3 winners and 3 losers from the Patriots’ preseason loss to the Titans

He took on the New England Patriots Tennessee Titans Friday night in their third and final pre-season game. Throughout the 23-7 loss, here’s who caught our eye, for better or for worse.

Winner: LB Ronnie Perkins. The third-year edge player may have had his best performance in a Patriots uniform. Perkins made one final push for a roster spot, leaving it all on the field – literally. Perkins appeared to be under several pressures and scored one QB hit throughout the contest. He also finished with nine tackles, one of which came for a loss. Unfortunately for Perkins, he appeared to be beaten late in the game but remained on the sidelines.

Loser: QB Billy Zabby. First on Zappe’s defense, he had to navigate a formidable offensive line (four sacks) and skilled backup players. But it wasn’t so great for the Patriots’ QB2, who got back into the game in the second half. Zappe finished 8 of 15 for 57 yards and fumbled three times and lost one. After one foul by owner Cunningham, Bill O’Brien can be seen poking his ear on broadcast television.

Winner: LB Calvin Monson. Munson has been quietly heading towards a roster spot over the past few weeks of training camp. If he needed a strong performance at Tennessee to secure his spot, he might have done so. Besides recording an early tackle for loss in a running game and leading the team with 10 total tackles, Munson also made a deflected interception.

“He definitely showed up in some positive plays,” Bill Belichick said after the game.

Loser: CB Jack Jones. The 25-year-old cornerback saw his fair share of snaps on Friday night which resulted in some tough results. Jones was charged with a pass interference on Tennessee’s second drive of 22 yards, then was in coverage for a 30-yard completion late in the second quarter. Jones also seems to have some issues with the running game.

Winner: WR Kaishun Butei. The wide receiver didn’t make a great catch like he did in practice or cut a long touchdown like he did at Green Bay. In fact, Butte barely saw any playing time outside of the Patriots’ first possession. But his use in Friday’s competition as well as his growth over the past few weeks could be a sign he’s secured a spot on the roster.

Loser: OT Andrew Stober and the offensive line. Drawing the start at left tackle, it was another tough outing for Stueber. He was again involved in an early strip sack where he quickly gave up the edge, later surrendering another sack on third-and-10 on the ensuing drive. In total, New England’s O-line gave up six sacks and also took another hit in the health department: prospective starter Riley Reeve left for the locker room in the first quarter.

Honorable Mention:

  • What looked good along the offensive line in live time was Chasen Hines. The sophomore guard seemed to once again make several powerful plays, headlined by setting the stage for Kevin Harris’ 5-yard score.
  • Anfernee Jennings looked like his regular self in the running game, recording a tackle for loss and being annoying in the Tennessee backfield.
  • Another solid game from Sam Roberts, who consistently shows great drive. Two tackles for a loss, running things on third and one, three quarterbacks, and a sack.
  • Rookie Marte Mapu made his pre-season debut and showed what he’s capable of. Playing both safety and linebacker, his athleticism was on display when he shot down the ramp to help force an early incomplete, and later had solid coverage play in the end zone.
  • Rookie Bryce Barringer handled the first five balls of the game and showed off his strong leg. He finished averaging just under 50 yards per attempt, while catching two inside the 20. Even his only touch was a 69-yard kick to turn the field.
  • In addition to Barringer, rookie kicker Chad Ryland handled his only kicking attempt Friday night: an extra point. It was the first time this pre-season he had tackled a Nick Faulk try.

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