New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans: Takeaways from Preseason Week 2

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Mix in offseason back surgery, and it was a bit or a surprise when No. 87 took the field on Saturday night in New England's 27-23 preseason loss to the Texans in Houston.

The pass had to be completely ideal, even if it was only five yards forward, to fit in between two defenders like that.

Even though the starters didn't play a ton, we did get a decent look at the starting offense for the Patriots.

The back-and-forth surrounding what kind of player Jimmy Garoppolo went from "good preseason player" last week back to "possibly bad preseason player". Like I said all along: "he's got good command of what we're doing". He showed decisiveness and toughness when running between the tackles and sure hands as a pass-catcher in finishing with 20 yards on seven carries and 50 yards on three receptions. With fellow running back Mike Gillislee still sidelined with a reported hamstring injury, Burkhead is making a case to be the Patriots' top running back in what figures to be a committee-type approach.

He was sharp at the end of his time in the preseason opener at Carolina.


Savage started the game and guided the Texans on an eight-play drive that stalled at the New England eight-yard line. In all, he was on the field for 15 of the team's first 17 snaps but was never targeted with a catchable pass.

Ultimately, Saturday's game wasn't about Brissett, however, but rather Tom Brady.

Houston quarterback Tom Savage was effective in two drives, going 8 of 9 for 98 yards with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jaelen Strong that put the Texans up 7-0 in the first quarter.

Of course, it's really hard to do that when you are playing with second-stringers, especially on the offensive line.

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