Patriots

Patriots vs. Panthers: Tom Brady stats, highlights from preseason debut

Patriots vs. Panthers: Tom Brady stats, highlights from preseason debut

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got his first game action of the preseason Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, and the results were pretty mixed against the Carolina Panthers defense.

It was a sloppy start for the Patriots offense as a whole with three penalties during the first two drives. 

Rookie wide receiver Jakobi Meyers had a particularly bad opening two series with a drop, a penalty and a weird deep route where he stopped running. Brady's first four completions all went to wideout Phillip Dorsett for a total of 35 yards.

The Patriots found the end zone on their third drive for the game's first touchdown. Patriots running back James Develin ended the 15-play, 85-yard march with a one-yard TD run. Brady even converted a third-down with a 3-yard scramble earlier in the drive. The 42-year-old quarterback's night was over after that series. Rookie Jarrett Stidham was next up at quarterback.

Most starters typically don't play in the fourth and final preseason game, so we probably won't see Brady in action again until Week 1 of the regular season when the Patriots host the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 8.

Here's a recap of Brady's performance against the Panthers.

STATS
75 (8-for-12) completion percentage
75 yards
0/0 TD/INT
0 sacks
3 rush yards

HIGHLIGHTS
There weren't a lot of notable highlights from Brady, but here's his longest completion of the night.

Brady's final completion went to tight end Ryan Izzo.


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This stat shows how good the Patriots defense was against the Jets

This stat shows how good the Patriots defense was against the Jets

The New England Patriots have had a fantastic start to the season on the defensive side of the ball. But on Sunday against the New York Jets, they took their dominance to another level.

While the Patriots won the game by a score of 30-14, the defense didn't surrender a single point. The first Jets touchdown came after a muffed punt by Gunner Olszewski. The second came off a pick-6 by Jamal Adams.

And in the contest, the Patriots allowed the fewest total yards of the Bill Belichick era -- playoffs included (per the official NFL Research Twitter account).

This is frankly a remarkable stat, but it's not altogether surprising. The Jets were only playing their third game of the season, but they were already on their third starting quarterback in Luke Falk, a 2018 sixth-round pick on his third team in a year and a half in the league. Sunday was his first career start.

The Patriots mostly focused on limiting Le'Veon Bell and by taking away the run game, they made it difficult for Falk to generate anything on offense. Because of that, he had less than 100 total passing yards and had fewer than 70 when factoring in sack yards.

The defense has been a big-time strength for the Patriots through three games and the onus is on them to continue to succeed. That said, Bill Belichick is doing what he can to keep them humble, so he surely won't let an achievement like this go to their heads. 

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NFL betting odds Week 4: Early spread for Patriots vs. Bills, all other games

NFL betting odds Week 4: Early spread for Patriots vs. Bills, all other games

The New England Patriots failed to cover a 22.5-point spread in Sunday's Week 3 win over the New York Jets, but that hasn't stopped oddsmakers from pegging the defending Super Bowl champs as sizable road favorites in Week 4.

The Patriots will travel to Buffalo in Week 4 to take on the Bills with first place in the AFC East at stake. Both teams improved to 3-0 on Sunday. The Patriots earned a 30-14 victory against the Jets, while the Bills beat the Cincinnati Bengals 21-17.

The Patriots have opened as 7-point road favorites against the Bills. Here are the early betting lines for every Week 4 game, according to the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas:

The Patriots have won five consecutive games against the Bills. Buffalo's last win versus New England came in Week 4 of the 2016 season, which was the final game of Tom Brady's Deflategate suspension.

Brady owns a remarkable 30-3 record with 69 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions in his career against the Bills.

The Patriots are 2-1 against the spread this season. They've outscored opponents 106-17 over their first three games.

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