Curran: Who impressed and disappointed vs. Eagles?

Curran: Who impressed and disappointed vs. Eagles?
August 16, 2014, 1:30 pm
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CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran and SportsNet Central's Mike Giardi take a look at who impressed and disappointed in the Patriots' 42-35 preseason victory over the Eagles.

The Pats were able to run the ball effectively with a bunch of different running backs, although an old problem re-emerged for Stevan Ridley. A fumble. Or was it?

"But it wasn't a fumble if you saw the replay," Curran said, adding that was good news to Ridley when he talked to him after the game. "He said, 'Thank God. For two hours I've been sitting here trying to figure out if I fumbled or not.'

It had been a recurring problem last season for Ridley and he didn't return to the game after the play Friday night. Curran said Ridley wasn't benched because of the fumble. He was coming out anyway.

Cornerback Malcolm Butler continued his strong play and it will likely lead to some tough decisions for the coaching staff.

"He had what I counted were two strips," Curran said. "Dont'a Hightower got credit for one of them. He's not only good in coverage, but now he's making plays on the football. He's going to make life hard on the Patriots secondary coaches....It's going to be very difficult for them to say, 'You know what? This isn't a guy who we can't use at the top of the lineup' because Logan Ryan and Kyle Arrington are suddenly starting to become safeties."

In the receiver battle between Brian Tyms and Josh Boyce, it was another strong game for Tyms, who also impressed in the preseason opener against the Redskins.

As for Boyce?

"A couple of nice catches -- a 13-yard end-around and a 23-yard catch -- but he follows it up with the bad Boyce, which is just pushing in the back on a Jonas Gray touchdown run [that was called back by the penalty]."