The Patriots shined defensively in their 19-17 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 of the preseason. But, some of the defensive showing was credited to Cam Newton and the Panthers’ struggles.
New England delivered on offense at the right time with Tom Brady and it was enough to hold onto a win.
Here’s the stock report for players from Friday night:
Chris Long, DE
Long showcased his impressive motor and excellent awareness despite being a seasoned veteran. Throughout the preseason, Long has shown he has a lot left in the tank. He deflected a pass that led to a Devin McCourty interception. Long also was a presence in the pass-rush and in run defense. He had an all-around great night.
Cyrus Jones, CB/PR
Second-round pick Cyrus Jones seemed to solidify his spot as the No. 3 cornerback in the secondary even though he was frozen by speedy veteran Ted Ginn Jr. on a screen play. Though it was on special teams where Jones made his presence. Jones made a sharp cut, turned on the jets, crossed to the opposite side of the field and evaded multiple tackles en route to a 59-yard punt return. As one of college football’s top return specialists in 2015, Jones picked up where he left off and that talent is translating perfectly in the NFL.
Chris Hogan, WR
The newcomer in the wide receiving core is looking like he is finding his place. Tom Brady connected with Hogan for a perfectly executed 33-yard touchdown pass over-the-shoulder. Sure, Brady made an absolutely perfect throw that dropped in on a dime, but Hogan ran a nice route, located the football and hauled it in with ease. Hogan also looked to have a good connection with Jimmy Garoppolo as he caught four passes from him.
Tyler Gaffney, RB
Gaffney once again looked like he will be a solid contributor out of the backfield. Gaffney ran with decisiveness and purpose as he continued to gain his “sea legs” and burst through gaps. The offensive line looked shaky with blocking after his quick start, which ruined his night a bit.
Logan Ryan, CB
Ryan had one interception where he gained position on the bigger Kelvin Benjamin and then went up for the football on a sub-par Cam Newton throw. Ryan stuck with Benjamin through most of his snaps and drew an offensive pass interference call. And to top it all off, Ryan started the “Rutgers Pick Party” as McCourty and Duron Harmon also recorded interceptions.
Terrance Knighton, DT
It’s probably not a good thing that “Pot Roast” didn’t record a single defensive snap in the game. Knighton was in on a field-goal block early in the game. Anthony Johnson and even undrafted rookie Woodrow Hamilton played instead of Knighton. Knighton appears to have one foot out the door and the other foot is about to cross the line, too.
Geneo Grissom, DE
Grissom really needed to come out and make the most of his snaps with the new addition of Barkevious Mingo who is likely to steal Grissom’s spot. Grissom had to convince the Patriots that he is worth having as an extra roster spot, but right now that extra defensive roster spot should belong to the cornerbacks or safeties/special teamers.
Ted Karras/Nate Solder, OL
It’s not entirely fair to toss Karras and Solder in here as the offensive line had various struggles throughout the night. But, Karras was outmatched and botched a run block and appeared to give up a sack. Solder also gave up a sack.
Aaron Dobson, WR
Dobson did have a 37-yard catch over the middle where he had room to run. But, that still isn’t the most gratifying play. Dobson was shaky making the grab, then looked scared to take a hit. He always seems complacent and doesn’t attack the football at the high point to catch it. He’s tentative and has had too many chances. Dobson didn’t help his case with this performance.
Stephen Gostkowski, K
Who replaced Gostkowski with Robert Aguayo (who actually had a good game on Friday)? There’s no reason to panic, but Gostkowski’s missed FGs, mainly the 30-yard attempt, were ugly.
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Tags: Aaron Dobson Chris Hogan Chris Long Cyrus Jones Geneo Grissom Logan Ryan Nate Solder Stephen Gostkowski Ted Karras Terrance Knighton Tyler Gaffney