What We Saw: Preseason Week 3

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from the final week of the preseason

Patriots @ Raiders

Final Score: Raiders 23, Patriots 6

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)

 

The Patriots and Raiders faced off in the preseason finale for both teams, and you’d probably be surprised to hear that the team who played their starters is the team who didn’t show up for this game.

The Patriots have struggled on offense all preseason, and their practice with the Raiders on Tuesday was by all accounts, the worst of the season. That carried over into Friday night’s game, as the starting offense struggled to do much of anything against the Raiders’ backups. This is a serious issue, and it’s something that is likely to carry over into the beginning of the season.

As bad as the offense played, the final score still should have been closer. The Patriots had to settle for field goals twice after touchdowns were called back by penalty. One was a ticky-tack OPI on DeVante Parker, while the other was a hold that I didn’t get a good look at. The biggest takeaway from this game is that the Patriots offense is not ready for Primetime, and you should factor this in if you roster any of the New England weapons for fantasy. I will personally be starting the Miami defense in all of my leagues for Week One.

 

 

New England Patriots

| Preseason Week 1 | Preseason Week 2 |

 

Quarterback

 

Mac Jones: 9/13, 71 yards, INT, 2 Sacks | 1 carry, 13 yards

Brian Hoyer: 6/7, 47 yards, Fumble

Bailey Zappe: 10/14, 84 yards, INT, Sack | 1 carry, 0 yards

 

Mac, Mac, Mac. He’s in a rough spot right now. He threw one of the worst interceptions I’ve seen by a Patriots QB in a long, long time.

 

 

He just seems completely uncomfortable with the offense at this point, a sign of just how badly the offensive coaching situation is with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.

 

 

The talent is still there, however. He made a couple of nice throws on their one good drive, including one on 4th down to extend the drive.

 

 

 

Mac is going to be a victim of the lack of elite coaching on offense, and the entire offense is going to struggle as a result, especially early in the season.

Bailey Zappe came in for cleanup duty after Brian Hoyer for the final time this preseason. He had another bad interception, a tradition unlike any other for Zappe at this point.

 

 

He had some good throws and some bad ones, but nothing really stood out otherwise. It’s a disaster of a season for New England if Zappe takes any meaningful snaps this year.

 

Running Back

 

Rhamondre Stevenson: 5 carries, 22 yards

Ty Montgomery: 1 carry, 4 yards

J.J. Taylor: 3 carries, 7 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 22 yards

Kevin Harris: 4 carries, 54 yards, Fumble (Lost) | 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

Pierre Strong Jr.: 2 carries, 4 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards

 

Damien Harris didn’t suit up for this game, so we saw Rhamondre Stevenson take the first snaps. He had a nice run around the edge and he nearly broke it for a score.

 

 

Ty Montgomery injured his ankle in this game on a routine run up the middle. It isn’t clear how he was hurt, but he was later taken to the locker room on a cart and ruled out. That’s never a good sign. He was on track to be a big contributor to this offense, so if he misses time it could open up more opportunities for Rhamondre Stevenson.

 

 

Montgomery’s injury, if serious, could also lead to J.J. Taylor making this team. He’s been solid all preseason, but drops have plagued him in the past and he seemed like someone who would be on the outside looking in. Now, he might be able to slip in as the 5th RB on the roster. He looked good on Friday and made a great play to dive into a pile and recover a fumble. He put his body on the line for the team which is something Bill Belichick and the coaching staff always appreciate.

 

 

Kevin Harris made multiple splashes in this game – one good, one bad. First, he had a huge run down to the Raiders’ three yard line where he showed off his power as a runner.

 

 

He also showed good feet and elusiveness on this run:

 

 

The problem for Harris on Friday night was his inability to hang onto the football. We saw it in the GIF of his long run, where the ball came out after he went down, but he was also stripped later in the game.

 

 

He clearly wasn’t protecting the ball as well as he should have. This should be a good coachable moment for the kid, though it’s unlikely that we’ll see much of him in the regular season.

Pierre Strong Jr. scored a touchdown that was called back by a holding penalty, and he made a couple of nice cuts before barreling over a defender to punch it in.

 

 

Strong is known more for his speed than his power, but this was a good sign. I hope they give him a chance to contribute in the regular season.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

DeVante Parker: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

Jakobi Meyers: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

Kendrick Bourne: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards

Nelson Agholor: 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards

Hunter Henry: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards

Jonnu Smith: 1 targets, 1 reception, 5 yards

Lil’Jordan Humphrey: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 7 yards

Tre Nixon: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 32 yards

Josh Hammond: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 33 yards

 

The fact that the Patriots’ starting offense was out there for three series against the backups and failed to score a TD is a bad, bad sign. DeVante Parker had the lone touchdown on the night, but it was called back after he pushed off to create separation on the play.

 

 

I thought this was a ticky-tack call, as receivers generally get away with a lot worse than this.

 

 

It was good to see Kendrick Bourne contributing on the field, as he’s had a rocky camp and his status heading into the season had been a huge question mark.

 

Jakobi Meyers was injured in this game and spent time in the medical tent afterwards. I have not heard an update, so this is something worth monitoring.

 

 

Las Vegas Raiders

| HOF Game | Preseason Week 1 | Preseason Week 2 |

 

Quarterback

 

Jarrett Stidham: 4/6, 72 yards

Chase Garbers: 12/22, 141 yards, 2 Sacks | 8 carries, 17 yards

 

Jarrett Stidham started this game and did a nice job of driving the Raiders down the field on a scoring drive. He looks to be developing into a decent backup QB after struggling to catch on in New England.

Chase Garbers played most of the game for Las Vegas and he was pretty good. He scrambled a few times for first downs, though I wouldn’t call him a mobile QB. He looked comfortable in the pocket and his footwork looked good. I was most impressed with this play-action fake, though the throw wasn’t exactly perfect.

 

 

Otherwise, nothing really stood out for me.

 

Running Back

 

Zamir White: 5 carries, 17 yards, TD

Brittain Brown: 11 carries, 28 yards, TD | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 23 yards

Austin Walter: 6 carries, 20 yards, Fumble | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 7 yards

 

Zamir White started this game for Las Vegas and didn’t really do anything to stand out. He should be in the mix for carries after the Raiders cut Kenyan Drake during the week.

 

 

I was most impressed by Brittain Brown in this backfield. He’s very quick and can make a defender miss. Check out this insane run:

 

 

Talk about stopping on a dime! He also made Jabrill Peppers look silly on his attempted tackle, and that move was honestly better than the first one. This exactly what I’m looking for in the preseason – guys who show elite athletic ability that are currently buried on the depth chart.

Judging by the response to the tweet, Raiders fans like him a lot. I’m not sure where he stands on the depth chart, but he passed the eye test for me. I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes fantasy relevant at some point.

 

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Keelan Cole: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 48 yards

Tyron Johnson: 1 target, 1 reception, 45 yards

Jesper Horsted: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 35 yards

Cole Fotheringham: 2 targets, 1 reception, 20 yards

Dillon Stoner: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 14 yards

Isaiah Zuber: 4 targets, 1 reception, 7 yards | Defensive INT

 

Keelan Cole made a really nice catch right before the end of the first half.

 

 

Other than that, the only guy who stood out to me was former Patriots WR Isaiah Zuber. He made an even better catch later in the game, and also contributed on defense with an interception.

 

 

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