The New England Patriots’ preseason should be considered a success. The team made it through the summer without any major injuries to key players.
The Patriots have reason to be optimistic about their passing game after Thursday night. Second-year wide receiver Aaron Dobson returned to the game field after undergoing surgery over the offseason to repair a broken foot. Newly acquired tight end Tim Wright also was able to see plenty of action after being with the team for just two days.
Check out how Dobson and Wright fared, and which other players shined in the Patriots’ 16-13 loss to the Giants.
The 2013 second-round draft pick caught three passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, moving well on his surgically repaired foot. Dobson was targeted nine times, but rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was having trouble hooking up with the 6-foot-3 wideout.
Dobson has packed on some muscle over the offseason, and he appears to be playing with increased confidence. Kenbrell Thompkins and Brandon LaFell are competing to start in the Patriots’ offense, but Dobson could still be the team’s X receiver in Week 1.
The Patriots acquired Wright and a fourth-round pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for All-Pro guard Logan Mankins on Tuesday. Wright had just two days to learn the Patriots’ offense, and he fit in nicely, catching four passes for 43 yards. Wright probably won’t be on the field for every snap on offense this season, but he proved that he can snag a role on the Patriots.
Moore and third-year pro Jake Bequette recorded sacks in the Patriots’ final preseason game. Second-year pro Michael Buchanan also pressured the Giants’ quarterbacks. Moore has looked solid all preseason, and he showcased his versatility, playing all over the Patriots’ line, as he looked to shore up a spot on the 53-man roster.
The Patriots cornerback made a number of solid plays in the run game, coming off the edge. He also made back-to-back big plays in the third quarter, breaking up a pass (with his helmet) and forcing — and recovering — a fumble.
Swanson’s a longshot to make the roster, but he should find a spot on the Patriots’ practice squad if he clears waivers.
The veteran cornerback played well into the fourth quarter as he prepares for a four-game suspension. Browner made a few nice plays in coverage, including a pass breakup where he showed off his impressive length.