Good morning, all!
Last night's preseason game was pretty watchable (not always the case with preseason). After a slow start, Tom and the offense looked pretty sharp, and Ryan Mallett was put in for Brady to simulate game conditions (what if Tom had to come out for a play or two after being banged up?) and did pretty well. Third-stringer QB Jimmy Garoppolo had some mistakes but that's natural for a rookie, but otherwise did fairly well out there. He is poised in the pocket and can make the long throws with a powerful arm. He has good chemistry with Brian Tyms, who is fighting for a roster spot. Hope the kid makes it. He was living out of his car years ago and is the product of a group home. Let's just say he hasn't had an easy life.
Shane Vereen looked very good as he dashed for a long TD, and Julian Edelman was sharp at wide receiver and punt returner. Kenbrell Thompkins goofed with a bad no-catch but Brady went right back to him and he made a great catch. The defense was strong and Chandler Jones was running around making sacks and generally giving the Panthers' O-Line fits. Carolina looked good in spots but generally had a game where they couldn't quite get things going, and the Pats' D was pitching a shut-out until late in the game when Carolina finally scored.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 60-yard field goal, a personal best. The team was thrilled for him.
A good third outing and a fine look at the starters, who most likely will sit out the entire game next week against the Giants.