Patriots vs. Raiders: Instant analysis of the last preseason game

The 2022 preseason is over and it couldn’t come soon enough for the New England Patriots.

It’s no secret that these three games, especially on offense, have been a struggle for the Pats. The starting offensive linemen recorded just one touchdown over the past two games despite playing against mostly reserves for the Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders.

The Patriots were unable to get into the end zone at all against the Raiders in Friday night’s 23-6 loss at Allegiant Stadium.

New England now has two weeks to prepare for the Miami Dolphins in the first week of the regular season.

Here are four takeaways from the preseason finale.

1) Mac Jones looks uncomfortable

Mac Jones looked uncomfortable for most of training camp and the preseason. Installing the new offense has not been an easy or productive process.

The Patriots’ starting quarterback completed nine of 13 pass attempts for 71 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception and a 50.5 passer rating on four drives — all against the Raiders’ defensive backups. He played just over a quarter.

Here’s a rundown of the four possessions with Jones at quarterback:

  1. A 3-and-out after an 8-yard completion on first down. Jones was sacked on third down.
  2. An eight-play drive ends with an interception. Jones likely didn’t see Raiders linebacker Luke Masterson.
  3. Another 3-and-out.
  4. An 11-play drive that should have ended with an over the shoulder touchdown pass to DeVante Parker, but the Patriots were penalized for offensive interference. It was a soft call. The Patriots settled for a field goal.

Jones showed some frustration Friday night as the offense struggled to establish any consistency.

Preseason no. 2 was, in many ways, more difficult for Jones than what he experienced as a rookie:

It will take more practice for Jones, and the team as a whole, to settle into this new offense. And it doesn’t take long to figure it out, either. Week 1 against the Dolphins in Miami is just two weeks away. Without substantial improvement, the season opener with the Dolphins could be ugly for Jones and his fellow offensive linemen.

2) Ty Montgomery’s injury is not trivial

Ty Montgomery suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter and was unable to put any weight on him. He was sent to the locker room and later ruled out for the rest of the game.

The extent of the damage is currently unknown.

Montgomery had a great training camp and played well in the first two preseason games. He is primarily used as a running back, but he can also play wide receiver. His versatility makes him a solid third-down option — a role the Patriots need to fill with James White retiring last week.

If Montgomery misses time with this injury, it opens the door for younger backs like JJ Taylor and Kevin Harris to make the team and potentially feature on third downs. Taylor had 54 yards on 14 carries in three preseason games. He also made one incredible game to recover an obstacle in the third quarter against the Raiders.

3) Jack Jones shows playmaking ability

Rookie cornerback Jack Jones was all over the field Friday night, especially in the second half.

it forced a fumble with a big hit and broke up a pass with another pesky collision. He also broke a pass deep down the field on a passing route late in the third quarter. It was impressive coverage.

Jones has a nose for the ball and he plays with the kind of grit and physicality you see from many of the league’s top linebackers. He probably won’t play a big role as a rookie, but he’s definitely an intriguing player with exciting potential. There’s a lot of talent out there, Jones just needs more experience to put it all together.

4) Revenge game

It was a good night for former Patriots players who now don the silver and black.

Jarrett Stidham started at quarterback for the Raiders and put together two quality drives, one that ended in a field goal and the other in a touchdown. Stidham looked much better than Patriots backups Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe.

Defensive end Tashawn Bower played nine games for the Patriots between the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He tallied five tackles and two sacks against his former team.

Isaiah Zuber played wide receiver for the Patriots last season. He saw snaps on defense Friday night and stopped Zappe in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders have some veteran players and coaches on the Patriots, which is no surprise considering longtime New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is now the head coach in Las Vegas.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *