For the first time in the 2023 season, the New England Patriots played most of their projected starters on both offense and defense in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. It resulted in plenty of key performances to spotlight from the game, which was suspended in the fourth quarter after Patriots rookie Isaiah Bolden was carted off the field. (Bolden has been released from the hospital, according to the team.)
Here are 12 Patriots that we graded either “UP” or “DOWN” based on their performance on the field during the game in Green Bay…
UP: WR Kendrick Bourne
Bourne has been gaining momentum in recent weeks. On Thursday night, he turned out to be Mac Jones’ biggest go-to guy.
Bourne caught two passes from Jones on the Patriots’ first offensive drive, on a short field following a fumble recovery, helping set up a Rhamondre Stevenson touchdown run. On the next possession, Bourne made a great block at the second level to spring Stevenson for a 23-yard run.
Bourne saved his best play, however, for last. On what ended up being the final drive for Jones and the starting receiving corps, Bourne reeled in a 17-yard leaping catch from Jones to convert third-and-8. The pair popped on Thursday night, without question.
DeVante Parker has been making more big plays down the field this summer, but Bourne has really picked up steam lately. He and Jones appear to be gelling just in time for the start of a crucial season for both of them.
DOWN: OT Trent Brown
Brown committed a false start on the Patriots’ first offensive play of the game. Decidedly not what you’re looking for from your starting left tackle. Brown was limited for much of camp to start, so it appears he needs time to really get in sync with the rest of the line.