The Patriots left much to be desired in their preseason opener, falling 20-9 to the Houston Texans on Thursday night. It wasn’t New England’s desired outcome, especially with the Gillette Stadium faithful seeing their team score just three points through the first three quarters.
A good portion of the starters didn’t play, but that doesn’t mean the outcome was any less disappointing. Even if losses don’t mean much in the preseason, the Pats still needed to do more to leave fans feeling encouraged heading into the 2023 NFL season.
While there weren’t many bright spots during the loss to the Texans, a handful of Patriots did their best to steal to show with hopes of eventually cracking the 53-man roster.
There’s still a lot of work to do, but here are three Patriots who stole the show in the team’s preseason debut.
Patriots Preseason Standouts
1. Keion White
Being a second-round pick comes with a lot of pressure and Keion White proved that he can handle the spotlight against the Texans.
White made sure that his physicality was felt throughout the contest. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound defender was challenging Houston’s offensive line all night long, displaying his motor and never-say-die attitude that made him a popular draft pick among Patriots fans in April.
It seemed like White was making an impact on every snap he took. Whether it was putting pressure on C.J. Stroud or causing havoc in the backfield, he did his best to prove to the coaching staff that he deserves to be on the final roster come September.
It’s one thing to impress Patriots fans with his versatile play, but it’s another to earn a rave review from Bill Belichick. Everyone knows how tough that can be — especially for a rookie.
Belichick told reporters during the post-game scrum that he’s noticed just how much White has improved over the spring and throughout training camp. He also added that the staff would review the game tape, but all signs point to his being impressed with the rookie’s showing.
If White can follow up on this performance next week, the sky is the limit for the former Georgia Tech product.