Jimmy Garoppolo, AJ Derby and Cyrus Jones were just a few of the many players who seemed to take full advantage of their opportunities in Thursday night's 23-22 preseason win for the Patriots.
The second exhibition contest of the summer, and the final home preseason affair, seemed to offer up plenty of positives from a New England perspective.
But there was also plenty of attention paid to guys who didn't play Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, most notably quarterback Tom Brady.
The Boston Globe says that Brady's reported thumb injury added drama to the preseason game. On the field, the Globe says it was the running game that propelled the Patriots past the Bears, helping Jimmy Garoppolo to shine as well. The Globe also looks at David Andrews potentially taking a hold of the center position, while passing along reports that Alan Branch has been suspended by New England.
The Boston Herald *writes that there were definitely some promising signs for the Patriots in the win over Chicago. The *Herald reports that Brady's "sliced hand is not considered serious." Herald columnist Steve Buckley echoes what has become a common thought of late, that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "can't be stopped."
The Providence Journal looks at second-year tight end AJ Derby continuing to shine as he makes a run toward a roster spot this summer. ProJo *columnist Jim Donaldson says Garoppolo is proving that he's ready to take over the QB reins in New England. Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson was among the Patriots defenders who flashed on Thursday night, according to the *ProJo.
ESPNBoston.com has Michael Lombardi, in an interview with WEEI radio in Boston, breaking down his departure from the Patriots front office this offseason. ESPNBoston.com also looks at Johnson making a run at a roster spot on the New England front seven. ESPNBoston.com notes the craziness of the story regarding Brady, scissors and Garoppolo stepping up. The site also offers its Patriots up and downs from the win.
WEEI.com posts some random observations from the Patriots second preseason contest. WEEI says that Garoppolo is starting to look like a starting NFL quarterback. The site has Garoppolo saying it was a "good test" to get the surprise start against Chicago, as well as Lombardi saying there will be no rush to trade the New England backup and fill-in starter.
CSNNE.com has praise for the Patriots running game against Chicago. CSNNE.com says that Garoppolo's performance proves he has value beyond just the first four weeks of 2016.
NFL.com says Garoppolo went from cold to hot on Thursday night.
The Chicago Tribune offers up 10 thoughts from the game, from a Bears perspective.
MassLive.com looks at the budding battle between LeGarrette Blount and Tyler Gaffney in the Patriots backfield.