New England Patriots @ Tennessee Titans
NEP 34 TEN 13
The New England Patriots offense did what they do every season, look suspect in the preseason then come out in the opener and perform like nothing bad ever happened. The one difference on this Sunday however was the fact that they established the run game early and stuck with it the entire game.
Tom Brady threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns, proving that Tom Brady is still well Tom Brady. While the yardage numbers were down he still got two touchdowns and looked good.
Stevan Ridley was the star of the game going off for 152 total yards, 127 rushing and 25 receiving also scoring a touchdown. Ridley played great while Vereen missed the game due to injury. This performance should all but solidify Ridley atop the Patriots running back depth chart.
Brandon Lloyd had a decent debut as a Patriot with five receptions for 69 yards on eight targets. The plus is that Brady and Lloyd looked to be on the same page already. Wes Welker did nothing grabbing three catches for 14 yards. Welkerwas all but cancelled out with all the other options in the passing game and the added presence of the run game.
Last years phenom Rob Gronkowski did what he did what he does best and got in the end-zone, adding six catches for 60 yards. The other superb Patriot tight-end Aaron Hernandez had six catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. The two tight-ends will continue to be Tom Brady's favorite targets.
Tennessee Titans are coming into this season with some mild expectations with a new young and talented quarterback and a superstar running back who says he is back to his old form.
Jake Locker was playing well before going out with a separated left shoulder (non-throwing arm), going 23 of 32 for 229 yards one touchdown and an interception. Locker is expected to play next season according to both him and Coach Munchak.
Chris Johnson was taken out of the game early when the Titans fell behind 21-3 but there is no excuse for a stat line of 11 rushes for four, yes, 4 yards. Johnson did however save himself a bit but catching six passes for 47 yards.
Nate Washington had two receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown before getting hit hard and going down with what is an apparent leg contusion and is expected back for week two. He was targeted eight times. Rookie Kendall Wright finished the game with 5 receptions 37 yards and no touchdowns. Damian Williams chipped in with 5 catches for 33yards and 0 touchdowns. Williams will be a non-factor moving forward with the return of Kenny Britt and Nate Washington next week.
Jared Cook seemed to have a nice rapport with Jake Locker before the quarterback went down. Cook was the Titans leading receiver in terms of yardage, gaining 64 yards on four receptions.