Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Riley Reiff: One of the best performers in Patriots’ preseason game vs. Packers


Mon, Aug 21, 2023, 11:56 AM EDT·4 min read

A week-long trip to Wisconsin reached a crescendo for the New England Patriots in Saturday’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.

The game was ultimately cut short early in the fourth quarter after a horrific head injury suffered by Patriots rookie cornerback Isaiah Bolden. Fortunately, Bolden was able to fly back home with the team after spending the night in the hospital and appears to be in good spirits.

As for the game itself, it was a positive showing from the Patriots with up and down moments. The offense showed signs of life, but the offensive line looked like a mess at times.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots got gashed on the ground for 119 yards and a touchdown, but they had multiple players step up on the backend against the Packers’ passing attack.

Today, we’re taking a look at the best and worst Pro Football Focus grades in the game for the Patriots. This is simply a measure of performance with limited reps in one game. It isn’t the be-all-end-all evaluation for players. So please take it with a grain of salt.

Top 5 offense

  • RB Rhamondre Stevenson: 83.1
  • WR Demario Douglas: 81.8
  • WR Kayshon Boutte: 80.6
  • WR Kendrick Bourne: 79.0
  • OL Riley Reiff: 73.3

The rookie wide receivers made their mark in this game. For all of the talk of coach Bill Belichick’s drafting struggles, he seems to have finally hit on a pair of talented wideouts in the sixth-round of the 2023 NFL draft.

Demario Douglas gets separation and has the shiftiness to turn short plays into big ones. Meanwhile, Boutte has been a reliable receiving target with the sort of speed that can turn the lights out on a defense in the open field.

It might be smart for the Patriots to keep both receivers on the 53-man roster, even if it means keeping six players at the skilled position.

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