As for specific players, here’s who caught our eye for better or worse on Friday night.
Loser: QB Mack Jones. Continues to disappoint from the opening attack department. The heartbeat of that unit is Jones, who had the worst interception of his young career on Friday night. The disappointment It seems to continue to grow.
Winner: RB Kevin Harris. The 2022 sixth-round pick has been fighting for a roster spot and made his mark this preseason by snapping a Patriots’ best run. Harris chased down James Ferentz and plowed through a hand block on a 36-yard field goal. This is one of the best plays New England has had all summer with its new look zone scheme. Harris coughed up the ball late in the game but continued his powerful running style throughout the day.
Winner: CB Jack Jones. After an exciting and strong spring, Jones finally appears on the field this summer. While his aggressiveness may eventually come back to hurt him, the fourth-round draft pick showcases his ability to find the football; Jones forced a fumble and had two pass breakups Friday night. He’s not necessarily trusted right away, but the rookie continues to impress in off-coverage.
Loser: Offensive Line. The unit had some encouraging moments, but all in all, had tough outings against Las Vegas. Quarterbacks, especially Mack Jones, were under almost constant pressure, while zone blocking continues to be a major issue in the running game. Add in two holding penalties and the unit will have another disappointing day.
Winner: TD LaBrien Ray. Labrian Ray continued his case for a roster spot Friday night. Undrafted free agent Daniel Egual bulldozed the sack by former first-round pick Alex Leatherwood and showed off his powerful hands again. He was in “one-day playing territory” the last few weeks of training camp.
Loser: RB Ty Montgomery. Montgomery is as clear here as he was Pushed into the cart With an ankle injury in the first quarter. Montgomery has seemed to establish a steady role in New England’s offense as of late. The injury could be a big loss, leading to more work for Damien Harris and Rammondre Stevenson in the pass game. Rookie Pierre Strong Jr. could play more time in that role.
Other players worth mentioning include Jake Bailey, who had a good night on punts and kickoffs, as well as Ramondre Stevenson, who used some random interceptions up front. Rookie quarterback Bailey Chappey, meanwhile, threw an interception on a back, while an apparent miscommunication between running backs Terrance Mitchell and Adrian Phillips led to a long completion in the second quarter.
The Patriots’ next game will be the season opener at Miami on September 11.
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