Patriots

Tom Brady not expected to play in Week 2 of Patriots preseason vs Titans

Tom Brady not expected to play in Week 2 of Patriots preseason vs Titans

NASHVILLE – Indications during the week were that Tom Brady was expected to play in the Patriots preseason game against the Titans.

But we are told the GOAT will remain in the barn for the second straight week.

Brady was sharp Thursday working with a fleet of young receivers against the Titans veteran defensive backs.

After that workout, Brady was asked what the playing-time plan was. His answer?

“I just expect to play, and if he (Bill Belichick) says, "You're not playing," then I'm not playing. I think there's a lot of things that factor into his decisions, but I'm not involved in any of those, so I just show up and practice. That's been my role, that's been my job, so I'm trying to show up and do a good job.

Brady played extensively last August in the second preseason game, going 19 for 26 for 172 yards and two scores against the Eagles. In 2017 against the Texans he was 6 for 9 during his brief work. The last time he didn’t play in the second preseason game was 2016 when Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett took all the reps. That was the year Brady had a four-game suspension to start the year. Remember?!

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As dominant as it gets: Patriots defense allows just three points in three games

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AP Images

As dominant as it gets: Patriots defense allows just three points in three games

FOXBORO -- The Patriots came close to making history on Sunday, becoming the first team since the merger to allow fewer than 13 points through their first three games. 

They allowed three points in their opener against the Steelers, zero in a Week 2 shutout over the Dolphins, and 14 against the Jets on Sunday during a 30-14 victory. That gave them 17 total points allowed over three games, meaning they were unable to eclipse the previous record set by the 2001 Packers and 2004 Seahawks (13 points). 

Don't blame the Patriots defense for letting a record slip through the team's fingers, though. 

The Patriots defense wasn't responsible for any of the points allowed Sunday. A muffed punt by Gunner Olszewski in the third quarter bounced around into the Patriots end zone. When it was recovered, a Patriots opponent had put points on the board for the first time since the third quarter of Week 1. Then in the fourth quarter, in his first regular-season drive as a pro, rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham overthrew Brandon Bolden and was picked by Jamal Adams. The Jets safety took it all the way back for a touchdown. 

The special teams score was the first touchdown a Patriots opponent had scored since the Chiefs scored in the fourth quarter of the AFC title game back in January. By holding the Jets scoreless through the first half, the Patriots have now allowed 10 first-half points in their last eight games combined.

Bill Belichick's defense -- with Stephen Belichick apparently calling the majority of, if not all of, the plays -- has been a certifiable wrecking crew through three weeks, both with their pressure schemes and with their sticky coverage in the secondary. Their Week 3 performance was every bit as impressive as what they did the previous week against the Dolphins as they racked up four sacks and an interception. 

Luke Falk had the misfortune of having to see the Patriots defense in his first career start. Falk completed just 12 of 22 passes for 98 yards -- a 4.5 yards per attempt average. The Jets offense crossed midfield for the first time with just a few minutes remaining in the third quarter. 

In coverage, Devin McCourty picked off his third pass in as many games. Duron Harmon also defended a pass coming from the deep safety spot. Stephon Gilmore was barely targeted. Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts batted down passes to force incompletions for the linebacker group. 

Up front, Collins, Dont'a Hightower, Adam Butler, Michael Bennett, Chase Winovich and Van Noy were all in on sacks. Their twists and games at the line of scrimmage had Jets linemen scrambling for the majority of the afternoon. Even when Falk's protectors had their assignments locked down, they were overwhelmed by quickness and power. Falk was hit 10 times in all. 

The Jets were 0-for-13 on third and fourth down conversion attempts, they averaged only 2.2 yards per play, 1.8 yards per rush, and they barely broke the 100-yard mark as an offense, picking up 105 total. 

Bill Belichick's team may have had a record elude them Sunday afternoon. But don't look at the defense. There's not much more they could've done through three weeks.

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Jarrett Stidham throws a pick-six in Patriots debut

Jarrett Stidham throws a pick-six in Patriots debut

Jarrett Stidham's Patriots debut didn't go exactly how he would've hoped as he threw a pick-six during his first drive in the NFL. 

With the Patriots up 30-7 and their defense still playing at an elite level, Bill Belichick did what he rarely has in the past and pulled Tom Brady before the game was over. 

This provided Stidham time to get valuable experience against a live defense, which he'll definitely need if something were to happen to Brady at some point in the future.

Unfortunately for Stidham, he overthrew Brandon Bolden on a short check-down and Jamal Adams took it straight to the house. 

Brady would then enter the game for Stidham on the following series, so again, not an ideal start for the rookie quarterback. 

This isn't the first time a backup has only lasted one series in a blowout. In 2007, the Patriots led the Dolphins 42-14 when Matt Cassel came in for Brady. He threw a pick-six to Hall of Famer Jason Taylor, so then Brady came back in the game right after. 

Stidham was sharp in the preseason and earned himself the backup job behind Brady, resulting in the Patriots cutting Brian Hoyer. But the regular season is a different animal, and Stidham will probably have plenty of time to think about that play before he gets another chance to take some snaps for Belichick. 

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