But with all that behind us and the whooping the Patriots gave to the Jaguars, I'm greatly looking forward to this season. That doesn't mean the Patriots don't have things to figure out, fix or decide. These are a few notes that I have put together from analyzing the first game:
1. The backup quarterback situation is just as cloudy as it was before the season kicked off. Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallet both threw for a touchdown(TD) and looked ready to duel it out for the position right behind Tom Brady. We may just have to wait until the final roster comes out before having a decision here.
2. The three starting receivers are obviously already decided (Welker, Branch, and Ochocinco) but the fourth receiver hasn't been decided yet. Tell me now why Belichick shouldn't give Taylor Price that position right now: 105 yards, a TD and great explosiveness, sign that man up. I know that Brady certainly was watching.
3. Stevan Ridley. Can you be the real deal? Two rushing TDs in your first NFL game ever? You can add on a receiving TD as well for frosting on the cake.. There's still a lot of games to play but if this is the type of production we can expect from Ridley, the rest of the running back core might want to look out.
4. We didn't get to see the big new additions for the Patriots out on the field. I'm talking about Albert Haynesworth, Chad Ochocinco, and Shaun Ellis. This would lead me to believe that Belichick has no reason to believe that these guys need any additional time learning their roles on this team. We shall see these three out there when Brady does more than just cheer on the sidelines.
5. There's still the task of figuring out which backups can mesh with the starters and vice versa, but the way that the Patriots second string looked last night might be an indication that they're capable of holding their own and help out this team. We could be looking at a better year than expected. The offseason pickups might have just been what this team needed, although I still need to see whether or not the defensive line can get to the quarterbacks more this year before I start making too many assumptions.
6. Four sacks and an interception is a great defensive stat line. But before we start proclaiming that there is a new and improved Patriots defense, we must understand that backups are backups for a reason. The preseason is the preseason for a reason. While the players adjust, we must remember that while our "best" players are sitting, so are the enemy's.
There are certainly other notes that the Patriots have written down themselves. We just hope that all the kinks can be worked out and changes are made to make this team as good as it can be. It's been far too long since the Lombardi Trophy has been in New England and Tom Brady isn't getting any younger.
Written By: Jordan