Postgame Notes

Posted on August 25, 2007 
Filed Under Uncategorized

Courtesy of the Patriots’ PR staff, here are some postgame notes from tonight’s preseason victory over the Panthers:

BRADY’S LINE
Tom Brady completed 17-of-21 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, good for a 131.5 passer rating. He came out of the game with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter. Brady spread his 17 completions out to eight different receivers, hitting Benjamin Watson four times, Donte’ Stallworth and Wes Weker three times each, Sammy Morris and Heath Evans twice, and Reche Caldwell, Marcellus Rivers and Kelley Washington once each.

SWAT TEAM
The Patriots blocked two field goals against the Panthers, with Vince Wilfork and Jarvis Green each swatting down a John Kasay field goal bid. The last time the Patriots blocked two field goals in a regular-season game was on Oct. 21, 2001 against Indianapolis, when Brandon Mitchell and Tebucky Jones each batted down a Mike Vanderjagt attempt. Against Carolina, Wilfork blocked a 49-yard try in the second quarter and Green blocked a 43-yard attempt in the third quarter. The Patriots scored touchdowns on the drives immediately following each field goal block. Following Wilfork’s block, the Patriots took over at Carolina’s 45-yard line and put together a 10-play drive that ended in a 6-yard touchdown reception by Marcellus Rivers and a 10-0 Patriots lead. Following Green’s block, the Patriots took over at their own 31-yard line and drove 74 yards on eight plays to take a 24-7 lead on a 2-yard run by Heath Evans.

EVANS IN THE ZONE
Heath Evans scored two touchdowns against the Panthers – one on the ground and one in the air. He hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to give the Patriots a 17-7 lead in the third quarter and later plunged in from two yards out to give the Patriots a 24-7 third-quarter advantage. He helped set up his scoring run with a 43-yard rush earlier on that drive. Evans also scored on a 2-yard run last week against Tennessee and his three touchdowns this preseason lead the team. Evans has scored one career touchdown in the regular season, on a 1-yard reception from Brady against Miami on Oct. 8, 2006. Evans scored three rushing touchdowns for the Patriots in the 2006 preseason.

ROOKIE PICK
Rookie linebacker Oscar Lua intercepted a David Carr pass in the fourth quarter to thwart a Panthers scoring bid. The Panthers had driven to the Patriots’ 15-yard line after moving 68 yards on 11 plays, but Lua picked off the ball at the 10-yard line and returned it 13 yards to the Patriots’ 23-yard line. Lua was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round (211th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Southern Cal.

RIVERS SCORES
Tom Brady found an open Marcellus Rivers for a 6-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter to give the Patriots a 10-0 lead. Rivers, who was signed by the Patriots as a veteran free agent on Aug. 8, has played in 75 career games with 13 starts for the New York Giants (2001-04) and Houston Texans (2005). Rivers also spent time with the Oakland Raiders in the 2006 preseason and was on the New Orleans’ Saints roster for one game during the 2006 regular season, but was inactive for that contest. Rivers has recorded 51 career receptions for 395 yards (7.7 avg.) and four touchdowns.

LONG DRIVE
The Patriots put together an 18-play, 90-yard drive in the first quarter that ended in a 23-yard field goal and a 3-0 Patriots lead. After gaining possession at their own 5-yard line, the Patriots marched to their own 24-yard line and faced a fourth-and-one. Instead of punting, New England elected to go for it and gained the first down on a 5-yard run by Sammy Morris. Laurence Maroney ran eight times for 38 yards on the drive, while Morris and Wes Welker each caught a pair of passes.

QUICK HITS
•Rookie defensive back Mike Richardson reached in a batted away a Jake Delhomme pass intended for Steve Smith on third-and-five in the second quarter, forcing a Carolina punt on the next play.

•Adalius Thomas and Rosevelt Colvin stuffed Carolina’s DaShaun Foster for a loss of four yards in the first quarter.

•Mike Vrabel sacked Carolina’s David Carr for a 7-yard loss in the third quarter.

•Rookie Justin Rogers sacked Carolina’s Brett Basanez for a 14-yard loss in the fourth quarter.

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