Storyline of the week
Mixed pass-rush results: After the win over the Eagles in Week 2 of the preseason, there was chatter of a reinvigorated pass rush in New England. The Patriots finished with eight sacks and 11 quarterback hits in that game. But the Patriots pass rushers fell back to earth in Week 3 against the Panthers when New England had zero sacks and one quarterback hit. The Patriots defense, fresh off allowing 41 points to the Eagles in the Super Bowl, remains a work in progress, even after adding free agent DE Adrian Clayborn and getting second-year DE Derek Rivers back from an injury.
QB Danny Etling, a seventh-round draft pick out of LSU, could get a major workload in the final preseason game. Like the rest of the league, the Patriots tend to hold out their starters and give opportunities to younger and less experienced players in Week 4. Etling is probably a long shot to make New England’s roster but could show enough promise to land on a roster elsewhere.
Henry McKenna, Patriots Wire