HENDERSON, Nev. — The bar was low, but the Patriots nevertheless were much better in their second joint practice with the Raiders.
New England’s offense saw a notable improvement, particularly during the second half of practice. Mac Jones and the first-team offense scored touchdowns on back-to-back two-minute drills against Las Vegas’ top defense. The final drive ended with a Hunter Henry touchdown grab that sparked a loud celebration on the Patriots sideline.
As for the defense, it once again struggled to contain superstar receiver Davante Adams but otherwise was solid. The Raiders didn’t run the ball nearly as much as they did Tuesday when New England’s front seven largely dominated the line of scrimmage.
Let’s go over the good and the bad with another joint-practice edition of “Three studs, Three duds.”
WR Jakobi Meyers
The fourth-year wideout was excellent on Wednesday, once again proving to be Jones’ most consistently reliable target. And Meyers delivered the two plays of the day, a pair of over-the-shoulder contested touchdown grabs that capped two-minute periods for the Patriots. DeVante Parker has gotten most of the buzz this summer but Meyers has been New England’s best wideout throughout training camp.
LB Matthew Judon
Judon earned a spot on the list both days — and deservedly so. The star pass-rusher dominated the Raiders’ iffy offensive line from start to finish and even had a sack, run stuff and pass breakup on the same drive. His great camp continues.
QB Mac Jones
We were hard on Jones after Tuesday’s practice but the sophomore quarterback rebounded in a big way on Day 2. He completed 20 of 25 passes in competitive drills and showed more poise in the pocket than he did Tuesday. Sure, many of Jones’ completions were checkdowns and screens, but he also made some great throws to push the ball down the field when the Patriots were going no-huddle. It was his best practice in a while.
Honorable mentions: Jalen Mills, Josh Uche, Rhamondre Stevenson, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Mike Onwenu
CB Terrance Mitchell
Mitchell might deserve a pass for having to deal with Adams for much of practice. However, the reality is he got toasted by the NFL’s best receiver on multiple occasions. There’s no shame in that, but it still happened. Mitchell got off to a strong start in training camp but since has established himself as more of a roster-bubble corner.
OG Cole Strange
The rookie got absolutely worked by Clelin Ferrell during 1-on-1s and struggled against Andrew Billings in another rep. Strange was decent during the final few 11-on-11 periods but he gave up some pressures early on. It was more bad than good from the first-round pick.
QB Bailey Zappe
In what’s become a regular occurrence, Zappe entered the game and promptly threw a pick-six. It’s an adventure whenever he’s on the field, even though he’s had some encouraging performances.
Honorable mentions: Jack Jones, Jonathan Jones
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