Best & Worst: Patriots-Jaguars

Best & Worst: Patriots-Jaguars
August 12, 2011, 2:37 am
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By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

WORST FAVOR TO OUR STAFF
Darius Butler looked, at the start, like he planned to make Paoletti feel crappy about her UConn Huskies by getting burned on the field. Jacksonville no doubt knew about Butler's rookie decline and Blaine Gabbert targeted 28's man for his first pass: eight yard connection. Paoletti could not be reached for comment.

WORST START TO SOPHOMORE SEASON: Aaron Hernandez was the Patriots go-to receiver on Monday and Tuesdays practices, but on the Patriots first offensive play of the game on Thursday night, the second-year tight end fumbled a 7-yard reception inside his own 30-yard line, which resulted in the Jaguars second field goal of the night.

BEST SIGN THAT IT'S PRESEASON
Best meaning "most accurately," not "most awesome." The Patriots' first two offensive plays resulted in fumbles. The first was by Hernandez, as we know, and was recovered by the Jaguars. The next was fumbled by Danny Woodhead -- recovered by himself. Hernandez had another right in the first quarter outside the end zone . He ended up recovering and the Pats scored six on the next play, but whatever -- it was ugly. That's preseason!

WORST EXPLANATION OF MAJOR GAF
So, none of us up in the press box actually saw how New England's two-point conversion went bad, but the worst part is there was no replay. All we know is that somehow, the ball ended up bouncing down the field to the 50-yard line. Kicker Zoltan Mesko chased it down and booted the ball out of bounds. ...Yeah, that's illegal. Jacksonville ball.

WORST WASTE OF EVERYONE'S PRECIOUS TIME
Thanks to an NFL rules change, every touchdown is now reviewed by the replay official. If it seems sketchy, the referee will be buzzed to perform an official review. The difference? Previously, a coach would have to call for the review. On each of the Patriots first two touchdowns, reviews were conducted. Both touchdowns were upheld. And everyone was able to go grab a beer.

BEST OUTCOME OF A REALLY BAD PLAY
Safety Patrick Chung was credited with a pass defensed after he dropped an interception right in his hands in the middle of the field, with nobody near him.

BEST INADVERTANT ENTERTAINMENT
Ed Hochuli left his mic on after a New England time out and let everyone in on his conversation with a fellow referee. The colleague was saying he wanted to rewatch a first half play, but Ed kept telling him to "stop thinking about it" and focus on the one unfolding at 11:27 in the third quarter. Who knew officials suffered such inner turmoil? I SMELL A REALITY SHOW.

BEST DRIVE TO BEGIN CAREER
Quarterback Ryan Mallett drove the Patriots 82 yards in 5:57 to open the second half a drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by Ridley. Mallett finished his first NFL drive 6-of-8 for 79 yards.

BEST SWITCHAROO (Worst name for it?)
In the fourth quarter, Bill Belichick put wide receiver Buddy Farnham on the other side of the ball. We've seen it in practice, so it couldn't hurt to try when the stadium lights were on. Turned out to be a good move. Todd Bouman tried a ball short middle, but somehow, Farnham came up with the interception.

WORST WAY TO LEAVE THE GAME
Taylor Price. He had a great night, catching five passes for 105 yards (he had one 50-yard beat). It was good to see, considering many call this a make-or-break year for him. But Price ended up limping to the sidelines after catching a punt -- he got drilled by a clean tackle to the legs.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti