to have some serious issues holding on to the ball. Aside from that, the Offence looked pretty good. Brady made some plays to his pretty much brand new receiving corps, who are shaping up to be very good. The running game didn’t look nearly as dominant as it has in previous pre-season games, which was a slight worry, Vereen also seemed to drop the ball (no pun intended), as a receiver. On Defence, it just seemed like they had issues making tackles. Not making excuses, but is it possible they were told to turn it down? I dunno, this just doesn’t strike me as what we’ll see when the season starts. I can’t imagine Brady having many games where he scores single digit points. I would also imagine Belichick will probably “coach”, the mistakes out of this team. I still think they could very well be the best team in the league. Needless to say however this is a slight worry and there looks a few issues that need addressing.
I think I’ve been a little harsh on the Lions (quick Dan back pedal, they put 40 up on the Patriots). I think the first point to make is how deep they looked at both Receiver and Running Back, compared to previous weeks. Bell and Leshoure looked great as did Reggie Bush, who made a big impact in the passing game. Speaking of which. Broyles played pretty well, as did Tight-end Pettigrew. But the real talent of this team, emerged on Defence. This Defence looks like they might keep a few QB’s on their toes. They stopped the run and made the most out of bad situations, with some forced fumbles. As we near the regular Season, I still don’t think I’ve seen enough to think this team is better than no. 3 in the NFC North, but this certainly makes you think.
Carolina Panthers 34 Baltimore Ravens 27
The Panthers, in the most significant of the pre-season games, managed to put 34 pts on what should be considered one of the best Defences in the league. Scoring for this team started with a Ginn punt return, where he looked like the player he used to be. Ginn wanted to prove he can make it as a receiver, but in truth shined as a return man. Worth a roster spot for this alone. When the Offence took the field it was full of ups and downs. Firstly I can’t figure out who these missed passes are on. It feels like its a lot of drops rather than an inability for him to throw the ball. What has to be encouraging is his ability to evade the rush, but also sit in the pocket and not rely completely on his speed. On Defence it was the Kuechly show. This man is ridiculous. So quick, disruptive and strong. He was everywhere. The Panthers truly have something very special there. I think we can add a couple of wins on to this seasons total, but probably looking at 3rd in the NFC South, at best.
The Ravens looked pretty good, but made some important mistakes on Offence that have to be down to some inexperience. Ray Rice looks great again, breaking tackles and moving the chains. Bernard Pierce. Not so much, I think its safe to say, Rice’s job is safe. This Ravens Offence will be heavily reliant on Torrey Smith being a dominant no 1 Receiver. Jacoby Jones is showing all the signs of a major slump this season and needs to pull it together to be a part of this team. Flacco looked like he usually does, a decent game manager who happens to have a cannon arm. The Defence looked great, they caused Cam some problems and kept the Panthers Receivers out of the game. I think its fair to say, this is a good team whether they can keep up with the Broncos and Patriots, remains to be seen.
Main Photo: Nick Wass
Featured Image: Getty Images