David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
1. Chandler Jones Looks Promising
Whether his hand was in the ground or he was standing up, Chandler Jones was welcoming himself to Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod. Jones' strong pass-rushing efforts caused Bushrod to hold him twice as he was coming around the corner.
By my count, he registered six pressures and looked to be someone the Patriots could have used last year as they were making their Super Bowl run. His two recorded tackles didn't truly reflect his game, as he was flying around everywhere.
2. The Patriots Offensive Line Underachieved
Between Dan Koppen, Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon, the Patriots offensive line has some preseason jitters to work out. Solder was whistled for holding twice in the first half, Cannon allowed Brady to get blown up for a sack and fumble, and Koppen had a wobbly exchange that led to him getting pulled in favor of Ryan Wendell.
3. New Orleans Won't Miss Vilma
Before the Saints heard Jonathan Vilma was going to be suspended for the whole season, they went out and picked up two of the top free agents available, Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne. Hawthorne is a solid player who spent time with Seattle early on. Saints fans might not be as familiar with him as they are with Lofton.
Lofton received the starting nod tonight, and he looked like a natural fit in Steve Spagnuolo's defense. Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah had this to say about Lofton replacing Vilma:
4. Saints Run Game Wasn't Cranked Up
Compared to last Sunday night's game against the Cardinals, the Saints run game seemed average. We didn't see Mark Ingram, as he didn't receive one carry. Pierre Thomas had one nice long run and Chris Ivory averaged just a little over two yards a carry.
Travaris Cadet shouldered most of the load considering he was targeted eight times in the pass game and took nine handoffs out of the backfield. Cadet's heavy use is interesting with the limited depth at running back. His impressive play up to this point has taken away the possibility for them to stash him on the practice squad.
5. Vereen and Ridley Were Rollin
New England decided it was time to let BenJarvus Green-Ellis go, and it was time to pass the torch to Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. Green-Ellis was always that guy the Pats could count on if they needed a yard, and he never fumbled, so he won't be easy to replace.
But so far it's looking like the right decision, as both Vereen and Ridley averaged five yards a carry or above. They combined for over 100 yards on 19 carries, and Vereen showed his pass-catching ability, as he was targeted three times for two receptions. Neither of them found the end zone, but their time is coming.