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Halftime: Late touchdown gives Patriots 7-6 Lead over Panthers

First half notes from the Patriots vs. Panthers preseason week 3 match-up.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

First half notes as the Patriots lead the Panthers 7-6 in their third preseason game:

1st Quarter

The New England Patriots begin the game with a three and out for the fifth time in six drives for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. After a strong punt return by Ted Ginn Jr that started the Panthers opening drive on the Patriots side of the field, the Patriots defense stepped up and forced a turnover on downs. Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo had key run stops on back to back plays.

The Patriots had a three and out on their second drive, with this as the third and long play.

Just no Tom, no.

After a Carolina three and out, the Patriots finally picked up a first down on another Tom Brady scramble. However, on the ensuing play, Aaron Dobson had the ball wrestled away from him on a post route with Charles Tillman in coverage.

The Panthers would take advantage of the interception to march down the field for their first three points of the night on a Graham Gano field goal.

Things continued to go downhill for the Patriots' offense, with Tom Brady throwing an interception on the next drive to Panthers' defensive back Kurt Coleman. Aaron Dobson was the intended receiver, and Coleman read Brady the entire way.

2nd Quarter

The Patriots and Panthers traded defensive stops before the Panthers got the ball moving early in the second quarter. However, their drive was stalled due to Dominique Easley's first sack as a pro:

The Panthers would drive for a field goal late in the half. They were held out of the end zone due in part to a terrific pass break-up by Tarell Brown on Corey Brown. Brown had two first-half pass break-ups, and is looking more like the team's #2 cornerback.

On the final drive of the first half, the Patriots finally got things going on offense. The Patriots turned to the no-huddle, and Tom Brady went 5/6 for 71 yards and this beautiful endzone lob to Scott Chandler:

With the score, the Patriots went into the half with a 7-6 halftime lead.