Final, Packers 22-11: Packers quarterback Matt Blanchard takes a knee inside the Patriots’ 10-yard line, and preseason game No. 1 is in the books.
Fourth quarter, 2:00, Packers 22-11: The Packers are driving as we reach the two-minute warning. It’s Green Bay ball, second-and-8 at the Patriots’ 14-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 5:32, Packers 22-11: Garoppolo is sacked twice as the Patriots go three-and-out.
Green Bay’s fourth quarterback, Matt Blanchard, trots onto the field for his first action of the night.
Fourth quarter, 7:42, Packers 22-11: The Patriots’ defense starts to fall apart in the fourth quarter. They allowed 61 yards on eight plays. Hundley capped off the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to running back John Crockett.
Defensive end Rufus Johnson, who was having a nice night for the Patriots, looked to suffer a knee injury and went to the locker room with team doctors.
Fourth quarter, 14:43, Packers 15-11: Rufus Johnson continues to have a nice game. He forced an incompletion by pressuring Packers quarterback Brett Hundley. The Packers punted again, and the Patriots have the ball on their own 37-yard line.
Third quarter, 0:40, Packers 15-11: The Patriots’ offensive line’s struggles continue. Garoppolo was beat as the Patriots were forced to punt again.
James White continues to impress in the Patriots’ third-down role. He’s showing quick feet that weren’t on display last summer.
Third quarter, 4:01, Packers 15-11: It’s fair to say the Patriots’ defense is having a better night at the office than their offense. We knew this would happen coming into the game because of injuries.
The Patriots forced another punt, thanks in large part to a run stuff by linebacker James Morris and a big sack by defensive end Rufus Johnson. The Patriots’ defense is deep this offseason, and there will be some tough cuts in early September.
Third quarter, 6:36, Packers 15-11: The Patriots’ offensive line isn’t making life very easy on Jimmy Garoppolo, who was sacked twice on that drive, leading to a turnover on downs.
Wide receiver Chris Harper had a nice drive, catching five passes from Garoppolo.
Third quarter, 12:13, Packers 15-11: Two plays later, the Packers scored on a long run by running back Alonzo Harris.
Tolzien’s two-point conversion passing attempt was knocked away by Patriots cornerback Robert McClain.
Third quarter, 13:00, Patriots 11-9: I warned Garoppolo about throwing to Boyce. Garoppolo just threw an interception to Packers cornerback LaDarius Gunter on a target to Boyce. Boyce should have at least knocked the ball away.
Garoppolo is now 2 of 10 with a pick targeting Boyce.
End half, Patriots 11-9: The Patriots take an 11-9 lead to end the first half off of a 56-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
The Patriots’ offense didn’t get much going on their final drive, getting 11 yards on seven plays.
Running back James White took a shot to the right knee and limped off the field. He continued to test it on the bench before the half.
To recap the half, running back Jonas Gray had the best play, scoring on a 55-yard run. Rookie left guard Shaq Mason helped open the hole for Gray.
Rookie cornerback Darryl Roberts and defensive end Trey Flowers both suffered injuries.
Defensive tackle Dominique Easley, rookie defensive lineman Geneo Grissom and cornerback Robert McClain all stood out. Jimmy Garoppolo was 5 of 13 for 63 yards. Wide receiver Josh Boyce was targeted eight times but caught just one pass for 16 yards.
Second quarter, 2:37, Packers 9-8: Logan Ryan forced a turnover on downs with a pass breakup to end the drive. Defensive end Rufus Johnson tipped a pass at the line, and safety Duron Harmon delivered a big hit over the middle to ensure Packers tight end Justin Perilo didn’t catch a pass.
Second quarter, 2:37, Packers 9-8: It might be in Jimmy Garoppolo’s best interest to stop targeting Josh Boyce. He has just one catch on seven targets.
Running back James White had a nice pass block on that drive and showed some impressive moves on a 17-yard catch. He could still earn the Patriots third-down back job.
Second quarter, 5:11, Packers 9-8: The Packers scored on a deep pass from Scott Tolzien to Jeff Janis, beating Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan, and now we have a baseball score.
Safety Tavon Wilson allowed two catches on the drive. Geneo Grissom made a nice stop on first down, and James Morris stopped running back Raijon Neal for 2 yards later in the drive.
So far, Morris is having a better game than Freeny.
Second quarter, 7:52, Patriots 8-3: Statistics might not tell the full story for Jimmy Garoppolo in these early preseason games. The Patriots’ offensive line is wounded, and it’s showing. Garoppolo nearly got killed after Cameron Fleming missed a block on third down, and the Patriots had to punt.
Second quarter, 10:23, Patriots 8-3: The Patriots forced a punt after some impressive plays from defensive end Jabaal Sheard.
He forced an incomplete pass on first down with a pressure then drew holding on second down. Sheard looks like he’ll be a valuable weapon as a pass rusher this season.
The Packers quarterbacks are picking on Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny early by targeting tight ends. Freeny could open the season as the Patriots’ No. 4 linebacker.
Second quarter, 13:44, Patriots 8-3: The Patriots took an 8-3 lead on the back of Jonas Gray, who ran for a 55-yard touchdown, then scored the two-point conversion on another handoff.
Rookie left guard Shaq Mason helped open up Gray’s hole with an impressive pull block, then Gray did the rest of the work with his legs.
On the previous play, Jimmy Garoppolo, in for Brady, got the first down on a 16-yard pass to Josh Boyce.
End first quarter, Packers 3-0: We finally have a score.
