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NFL Preseason: Carolina Panthers Vs. New England Patriots Recap

For the third preseason game of the season, neither the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, nor a last season NFC playoff team Carolina Panthers looked anything like playoff contenders for 2015.

Granted, preseason is preseason, but when your sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterback has “deflated” stats that include a pair of picks, you got to figure something’s amiss in Pat’s camp. And while Cam Newton did out play Tom Brady on the stat sheet, a single touchdown was overshadowed by two sacks and handful of terribly missed connections with his wide outs.

Since neither of these teams have been known in recent years for their stellar defense, fans have to figure that with one game left on each of their preseason slates, something needs to be fixed; and fixed soon.

With both offenses in lackluster form, it was the play of the two backup QBs, Derek Anderson and Jimmy Garoppolo that at least gave the coaching staff’s a little sense of encouragement. The Pat leaders had to be especially pleased with Garoppolo, who depending on the outcome of “Deflate Gate”, may be parked under center when the Patriots open the season for real against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For all the lack of offense, the game did turn exciting at the end, as players hoping to avoid the ax ramped up their games in the 4th quarter. Garopplo lead the Patriots from behind in the final stanza with a TD drive, then a short march to a late field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

Interesting end for the fans who ventured out to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, but certainly both Patriot and Panther fans have to be scratching their heads asking, “Where’s the offense”?

NFL Preseason: New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots Recap

New England backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo certainly looks ready to run the Patriots' offense during Tom Brady's suspension. Garoppolo completed 28-of-33 passes for 269 yards and led the Patriots to five scoring drives and a win over the Saints Saturday night. The Patriots scored 20 straight points to cut a 21-0 Saints lead to 21-20, then got a pair of Stephen Gostkowski field goals on their last two drives. Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal won the game with 14 seconds to play. Much earlier in the night, the Saints' Drew Brees looked great as he threw for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 8-for-10 passing. Neither team managed much on the ground, as the Patriots averaged just 2.2 yards per rush and the Saints averaged only 2.8.

NFL Preseason: New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers Recap

The Packers' passing attack was on point in Thursday's exhibition win over the Patriots. Aaron Rodgers was 11-for-19 for 117 yards and the Packers finished with 273 yards in the air despite throwing mostly short passes. Scott Tolzien and Brett Hundley both completed touchdown passes for Green Bay. For the Patriots, Jonas Gray's 55-yard touchdown run in the second quarter provided the main highlight. Tom Brady started the game but was just 1-for-4 for ten yards. Jimmy Garoppolo, who will start the regular season opener with Brady suspended, got most of the playing time and was 20-for-30 for 159 yards and an interception.
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