By Connor Fulton @ConnorFultonRS on August 17, 2014
The New England Patriots made good strides in their second preseason game, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 42-35. It was definitely a better result than their first exhibition matchup, but the Pats still have a lot of work to do before Week 1. Here are five things to take away from Friday’s game.
We now have reason to believe that Ryan Mallet’s status as the backup to Tom Brady is in serious doubt. In fact, it appears that Jimmy Garoppolo has leaped over the fourth year veteran on the depth chart, as evidenced by the rookie replacing Brady in the second quarter instead of Mallet.
Another week of preseason, another excellent performance by Brian Tyms. After making an eye-opening touchdown catch against the Eagles, Tyms is putting himself in as good of a position to make the team as he can. He definitely looks to be a better fit in the Patriots’ offense than Josh Boyce.
The only blemish on Tom Brady’s stat sheet was an interception, but really, that was Steve Maneri’s fault for running the route too long. It’s evident that Maneri won’t be much of a contributor in the passing game, and the Pats just cut Ben Hartsock. It is very unclear what the depth chart at tight end will look like behind Rob Gronkwoski and Michael Hoomanawanui.
Duron Harmon, Pat Chung, Logan Ryan and Kyle Arrington are all vying for the other starting safety job next to Devin McCourty. Harmon appears to be the front runner, but Chung brings a certain physicality that Patriots defenses of the past few seasons have missed, and both Ryan and Arrington are capable defensive backs that won’t see as much time at cornerback.
Both Jonas Gray and Roy Finch ripped off notable runs on Friday, and it is possible that the Patriots will keep one of them. Brandon Bolden is the man who stands in the way of these undrafted rookies and a roster spot, and while Bolden is a proven entity, it seems like both Gray and Finch offer better upside. Finch brings kick returning talent as well.
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