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Friday, August 19, 2005 

Saints and Sinners

The Patriots had an uneven performance against the Saints last night, losing 37-27 on two late TDs in the final 2 minutes. Tom Brady's first pass was intercepted, but he played well, as did Doug Flutie, who threw New England's only TD pass of the evening. Only a Matt Light holding penalty prevented the Patriots from scoring TDs on their first two drives after the Brady pick. On special teams, rookie Ellis Hobbs was impressive with some great kickoff returns.

But on defense, there's a lot of room for improvement. To be fair, when both teams were playing their starters in the first quarter, the Patriots had the upper hand. But Deuce McAllister had a big game, and started to shred the Patriots defense late in that quarter and especially in the second. At that point, the Saints had their starting offensive line on the field while the Patriots started slipping in reserves like Tully Banta-Cain. In the offseason, Chad Brown was a much bigger name than Monty Beisel, but Beisel seems more comfortable so far as the two linebackers try to replace Tedy Bruschi and Ted Johnson. It will be interesting to see how a healthy Ty Warren on the line and Mike Vrabel at LB impacts the run defense in particular.

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