Monday, August 20, 2012
3 up, 3 down for the Patriots
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At an initial glance, a look at three players whose performance was "up" in the Patriots' preseason game against the Eagles, and three players at the opposite end of the spectrum:
Deion Branch -- Veteran receiver plays into the fourth quarter and shows he is still running well, putting himself in position to seize the No. 3 spot on the depth chart. Finishes with 3 catches for 51 yards.
Nate Ebner -- Rookie safety plays from the second quarter to the end of the fourth, picking up valuable experience in addition to an interception at the end of the second quarter that showed solid ball skills.
Stephen Gostkowski -- Solid night for the kicker, who hits field goals from 51, 35 and 55 yards.
Brandon Bolden -- Rookie running back muffs a second-quarter punt that the Eagles recover, taking the momentum away from the Patriots after they built an 11-0 lead.
Marcus Cannon -- Right tackle appears to be slow out of his stance and can't block Phillip Hunt, who strip-sacks quarterback Brian Hoyer in the second quarter. Overall, protection on the edges seemed suspect.
Nate Solder -- More growing pains in the transition from the retired Matt Light to Solder, as the 2011 first-round draft choice is beaten on the edge multiple times.