Patriots Talk: Patriots – Jaguars 31-24 Loss Game Recap
We officially had our first actual Patriots game and even though its only the preseason, it feels like football season is finally back. Looking at the game, its terrible when your team loses…til you realize that half the guys playing likely won’t even see the field this season. 31-24 lose demonstrates how it is easy to lose on big plays. The preseason exists so we can ‘trim the fat.’ Teams are trying to see what their players are capable of when most, if not all their starters are out.
Despite the team losing, it’s not the end of the world. There is always more we can learn from our own mistakes and the Patriots always look forward to next week and don’t dwell on the past. I will go over the standouts and the burnouts from this first preseason for the Patriots.
- Jimmy Garoppolo really couldn’t have done much better. He went 22 of 28 for 235 passing yards and two passing touchdowns in his first game for the 2017 season. His overall QBR was 125.4 which considering all things was really good. Although he still has some hiccups in his game as he holds onto the ball too often for most teams, he is still a solid quarterback in his own right and though he played against 3rd and 4th stringers, he was also playing with players (many who weren’t even drafted!) that likely aren’t making the final cut. He did his job well last night.
- Austin Carr, the undrafted rookie out of Northwestern stood out among the team last night. His biggest highlight, of course, being his Touchdown grab from Garoppollo in the endzone. The young rookie last year was the leader in touchdowns, receptions, and yards in the Big Ten for all wide receivers. Yet despite his effort, he wasn’t even invited to the combine. However, in terms of what he displayed including his connection with Garoppollo (including when he scrambled out of the pocket and had to make a wobbled pass, Carr still caught it).
- Jacob Hollister was an additional standout. As the one of the highest undrafted rookies of this season, Hollister had some serious expectations coming into this game and he didn’t disappoint. He mad several key plays during the game which was seven passes on nine targets for over 116 yards. He even had to hurdle a player on a long gain. With last night’s game, Hollister certainly showed he can be used in both the passing game and the run. He will be competing for the 3rd Tight End spot with Matt Lengal, Sam Cotton and James O’Shaughnessy.
- Cyrus Jones didn’t do anything last night that would suggest he would stand on the 53 man roster next season. He is making similar mistakes that were an issue in his rookie season and got burned on several big players including a 97-yard touchdown from Keelan Cole. I understand its only the preseason but Jones hasn’t shown he can handle the pressure when it comes to major plays. His main issues still seem to be in need of serious improvement, including in special teams and in coverage. More than likely, he will be put on practice squad again or be switched to a different position.
- Jordan Richards was responsible for some pretty horrible plays and all three burnouts from last night were seen on that 79-yard touchdown run from Jaguars running back, Cory Grant. However, Richards was at a poor angle and missed an opportunity to get a tackle which is what got the Jaguars the TD. Richards was the Strong Safety for last night’s game and provided Cyrus Jones with a safety blanket (basically if Cyrus failed on the first tackle, Richards would be the guy behind him that would follow-up afterward).
- Elandon Roberts while not the biggest disappointment, was another negative standout last night. including the others, he missed the tackle on the TD run against Cory Grant but in addition, he had to leave the game due to injury. Despite all of this, it’s quite clear Roberts is important for the run defense and losing any time to perform on the field will hurt his overall value to the team.
After last night’ performance, the defense gave up major plays to the Jaguars that gave them two immediate touchdowns and forced the offense to make up for it. This will be an important reminder to the team moving forward to next week when they face the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.