Posted on August 23, 2008
Filed Under Uncategorized
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here are some game notes from tonight’s preseason contest between the Patriots and Eagles:
SOLID QUARTERBACK PLAY
Quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Matt Gutierrez combined to complete 22-of-34 passes (64.7 percent) for 277 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The duo combined for a 109.6 passer rating. Cassel completed 8-of-14 passes (57.1 percent) for 60 yards, while Gutierrez totaled 14-of-20 (70 percent) for 217 yards.
Matt Gutierrez entered the game in the third quarter and directed three drives that led to two touchdowns. His first drive as quarterback was an 11-play, 71-yard drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown toss to Chad Jackson. Eight of the 11 plays on the drive were passes. After Gutierrez’s second drive stalled after two first downs, he directed a 9-play, 99-yard drive — in which all nine plays were passes — that ended in a 9-yard scoring pass to C.J. Jones, cutting the Eagles lead to 27-17. On the night, Gutierrez — signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007 — completed 14-of-20 passes (70 percent) for 217 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 139.0.
Chad Jackson made a catch in the end zone in traffic for a 1-yard scoring grab with 13:49 left in the game, cutting the Eagles lead to 27-10. Jackson, selected by the Patriots in the second round (36th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft, has totaled three career touchdown receptions, all in the 2006 season. For his career, Jackson has 13 receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns.
C.J. Jones hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Matt Gutierrez with 41 seconds left in the game to cut the Philadelphia lead to 27-17. Jones, who led all Patriots receivers with 70 receiving yards, set up his touchdown with a 37-yard reception on the first play following the two-minute warning to bring the Patriots to the Eagles’ 13-yard line. Jones spent the entire 2007 season as a member of the Patriots’ practice squad. He spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons out of football after being released in training camp in each of those years, and spent the 2004 season on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad. Jones was a member of the Browns’ active roster for much of the 2003 season but did not see game action. Jones leads the Patriots with 120 receiving yards through three preseason games this season.
GOSTKOWSKI REMAINS PERFECT
Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 35-yard field goal with 1:52 remaining in the first half to raise his mark to a perfect 5-for-5 this preseason. He also connected from 36, 44 and 40 yards in the preseason opener on Aug. 7 and was good from 53 yards on Aug. 17 in Tampa. In his regular season and playoff career, Gostkoswki has hit 50-of-60 field goals, and his 83.3 percent career accuracy rate is the highest in Patriots history.
·The Patriots have outscored their opponents 30-0 in the fourth quarter during the 2008 preseason.
·Ray Ventrone’s eight receptions lead the Patriots through three preseason games.
·A total of 17 players have caught a pass for the Patriots so far this preseason. A total of 13 players have two or more catches, while 12 players have at least one catch for 10 or more yards.
·The Patriots outgained the Eagles 220-38 in the game’s final 19 minutes, while outscoring Philadelphia 14-0.
·Rodney Harrison tipped away a Donovan McNabb pass intended for tight end L.J. Smith near the goal line in the first quarter.
·Tedy Bruschi batted a Donovan McNabb pass intended for L.J. Smith off course in the end zone on third down in the first quarter, forcing an incompletion, saving a touchdown and forcing Philadelphia to settle for a field goal.
·Tedy Bruschi sacked Donovan McNabb for a 6-yard loss in the first quarter.
·Matt Cassel ran 22 yards for a first down in the first quarter, a scamper that was the Patriots’ longest run of the preseason so far.
With 4:19 left in the first half, the Eagles appeared to take a 16-0 lead on a touchdown catch by Hank Baskett. But, the Patriots challenged the play and it was determined that James Sanders caused Baskett to lose possession of the ball before crossing the goal line and he fumbled the ball out of bounds, resulting in a touchback and returning the score to 10-0. On the first snap following the overturned play, Randy Moss drew a 47-yard pass interference penalty on the Eagles’ Sean Condesine to give the Patriots a first down at the Eagles’ 33-yard line. The play set up a 35-yard field goal that cut Philadelphia’s lead to 10-3.