slides: 5 Takeaways From the Patriots 23-22 Preseason Win Over Chicago

Friday, August 19, 2016

 

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The New England Patriots defeated the Chicago Bears 23-22 at Gillette Stadium on Thursday night in their second preseason game and last home game for a month. 

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"I thought tonight was a little bit of an up and down night. We did some good things. We improved on some things from last week. We need more consistency in several areas I think we need to work on, so we'll do that," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after the game.

Patriots Turn it on 

The Patriots trailed 11-0 after the first quarter before scoring 17 straight points to take a 17-11 halftime lead. 

New England's rally was sparked by a Cyrus Jones interception of Bears backup quarterback,and former Patriot, Brian Hoyer with just over three minutes to go in the half. 

The Patriots offense took over and it was LeGarrette Blount who punched it into the end zone just a few plays later, to make the score 11-9 after New England missed on a two-point conversion. 

After a defensive stand, the Patriots offense got the ball back with 1:42 to go in the half and all three of their time outs. 

 With a perfect two minute drill set up, Garoppolo went 5 of 7 for 57 yards and ended with a 16 yard touchdown pass to A.J. Derby to give the Patriots the lead. It was Garoppolo's first touchdown pass of the preseason. 

Garoppolo then hit Chris Hogan for a two-point conversion and the Patriots took a 17-11 lead into the locker room. 

 "Finishing with the touchdown is obviously what we wanted to come away with. I forget how many seconds exactly, but I think it was like 12 or 13, something like that left on the clock. Taking the last shot, especially in the first half like that is really what we always try to do. We don't want to give them another opportunity to score. It was executed pretty well. It's just something good to build off of," said Jimmy Garoppolo after the game. 

Garoppolo finished his night going 16 of 21 for 181 yards and a touchdown. 

Bears Rally in the 4th

The Chicago Bears made things interesting in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Patriots 11-0 in the quarter and cutting the Patriots lead to just one point but there was only a couple of seconds left in the game. 

Next up 

The Patriots return to action next Friday when they visit the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers for the all important third preseason game. 

Kick off is set for 7 p.m. 

For more on this game, see the slideshow below

 

Related Slideshow: 5 Takeaways From the Patriots 23-22 Preseason Win Over Chicago

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Where was Brady?

Tom Brady was supposed to play in Thursday nights game, as multiple reports indicated hours before kick off. 

However, he did not end up playing and according to Comcast Sportsnet it was because he sliced his right thumb open with scissors while trying to get something out of the bottom of his cleats. 

"I made a decision before the game to just play Jimmy and Jacoby," said Bill Belichick after the game when asked about what happened. 

This was the last chance for Brady to play at Gillette Stadium before serving his suspension, and a good chance that this was the only preseason game he was going to play. 

 

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Jacoby Brissett

If Garoppolo goes down, right now it is on rookie Jacoby Brissett to carry the load. 

Brissett came into the game in the third quarter and went 9 of 13 for 87 yards while taking 3 sacks and losing 9 yards. 

When watching Brissett, it's obvious that he has the foot speed if he needs it and he has the arm to get the ball down the field. 

It will just be a matter of getting more reps in game action and in practice. 

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LeGarrette Blount

After a unimpressive performance in the first preseason game (9 carries for 20 yards), and a week of practice in which first team reps were taken away from him, LeGarrette Blount responded with 11 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown.  

Blount's longest run was 21 yards in which he was able to make multiple defenders miss 1-on-1. Blount cut well the entire night, something we did not see against the Saints. 

On a side note, the offensive line did a much better job of opening holes for the running game. 

One concern, and this is not just Blount but just in general, the Patriots had first and goal from the Chicago 3-yard line and on three straight runs, they could not punch it in. 

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Offensive Line

David Andrews made the start at center while Nate Solder bounced back from a tough game against the Saints. 

Jimmy Garoppolo was not sacked once in the game, the one time the Bears thought they had him, the play was called back on a hold. 

The O-line was also a factor in the running game, helping to create holes and push the defense backwards. 

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Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo got off to a slow start for the second straight game, going three and out on the first drive was impressive the rest of the way. 

The third year backup played the entire first half and one series into the third quarter going 16 for 21 for 181 yards and a touchdown pass. 

2-Minute Drill 

Garoppolo's most impressive stretch came in the final minutes of the half when the Patriots got the ball back with 1:42 left and all three time outs. 

On the drive, Garoppolo went 5 of 7 for 57 yards and capped it off with a 16 yard touchdown pass over the middle to A.J. Derby. He then hit receiver Chris Hogan for the two point conversion and gave the Patriots a 17-11 lead. 

 
 

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