The New England Patriots left halftime with a 9-0 lead over the Carolina Panthers and were set to receive the kickoff.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo led the team on a quick drive with an opening pass to WR Chris Hogan, before RB LeGarrette Blount handled the next four touches and brought the offense to midfield. The drive stalled after the Patriots failed to convert a 4th and 1 situation.
The Panthers took their drive and moved the ball fairly easily against the Patriots’ second team defense. ED Geneo Grissom looked silly after he had a straight shot at QB Cam Newton that could have saved the drive, but Newton shed the tackle and threw towards the end zone. The Panthers tight end dropped the easy touchdown and the Panthers had to kick a field goal to make the score 9-3.
Neither offense managed to perform early on in the third quarter, but Patriots 2nd round pick CB Cyrus Jones contributed with an excellent punt return to get the Patriots in scoring position. Jones had an excellent night on special teams and should be fun to watch over the years.
Back-up QB Jacoby Brissett led the ensuing drive and rookie RB D.J. Foster made an appearance and turned some heads. Foster made some nice players in the open field to get the Patriots into the red zone, and Brissett found WR DeAndre Carter on an angle route for a touchdown and a 16-3 lead.
The Patriots defense continued its strong outing by stifling the the Panthers back-up offense and getting Brissett the ball for another drive starting at midfield. Foster continued to make plays and put the Patriots in field goal range. After the drive stalled, K Stephen Gostkowski connected to give the Patriots a 19-3 lead.
The Panthers led a long drive to drain the clock and converted four crucial third downs against the Patriots back-up defense. The Panthers converted 3rd and 15, 3rd and 10, 3rd and 10, and 3rd and 10, including a touchdown pass to draw the score to 19-9.
The Patriots tried to drain the clock, but the Panthers got the ball back with 1:34 on the clock and promptly marched down the field and scored a touchdown over safety Jordan Richards, and converted the two-point conversion to make the score 19-17.
The Panthers attempted an onside kick, but it bounced out of bounds. The Patriots earned possession and won the game 19-17. Brissett finished the game 9 of 9 for 85 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots move to 3-0 on the preseason and will face the Giants next week.