New England’s 7-6 triumph over the New Orleans Saints lacked the usual offensive sparks for which the Patriots have become known. Starting quarterback
Hoyer, however, was under center for the opening drive of the second half, New England’s only scoring march of the game. The 97-yard drive, resulting in a Hoyer to
“Yeah, he did. He had some great runs, great cuts, and the line really got off the ball really well. We were trying to go fast and they were really doing well with that.”
For Vereen, who missed nearly all of his rookie season last year due to a hamstring, Thursday night was essentially his first real opportunity to showcase his talents to Patriots fans at Gillette Stadium.
“I just wanted to go out there and to be best I could for the team. It’s as simple as that,” said Vereen, admitting he sometimes still feels like a rookie.
“I was excited because it’s been so long since I played with the injuries and everything, but I just wanted to go out and perform well as I could with the team. Any time you get to strap it on and go play with the team, it’s a great thing. It felt really good to be out there with the fellas.”
While Hoyer was quick to assign credit to Vereen, the running back was equally eager to defer to his offensive line.
“It felt good to be out there running. The O-line did a tremendous job. I can’t take hardly any credit because they did a tremendous job.”
Overall, Hoyer wasn’t satisfied with his evening’s effort – completing just eight of 15 passes for 45 yards. Even his touchdown toss to Davis wasn’t all that pretty (high and slightly behind the receiver), and a couple of his throws were incomplete because Saints defenders deflected the ball at the line of scrimmage.
“Right now, I haven’t watched the film yet,” Hoyer told reporters, “but I can tell there’re definitely some things I wish I would have done better. You know, getting the ball batted isn’t something that usually happens, so you’ve got to find a way to get it through and some of the throws that you’ve got to get on the same page as some of the guys. To go out in the second half and [have] a 97-yard drive, that was definitely a positive, but you’ve got to do that more often.”
Defensively, the starting safety duo of
It was an impressive debut for first-round picks
Hightower finished with four tackles and a quarterback hit. Meanwhile, third-round pick
“It’s tough to tell who’s getting the pressure sometimes,” noted Carpenter, “but those guys did a good job moving the [Saints] quarterbacks around. Anytime they do that, it makes our job better in the back end.”
As good as that was to see, the Patriots endured some bad luck when linebacker
Two members of the team’s medical staff had to support Fletcher as he limped off, and the TV broadcast cameras caught him reacting in a way that made it appear that the injury was serious. He did not return to the sideline after being helped to the locker room. Media reports during the game indicated a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
In the post-game locker room, Patriots defenders were understandably upset for their hard-luck teammate, who missed much of 2011 with a thumb injury.
“It’s unfortunate. You hope for the best. You don’t know what it is right now,” remarked defensive end/outside linebacker
“I know Dane, and he’s a fighter, so, whatever it is, he’s going to work hard and he’ll be back.”
“You never want to see injuries. I’m not sure of the extent of it,” added linebacker
There wasn’t a whole lot more to cheer about on special teams, either, aside from the booming punts of