By Tom E. Curran
FOXBORO - Brian Hoyer's numbers were not good against the Eagles - 5 for 17 for 55 yards with two sacks.
But like many things on Monday night, extenuating circumstances have to be weighed when making evaluations. Hoyer certainly owns some of those incompletions, but he wasn't throwing to the team's top-tier receivers. Nor was he getting anything resembling consistent protection.
To these eyes, Hoyer did nothing to hurt his status of the go-to backup to Tom Brady on Monday night even though his numbers stunk.
Hoyer said the Eagles scheme led to lower percentage decisions.
"I woulda liked a few more completions but we also tried to take a few more shots and you're not gonna be 100 percent on those," Hoyer explained. "They present us the opportunity to throw the ball outside and throw it deep so I just try to give our guys a chance and try to make a few more than we did tonight.
"They played a little more man than we saw them do last week," said Hoyer. "It's the preseason so I'm sure they're working on different things. But you try to give our guys a shot and hopefully we can make better plays. I gotta make better throws. I need to keep working. We haven't seen a lot of man coverage during camp."
Hoyer is going to likely have a quiet first half this week against the Buccaneers. It's looking like Tom Brady's game. But he understands the import of taking Monday, learning from it then moving forward to Tampa.
"Its gonna be good for our team to have a quick turnaround and see how tough we are," he noted. "We gotta get ready for Wednesday morning practice. You learn what you learn from this game and move on and improve."
As for Hoyer's competition, Ryan Mallett, the second-year player was a little better than Week 1 but not a whole lot despite going 10 for 20 for 105 with a touchdown. Hoyer did take notice.
"(Mallett) did a pretty good job tonight and that makes me step my level up too," he stated. "I think looking at it tomorrow I might take fewer shots and try to get a few more completions and give my guy a better ball."
It would have been easier for Hoyer if he'd been given better support.