Pats Pitch Second Half Shutout En Route To Preseason Opening Victory
The first half of their preseason opener at home against the Washington Redskins was anything but pretty for the New England Patriots.
The second half, however was a different story, as the Pats shutout the Redskin reserves and rattled off 23 points to win the game 26-17 at Gillette Stadium.
All told, New England scored 26 unanswered points from the final second of the first half through the end of the game. Prior to their scoring burst, however, Washington had got themselves out in front by 17 points.
While it took a while for the Patriot offense to get clicking without guys like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, who both sat out Thursday along with other typical starters, there were a few guys who played well in their opportunities throughout the game.
Brian Hoyer, the team's incumbent back up to Brady, got the start and played the lion's share of the game, before giving way to rookie Danny Etling in the fourth quarter. Hoyer ended up putting together a quality outing, completing 16 of 23 passes for 144 yards and leading the team on three of their four scoring drives.
Wide receiver Devin Lucien, who is back for his second stint with the team after being drafted in the seventh round by the Pats in the 2016 draft, had a nice game, catching a team-high four passes for 71 yards. It was a solid performance for the third year pro, who is still looking to catch on and make an impact on a 53-man roster.
Newly acquired wide out Cordarrelle Patterson also had a solid impact on the game, making two very impressive catches for 39 yards. Patterson has been flashing his innate ability to secure tough-to-catch passes throughout the start of training camp and seemingly transferred those practice skills into real game action.
The Pats' late charge was also fueled by solid backfield performances from running backs Jeremy Hill and Ralph Webb. Hill, who signed a one-year deal with the Pats this offseason, to compete for a spot on the team's crowded backfield depth chart, led New England in rush yards with 51 on the night. Averaging an impressive 4.6 yards per carry, throughout the game, Hill also scored the team's first touchdown of the game.
Webb was equally as solid in his Patriot debut, carrying the ball 14 times for 46 yards and two scores. The diminutive back, who looked a lot like former Patriot Dion Lewis in the backfield, also added two two-point conversions with a rush and a catch in the fourth quarter. Of all players to perform well, Webb might have seen his stock rise the most, although he is on the outside looking in on a jam-packed New England backfield corps.
All Game Stats, Here.