By MyFM’s John Wilbur - The New England Patriots returned to the turf at Gillette Stadium Thursday night. They did it without their starting quarterback Tom Brady or the top tight-end in the league Rob Gronkowski. There were several other starters who were noticeable absent like Jason and Devin McCorty, the rookie Sony Mitchell, who has been sidelined with inflammation and fluid in the knee, Chris Hogan and Eric Decker all sat out. The Patriots looked sloppy and un-orginized to start with the offense going 3 and out to begin the game. The head coach Bill Bellichick said at the break that his team played about 38 seconds of good football in the first half. New England came out more organized in the second half and quickly scored, eventually taking the lead and getting the win 26-17. That’s in part thanks to the rookie, un-drafted, free agent, running back Ralph Webb. Webb scored four times, two by way of the ground for touchdowns and two more times with two point conversions. Brian Hoyer played the entire game at QB and looked like Brian Hoyer nothing flashy about him but he is consistent. Julian Edelman is allowed to play in the pre-season games and took to the field for the first time for game action since tearing his ACL in the third pre-season game last year. Edelman missed all of 2017 and will have some extra time to get the knee back to 100 percent. The wide receiver is suspended for the first four games of the regular season for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. Julian wasn’t targeted in this one with the receiver just happy to be back on the field for game action. Defensively the Patriots looked awful to start the game despite having their leaders back out there in Donte Hightower at linebacker, Kyle Van Noy joined him in the back field. Patrick Chung and Stephon Gilmore were also part of the defense, with Gilmore becoming the number one cornerback on the team, after the departure of Malcom Butler. In all, it was a pre-season game with the Patriots on the right side of the final score for the meaningless win. If history tells us anything the team we saw out there for the first pre-season game against the Redskins will look nothing like the team we see out on the Gillette turf come September 9th when the Pats host Houston in game one of 2018.