Despite a few promising performances, the Patriots offense could only muster 14 points as they fell to the Carolina Panthers 25-14 in the third preseason game on Friday at Bank of America Stadium.
Tom Brady played the entire first half, going 12-of-18 for just 102 yards passing with an 81.3 passer rating. One silver lining of Brady’s first half is that he completed four passes to receiver Phillip Dorsett, who caught all of his targets for 36 yards. That includes a six-yard catch to convert a fourth-and-3 near the end of the second quarter.
The teams traded punts and field goal attempts in the first half, including a miss for Stephen Gostkowski from 46 yards with under two minutes left in quarter No. 2. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was only a little bit better than Brady on paper, going 11-of-17 for 142 yards and posting a 90.8 passer rating.
Mike Gillislee scored the Patriots’ only touchdown of the game with 2:51 left in regulation, punching it in from two yards out. Receiver Riley McCarron also performed when called upon, catching all four of his targets for 49 yards.
Defensively, rookie linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley again led the team with five total tackles, tied with Kyle Van Noy. Undrafted rookie cornerback J.C. Jackson chipped in with four tackles, including a tackle on sophomore receiver Curtis Samuel for a one-yard loss. Seventh-round pick Keion Crossen broke up two passes, while Eric Rowe and Duron Harmon each broke up one.
Running back Jeremy Hill had an injury scare late in the fourth quarter, appearing to hurt his ankle or foot. But he told reporters in the locker room he’s fine.
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