Well, this was much better! :) But the third game is always the most important pre-season game. The first game features the starters for a few series, the second game they play the first half, and the fourth game sees a series or no starters at all as the bubble guys fight for the last few spots on the roster. The third game, the coaches do the most game-planning and the starters play for nearly three quarters.
Tom Brady had a busy 48 hours! :) He was out in California on Wednesday for the birth of his son and flew into Charlotte in the wee hours on Friday morning, game day. He was nearly flawless and the offense clicked after a bit of a sputtering start. Tom threw for two touchdowns and looked in better rhythm with his receivers. Our second-year running back, Laurence Maroney, carried the ball 14 times in a the space of a quarter or so, getting him used to being hit after his non-contact practices (off-season shoulder surgery). The back-up RB, Heath Evans, did very well. Even Vinny Testaverde, 43 years old and his 21st year in the NFL, got in a series as QB! :)
The defense looked sharp, too. Randall Gay was doing a good job and Ellis Hobbes keeps improving.
Special teams: outstanding on two plays when they blocked field goals. Our kicker, Steven 'Ghost' Gostowski, missed two field goals, one from 52 yards out (success percentages are low for that yardage in the NFL) but he also missed one a lot closer.
All in all, the Patriots looked sharp in many areas of the game and there were NO MAJOR INJURIES! Always a goal of pre-season.
Tom's son is not named William, as rumored earlier. It's either John or Jonathan (not sure which, since trying to get most news items out of Foxboro is like trying to get news out of the Kremlin during the height of the Cold War). ;) Jonathan is the name of the owner's son, but I doubt Tom needs to butt-kiss in that franchise! ;) We were just hoping he wouldn't name the kid Greg, Peter, or Bobby! ;)