Tom Brady looked sharp in his preseason debut, throwing a 33-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan in helping the New England Patriots to a 19-17 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers on Friday night in Charlotte.
Brady relieved Jimmy Garoppolo late in the first quarter and completed a 37-yard pass to Aaron Dobson on his first play from scrimmage, leading to a field goal. On his second drive Brady heaved a perfectly placed over-the-shoulder pass to Hogan down the right sideline for a 9-0 lead.
Brady will miss the first four games of the regular season for his role in Deflategate. Garoppolo will start the season at quarterback for the Patriots.
Meanwhile, league MVP Cam Newton struggled mightily, throwing two interceptions and failing to get any points on his eight first-half possessions.
Aaron Rodgers made the most of his only appearance of the preseason, throwing a touchdown pass to Randall Cobb in the Green Bay Packers’ 21-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Friday night. Rodgers completed six of nine passes for 60 yards. Colin Kaepernick did not fare as well as he looked extremely rusty in his first game action since last November. He completed two of six passes and generated one first down on three drives. … Ben Roethlisberger torched New Orleans’ defense for 148 yards and two touchdowns on his first two series of this preseason, and the Steelers beat the Saints, 27-14. Roethlisberger got the rest of the night off after touchdown passes of five yards to tight end Jesse James and 57 yards to Antonio Brown, who also made his first appearance this preseason. Drew Brees had a 17-yard TD pass to Willie Snead for the Saints, who are winless this preseason. ...
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins threw three touchdowns in a 21-16 win over Buffalo at Landover, Md. With the Bills resting almost their entire starting defense, Cousins overcame a rough start to finish 12 of 23 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. ... In Tampa, Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon — who missed the 2015 season due to a drug suspension — caught two passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in a 30-13 loss to the Buccaneers. ...
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is expected to return to the team on Sunday, multiple sources report. Berry has skipped the last month of training camp and practice in an effort to show his displeasure that the Chiefs were unable to reach a long-term contract agreement with him. ... Atlanta Falcons rookie strong safety Keanu Neal, the team’s first-round pick and a projected starter, will miss the beginning of the season because of a knee injury.