As expected, the New England Patriots were not at their best in the preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers. It was a typical preseason game, as the Patriots benched most of their best players and looked sloppy throughout. Tom Brady did play a few drives, but didn't produce much. The Patriots scored just 11 points behind Jimmy Garoppolo in 3+ quarters, but the offensive line was a mess the entire night.
Here are the full highlights:
The Packers started the game off by marching the ball down the field. However, thanks to some excellent play in coverage by Malcolm Butler, the Patriots held them off for a turnover on downs within the five.
After a Patriots three and out that was highlighted by two Brady overthrows, the Patriots defense forced a second straight turnover on downs after a nice play off the edge in run defense by Jabaal Sheard.
Rookie DE Trey Flowers got off to an explosive start at right end for the Patriots - getting some nice push and registering a sack - before going down with an injury. We will have more on his status soon. He left the field under his own power.
After the Packers finally converted a fourth down on their fourth drive, they finally settled for the field goal and the 3-0 first quarter lead.
The Patriots got on the board on the opening drive of the second quarter on a 55-yard run in which he went untouched. Gray was boosted by strong blocks from Tre Jackson and Cameron Fleming on the inside, with Shaq Mason and Hoomanawanui assisting on the outside. Gray also converted a two-point conversion to give the Patriots an 8-3 lead:
After trading a couple of defensive stops, Packers quarterback Scott Tolzien completed a 26-yard 4th and 1 pass to Jeff Janis for the touchdown and the 9-8 lead. Logan Ryan was in coverage on the play.
Jeff Janis Hype Train leaving the station... https://t.co/RYUvxU4TW7— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) August 14, 2015
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski hit a 56 yard field goal to close the half and give the Patriots an 11-9 lead.
Things got off to a rough start for the Patriots in the third quarter. Jimmy Garoppolo threw an early interception on a comeback intended for Josh Boyce. It was not a great throw, but Boyce did not really fight for the football. The Packers would then capitalize in two quick plays for a touchdown:
LaDarius Gunter picks off Garoppolo. https://t.co/9OI9UHSwYX— Aron Yohannes (@AronYohannes) August 14, 2015
Following that mistake, Garoppolo completed ten straight passes, but due to some shaky protection, the Patriots still entered the fourth quarter trailing 15-11.
The Patriots had a chance to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but a Jimmy Garoppolo 4th and short conversion was overturned after a Mike McCarthy challenge of the spot (yes, in the preseason).
Green Bay then marched down the field, with Brett Hundley finding John Crockett out of the backfield for an easy touchdown with Geneo Grissom arriving late in coverage:
After getting behind 22-11, the Patriots were unable to put up any more points. The Patriots back-up offensive line was horrific throughout the night, with Jimmy Garoppolo getting sacked seven times. While Garoppolo wasn't playing at his best, it's hard to blame him with the shaky play from his front (Jordan Devey, Chris Barker, David Andrews, Josh Kline) and his receivers (particularly Josh Boyce).