The Packers finally remembered they have specialists and scored on a 25-yard field goal from Mason Crosby.
Rookie defensive end Trey Flowers sacked Aaron Rodgers early in the series, but then he went down with what might have been a shoulder injury and had to go to the locker room.
The Patriots used rookie defensive lineman Geneo Grissom at defensive tackle and left defensive end on the series. Rookie cornerback Darryl Roberts also left the field with what appeared to be a hand or wrist injury.
First quarter, 5:46: Good news: Brady completed a pass.
Brandon Gibson caught Brady’s first completion for a first down. Then Gray ran for 6 yards on two carries and Brady threw an incomplete pass to Michael Hoomanawanui.
First quarter, 7:22: The Patriots forced another turnover on downs.
They made wholesale changes on their second series, with Trey Flowers, Dominique Easley, Jabaal Sheard, Logan Ryan, Bradley Fletcher, Jordan Richards, Duron Harmon and James Morris entering the game. Only Malcom Brown, Jonathan Freeny and Jonathan Freeny stayed in.
Sheard stopped running back James Starks from getting a first down on fourth-and-1.
First quarter, 8:34: Tom Brady got the start and threw two incomplete passes, both to Josh Boyce. The first one was an overthrow, and Boyce dropped the second. Jonas Gray had a 2-yard run on second down.
Ryan Allen comes on to punt, and it will be Packers ball.
First quarter, 9:16: The Patriots’ red-zone defense already looks in good shape. The Packers went for it on fourth-and-goal, and linebacker Jonathan Freeny broke up a pass to get the turnover on downs.
The Patriots stayed in their nickel defense for the whole drive. Here was the starting defense:
DL: Chandler Jones, Antonio Johnson, Malcom Brown, Rob Ninkovich
LB: Jamie Collins, Jonathan Freeny
DB: Malcolm Butler, Darryl Roberts, Robert McClain, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung
The Patriots opened the series with a Chandler Jones sack. Butler had a nice pass breakup in the end zone. Slot cornerback Robert McClain made a couple nice plays with a pass breakup and a tackle for no gain. Freeny had a bad missed tackle early in the drive, though he made up for it with the nice play in coverage.
First quarter, 15:00: The Patriots won the coin toss and chose to defer. It’s time for football!
7:30 p.m.: Quarterback Tom Brady, running back Jonas Gray, fullback James Develin, wide receivers Danny Amendola and Josh Boyce, tight end Rob Gronkowski and offensive linemen Chris Barker, Shaq Mason, David Andrews, Tre’ Jackson and Cameron Fleming were announced as the Patriots’ offensive starters.
Michael Hoomanawanui ended up getting the start at tight end instead of Gronkowski.
7:26 p.m.: It’s 10 minutes before kickoff, and it looks like a lot of Patriots fans might still be stuck in traffic. The place is probably still going to shake when Tom Brady runs on the field.
7:16 p.m.: The Patriots have just three active running backs for their preseason opener: Jonas Gray, James White and Tony Creecy.
Their offensive line similarly is banged up. The Patriots will trot out David Andrews, Tre’ Jackson, Chris Barker, Jordan Devey, Josh Kline, Shaq Mason, Ryan Groy, Cameron Fleming, Mark Asper and Sebastian Vollmer.
7:05 p.m.: Tom Brady is in uniform and looks ready to play.
Wide receivers Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell and Brian Tyms; running backs LeGarrette Blount, Dion Lewis, Brandon Bolden and Travaris Cadet; cornerback Tarell Brown; linebackers Dane Fletcher, Eric Martin and Darius Fleming; offensive linemen Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, Bryan Stork, Caylin Hauptmann and Nate Solder; defensive linemen Joe Vellano, Chris Jones, Sealver Siliga and Alan Branch and tight ends Scott Chandler and Jake Bequette aren’t on the field.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower and wide receiver Matthew Slater surprisingly are on the field in full uniform.
6:02 p.m.: Patriots players are beginning to warm up on the field. Third-string QB Ryan Lindley is among those getting in some early work.
Aaron Rodgers will play the entire first quarter for the Packers, Kevin Harlan told 98.5 The Sports Hub.
5:09 p.m.: Tom Brady is expected to play for the Patriots tonight, CSNNE’s Mike Giardi was told. It’s unlikely Brady will play more than one or two series, but he’ll certainly get a huge ovation from the Gillette faithful.
4:50 p.m. ET: Get ready for the Jimmy Garoppolo show.
Tom Brady’s status for the New England Patriots’ preseason opener still is up in the air, but even if he starts the game, Garoppolo is expected to take the majority of reps at quarterback Thursday night.
At least 20 players aren’t expected to suit up for the Patriots, based on the team’s final padded practice before the exhibition season begins. Wide receivers Julian Edelman, Brian Tyms, Matthew Slater, Aaron Dobson, and Brandon LaFell; running backs Dion Lewis, Travaris Cadet and LeGarrette Blount; linebackers Dont’a Hightower, Dane Fletcher and Eric Martin; offensive linemen Marcus Cannon, Bryan Stork, Ryan Wendell, Caylin Hauptmann and Nate Solder; defensive linemen Joe Vellano and Chris Jones, and tight ends Jake Bequette and Scott Chandler aren’t expected to play after being absent or limited for Tuesday’s training camp session.
Here are 10 players to watch in Thursday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET and airs on WBZ and NFL Network. We’ll keep you updated with news before and throughout the game.
Check out the projected forecast for the game:
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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