5 Standout Players from Pre-Season Game 1

Trey Mcminn | Pats Militia

The Patriots completed their first game of the 2017 preseason, “losing” to the Jaguars 31-24. Yes, no one cares about who wins or loses in preseason games but there was still plenty to unpack from the contest, including some great performances by some young weapons and some dreadful performances from some young veterans who are supposed to be taking a positive step forward this season.  Yeah, guys can play good or bad, but ultimately there’s a long way to go and no roster spots were won or lost after one preseason game. Let’s talk about some of the more pleasant performances of the night.

1.Jimmy G (QB), Garoppolo played until 5:14 left in the third quarter and went 22-for-28 with 235 yards and two touchdowns. He started off slow, but picked up the pace beginning in the second quarter. The final drive of the first half was capped off with a touchdown throw to Carr in the back of the end zone. On third down, Garoppolo scrambled and found Carr where he made a tremendous leaping grab. On the drive, he went 7-for-7 with 62 yards. On his final three drives, he went 13-for-14 with 168 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, after a tough few weeks of camp it was a great night for Garoppolo.  Which show great certainty that Brady has an amazing back-up behind him.

2.Austin Carr (WR) is this year’s wide receiver who lights it up that everyone falls in love with. He had a great night with 5 catches 44 yards and 1 TD, he will be getting plenty of attention the rest of the month. But it will still probably take a significant injury for him to make the 53. Still, he’ll be fun to watch the rest of this preseason at least and who knows maybe he will replace Amendola next year if he decides to not re-sign.  I will admit he was very fun to watch and had an amazing TD catch from Jimmy.

3.Jacob Hollister (TE) is the tight end version of Carr, but again, we’ve been here before. There is a third tight end spot up for grabs and maybe Hollister could stick but I still think it’s a long shot given he’s not going to be blocking a legit NFL defender any time soon.  He did finish with 6 catches and 115 yards, which is great for his first Patriots performance. He has the ability to stretch the field and soft hands, reminds me a lot of dare I say it, Aaron Hernandez, so who knows, one injury and this guy could become a key cog in the rotation. Again he’s just a very raw talent that needs to be molded into the player he potentially can be.  Hopefully we keep him around and can see what he can bring for years to come.

4.Dion Lewis (RB) played a bunch in this one and I’m going to pass on every hot take that is reinvigorated to claim it’s a sign he’s on the bubble. 1) Someone who’s good had to play with Jimmy or else he’d get slaughtered (and really, he still kinda got slaughtered at times. 2) There are like three healthy RBs. 3) Dion needs to be ready for the regular season and tonight was his night to get his feet wet.

5. 340-pound Josh Augusta (DT) made six tackles and showed an ability to hold his ground against double teams in the middle of the field. He needs to work on improving his technique because he would often get too high in his stance lose leverage, but he has obvious strength and flashed at times. Overall for an undrafted player I think he possess insane amount of potential with his size and athleticism.

Bonus: Ted Karras’ (OL) strong August continues. I don’t know if he’s going to win a starting spot but he’s grabbing the interior swing spot that was up for grabs by the balls and then pancaking it. He pancaked Malik Jackson setting up a long Patriot’s run was a highlight in the running game. He was quiet throughout the game which is what you want with OL, if you’re not hearing their name called for penalties or giving up sacks then thats a good thing.

Final thoughts, football is back and an early significant step of the 2017 campaign is out of the way. Less than four weeks until the opener. That feels good no matter how you cut it. Oh, how about that clown Goodell pulling a fast one on Pats Nation and showing up 5 weeks before he was supposed to, and to those “Patriot” fans who took pictures with him instead of flipping him off you can happily send your jerseys to me because those aren’t Pat fans anymore. In conclusion football is back (kind of) and man I’m fired up for the #BlitzforSix 2017 campaign. All in all it was just the first preseason game but I’m sure you all felt it too, it just feels good watching the Pats play again. Go Pats!