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What we learned: Thursday night

Chad Ochocinco

New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco pulls in a first quarter touchdown reception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


The start of the second preseason week is here. Which means we’re one week closer to the real stuff.

Patriots 31, Bucs 14

1. The Patriots starting offense looks ready for the season to start. Tom Brady and practically all his offensive teammates looked crisp while jumping out to a 21-0 first quarter lead. They led 28-0 at halftime, with Brady still in the lineup.

2. Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo may rush the passer more this year. He was a terror on Thursday night. The Bucs quarterbacks were hit almost every down by some Pats pass rusher.

3. Both Bucs lines were manhandled. A couple bright spots for Tampa: defensive linemen Adrian Clayborn and Gerald McCoy. Clayborn, a first round pick, looks like an immediate impact starter. McCoy seems ready for a second year leap.

4. A couple Patriots took huge hits. Chad Ochocinco got back up and caught a short touchdown after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit. Danny Woodhead had to leave after getting leveled on a punt return late in the game. He was wobbly.

5. Ryan Mallett is mortal. A week after looking terrific, the Patriots rookie threw a pick six. He only threw for 71 yards on 14 attempts in the second half. His accuracy was spotty. Brian Hoyer remains the favorite for the backup job.

Steelers 24, Eagles 14

1. The Steelers may need to call Flozell Adams after seeing two of their left tackles get hurt.

2. Mike Vick doesn’t like the “Dream Team” label, then did his best to lower expectations for the team. Vick threw three picks in one half; Vince Young threw another.

Mike Kafka had a nice night against the deep reserves to put some pressure on Young.

3. Jerricho Cotchery could make an impact in Pittsburgh. He caught two passes for 49 yards in his first Steelers appearance, including a 20-yard score.

4. Eagles rookie starting middle linebacker Casey Matthews may not be ready. Philly has to think about moving their linebackers around after a rough outing from Matthews. The Eagles defense couldn’t get off the field.