The New England Patriots opened the preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night after spending most of the week holding joint practices with Chip Kelly’s squad. There was a little controversy during the practice week with talk of the Patriots “bullying” the Eagles with cornerback Brandon Boykin speaking out to the media. With that silliness put to rest, it was time to get on the field and get a good look at the 2013 New England Patriots. With that, it is still preseason, and the first team offense and defense had limited snaps, but they both looked very similar to the 2012 New England Patriots in terms of results.
The first drive of the game opened with the Patriots in full bully mode, as they set the tone of the game and ran the ball down the throat of the Eagles first team defense behind Stevan Ridley’s 62 yard rush on the first offensive play of the game out of a two tight end set. The Patriots offense had Tom Brady under center, wide receivers Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson to his right with Amendola in the slot. Both tight ends (big rookie Zach Sudfeld and former New York Giant Jake Ballard tight to the line. Amendola motioned left across the line outside of Sudfeld on Brady’s left.
The Eagles defensive backs were tight to the lie against the Patriots wide receivers leaving ten of the eleven defenders within five yards of the line of scrimmage at the snap. The receivers released while Sudfeld and Ballard sealed the Eagles defenders outside. The offensive line got some good push from the middle guards and center Ryan Wendell. Tackle Sebastian Vollmer pancaked his defender putting him on his back on the ground and out of the play as Ridley took the ball straight up the middle and picked up the opening from Vollmer.
Running back Stevan Ridley did his part and made one cut up the middle with a burst and was almost 15 yards downfield when he was able to get past the first Eagle defender with a realistic chance to touch him. Rookie receiver Aaron Dobson ran with him shielding the cornerback from making a play on Ridley. Ridley was run down by Eagles defensive back Bradley Fletcher at the 18 yard line. Without passing the ball once on the first drive, the Patriots rushed six times for 80 yards and jumped out to a 7-0 lead after a pinch over three minutes....
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