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It was certainly a surprsing sight to see the Patriots struggle so much to beat the Bills in Week 1, and to help make sense of what happened, Toucher & Rich welcomed Bob Socci, who watched the game from the play-by-play booth in Buffalo.
While the lack of chemistry between Tom Brady and the young receivers — notably Kenbrell Thompkins — was different from what took place in the preseason, Socci said perhaps the Week 1 performance was in line what we were all probably thinking prior to the preseason.
“It’s kind of what we expected going into the preseason, and maybe we were somewhat fooled,” Socci said. “It was in many ways a lot of the worst fears about the re-do at wide receiver coming to fruition. … I think for a rookie like Kenbrell Thompkins, you could see that he was tentative, he wasn’t breaking sharply, he wasn’t fighting for the football, he had a lot of uncertainty. Even when he did catch the ball, it seemed like there was a bobble on his receptions. So I think what we saw yesterday was probably indicative of what we expected going into the season.”
The worries included an injury scare for Danny Amendola, but that proved to not be serious enough to keep him off the field.
“Fortunately for the Patriots, Tom Brady was able to go to some reliables, like [Shane] Vereen and Amendola, down the stretch. And Amendola, boy, he showed his wherewithal and physical toughness with the second half he had in particular, that game-winning drive.”
Socci also said he was not surprised by Shane Vereen’s emergence, talked about the work the Pats’ defense had to do, and what Tom Brady can do with the receiving corps.