The New England Patriots blew the doors off a shorthanded Philadelphia Eagles team Thursday night, racing to a 35-0 win in Week 2 of the NFL preseason.
Here are our winners and losers from that lopsided victory:
QB Cam Newton
Though he was working against second-string defenders with Philadelphia resting most of its starters, Newton put on one of his best passing performances as a Patriot, going 8-for-9 for 103 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 11.4 yards per attempt. His passer rating: 151.4. Newton also was the only QB to take reps with the starting offensive line.
QB Mac Jones
Jones completed 13 of 19 passes for 143 yards and led touchdown drives of 91, 75 and 70 yards while playing behind New England’s backup O-line. Drops by N’Keal Harry and Devin Asiasi diminished his final stat line, but this was another promising outing for New England’s QB of the future. For a more detailed breakdown of how both signal-callers fared, click here.
OLB Matt Judon
Judon has been everything the Patriots could have hoped for this preseason. Last week against Washington, he had a run stuff, a QB hit and a nice play in coverage in 12 defensive snaps. In a similarly brief cameo Thursday night, he had a forced fumble that set up New England’s first touchdown, another run stuff, a drawn hold and a QB pressure. Simply put, he’s been dominant.
WR Jakobi Meyers
Meyers continues to be the Patriots’ best and most productive wide receiver. He caught all three of his targets for 56 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown from Newton.
RB Sony Michel
Michel averaged a sturdy 4.8 yards per carry, including runs of 7, 9 and 11 yards. Most impressive, though, was his performance as a pass-catcher. The 2018 first-round draft pick finished with four catches on four targets for 37 yards. That might not sound like much, but get this: Michel never had caught more than three passes in a game for the Patriot before this one. One of those receptions was a 19-yarder that featured some nifty run-after-catch maneuvers.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson
After scoring two touchdowns in last week’s preseason opener, the fourth-round draft pick added two more in Week 2. Stevenson runs with LeGarrette Blount-esque power, but also the quick feet of a much smaller back. He also was the return man on the Eagles’ lone kickoff of the night — a role we haven’t seen him play in practice.
RB J.J. Taylor
Another running back? Yep. Multiple members of the Patriots’ deep backfield balled out Thursday night. Taylor, who’s fighting for his spot on the roster, finished with 93 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. He also stole cornerback Michael Jacquet’s soul with a vicious spin move:
The Patriots will have some very difficult decisions to make at running back on cutdown day. Damien Harris, James White, Michel, Stevenson, Taylor and Brandon Bolden (who didn’t dress against the Eagles) all are deserving of roster spots, but New England likely won’t keep all six.
LB Harvey Langi
Langi made an acrobatic play to haul in an interception off a Justin Bethel pass breakup. Later, he blitzed into the backfield to sack third-string quarterback Nick Mullens and nearly grabbed a second INT off another deflected pass. The former Patriots UDFA is trying to stick on the roster as a reserve linebacker who likely would contribute mostly on special teams. He certainly helped his cause.
OLB Chase Winovich
Winovich’s night began inauspiciously with a roughing the passer penalty on one of his first defensive snaps. But the third-year edge rusher, who saw a heavy workload four days after his removal from the physically unable to perform list, recovered. He finished with five tackles, two sacks, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
K Quinn Nordin
Nordin was searching for real-world jobs on LinkedIn when the Patriots signed him as an undrafted free agent. He might want to start getting his résumé in order. The training camp darling endured a miserable kicking performance in this one, missing a 36-yard field goal and two extra points, all wide to the right. This after Bill Belichick last week stressed the need for consistency from the rookie kicker. It’s still unclear when Nick Folk will be able to return, but this was a major blow to Nordin’s roster aspirations.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson
Yes, him again. Stevenson had the ball punched out of his hands on one fourth-quarter carry — a major miscue for a rookie on a team that worships ball security.
WR N’Keal Harry
Jones’ 19-yard completion to Harry on third-and-13 kick-started a 91-yard touchdown drive. It also was Harry’s only reception of the night. One series later, Jones uncorked a perfectly placed deep ball that slipped through Harry’s gloved hands. The wideout also landed hard on his shoulder, left the field with team trainers and didn’t return.
TE Devin Asiasi
As the Patriots’ only available tight end, Asiasi saw a ton of playing time and had some good moments in the run game. But his lone target bounced off his hands at the goal line.