Tom Brady and the Patriots offense were sharp, or the Eagles defense was bad, or it was a combination of both. The first drive was 100 percent on the ground as Steven Ridley split time with LaGarrette Blount to move the rock down the field, capped off by an eventual Ridley score.
There are a thousand ways to read in to this and obviously it’s too early to make definitive assumptions, but it is certainly worth monitoring. Ridley and Shane Vereen have garnished a lions share of the attention from fantasy prognosticators, but obviously Blount is now officially a wild card in the equation. Ridley finished the night with 92 yards and a score while Blount gathered 101 plus a score. Stay tuned to this developing situation.
Brady went seven of eight for 65 yards hitting Vereen for a score to cap off the second Patriots drive. On the drive, Brady found Danny Amendola once for six yards while rookie Aaron Dobson led the Pats with 35 yards receiving. If you have not yet put Dobson on your sleeper radar, do so now.
Michael Vick looked equally sharp on the night connecting on four of the five passes he threw for 94 yards, including a strike to DeSean Jackson for a touchdown. Vick and Jackson are two guys I’ve had on my radar all preseason, and it was nice to see some confirmation of the good ole Fantasy Football gut feeling I cannot shake when it comes to this duo in a Chip Kelly-coached offense. Good stuff.
LeSean McCoy did not carry the rock Friday night for the Eagles as he was sidelined with an injury that should not concern you or impact “Shady’s” draft position.
On a side note, Riley Cooper caught one pass for 19 yards on the Eagles opening drive. The catch was not as relevant as was the anticipated reaction from the Eagles’ crowd. Although you could hear a small contingent of booing, it really wasn’t much to mention. Apparently the fans have either forgiven or simply didn’t feel it worth their time to make a statement.
Because this is the fan base that once rained down boos and snowballs on Santa Claus, my guess is the Eagles fan base just wants to move on. Following a meeting with every member of the team and Vick’s apparent confidence in him by demonstration of the first drive pass, maybe the Eagles team and their fans simply chose to be the “better person.” This is relevant for any GM seeking a dark horse sleeper as Cooper does have the talent and now the probable opportunity to find fantasy relevance.
If you are one that has bought in to the media hype about a declining Patriots offense, let down your guard. It was early and the Eagles defense needs work, but one certainly saw a glimpse of “The Patriot Way” which is basically success and an ability to win with the personnel they have, big name or not. Brady fans, you have nothing to fear and those on the other side of the fence – this isn’t the year the “Golden Boy” falls as so many have tried to predict.
Not often you find entertainment value when doing preseason research of players for Fantasy Football news and draft research. But there are those rare occasions, and the Patriots and Eagles certainly did not disappoint.