Scott Chandler hauls in a first-half touchdown pass.</p>
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The injury to James Develin didn’t look good as he was carted off the field in the fourth quarter Friday night in Charlotte. As it turns out, the news is not good either.

James Develin

James Develin

The injury to James Develin didn’t look good as he was carted off the field in the fourth quarter Friday night in Charlotte. As it turns out, the news is not good either.

According to the Boston Globe’s Jim McBride, citing a team source, Develin broke his right leg after catching a pass from Jimmy Garoppolo midway through the fourth quarter.

Develin, who gained 10 yards on the play, rolled to his left and caught a pass. But as he was turning, his right foot appeared to stick in the turf. When it released after a tackle from linebacker David Mayo, it crashed into the leg of safety Dean Marlowe. Develin’s lower right leg bent backward and he had to be carted off with 8:01 left in the game.

After a few moments on the field with medical staff, coach Bill Belichick came onto the field and tapped him on the shoulder.

“Hate to see that,” is all Belichick would say after the game.

“He’s one of the hardest workers in the locker room, a real team guy,” added Garoppolo. “It’s tough to see him go down like that, especially when things were going well, had a little bit of momentum with us and it’s unfortunate. All the prayers out to him for sure.”

Tom Brady has often called Develin, a former defensive end at Brown, one of the most dependable players on the team.

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Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Jimmy Garoppolo drops back to pass against the Carolina Panthers Friday night. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo drops back to pass against the Carolina Panthers Friday night. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo learned a couple of very valuable lessons Friday night in New England’s 17-16 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers.

First, make sure of your reads and your throws and take care of the football. And secondly, and maybe more importantly, it’s not how you start but how you finish.

Certainly, Garoppolo watched as the 2014 Patriots proved that, winning the Super Bowl last season after a very shaky 2-2 start.

Friday night, it was Garoppolo who looked shaky at the start. Opening the second half in relief of Tom Brady, Garoppolo threw to the outside for Jonathan Krause. The ball was badly underthrown and Bene Benwikere stepped in front and had an easy pick-6. But he dropped the ball. After a run from LeGarrette Blount and a completion to Michael Hoomanawanui, Garoppolo threw a pass to the left sideline for Chris Harper.

Amazingly, Josh Norman dropped the ball or Garoppolo would have been intercepted. Two sure-fire picks on his first three throws.

“Good fortune, I guess, on a couple of those,” Garoppolo said. “Those are throws you can’t make. You’ve just got to learn from those.”

Garoppolo said he will take that lesson into the preseason finale Thursday night against the Giants.

“There’s a ton of things,” Garoppolo said. “Those two throws tonight. Those were near-picks. You don’t want to have any of those. It’s Game 4. We’re just going to go into it like every other week. We’re going into it, and while I’m in there, just compete.”

Garoppolo finished the night leading the Patriots back from a 16-7 hole to a 17-16 win. He completed 12 of his next 14 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown to Dion Lewis. The Lewis connection came immediately after a nice pass of 40 yards to Dobson down the right sideline in the fourth quarter, highlighting a four-play, 60-yard drive.

“It was an important drive for sure,” Garoppolo said. “Aaron made a huge play down the sideline, a great catch. Dion got open for the touchdown. It was really all those guys doing their job on every play. It was just one play after another, we were executing. It turned out to be a good drive.”

He’ll need several good drives if his number is called on Sept. 10 against Pittsburgh in the season opener. Right now, Garoppolo is happy with the progress he’s continuing to make.

“I’m doing all right with it,” Garoppolo said. “It is what it is, really. Can’t really control any part of it. The less you worry about it, the better. There’s really no point to worry about it. I’m doing pretty good.”

Garoppolo said he could sense that the team built off its come-from-behind win last week in New Orleans.

“Completely different game but I’m sure the momentum from last week, getting that win, helped us a little bit, get some energy going. We came out and played pretty well,” Garoppolo said. “Executing better. That’s what it comes down to. First game, second game, third game, they’re all different. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to go out there and execute, do whatever the coach tells you to do. When all 11 guys are doing that, you get a good result.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The first six series of the night looked like the previous five of the season for Tom Brady. Not good.

The first six series of the night looked like the previous five of the season for Tom Brady. Not good.

He was sacked once, threw a pair of interceptions (including one that was more of a fumble than a pick), nearly stumbled into the ground trying to make a tackle after one of the interceptions and didn’t seem to be on the same page with any of his receivers.

There was the overthrow of an open Scott Chandler in the first quarter. The drop by Reggie Wayne in the second quarter.

All in all, Brady was 2-for-7 for 13 yards and two interceptions in his first six drives of the night.

“Obviously, we couldn’t do anything in the first half, couldn’t run, couldn’t throw,” coach Bill Belichick noted after the 17-16 preseason win over the Panthers in Charlotte.

In Brady’s defense, he was playing without his starting center (Bryan Stork), starting tight end (Rob Gronkowski), and two starting receivers (Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell).

Over his first 12 preseason drives, Brady was 5-for-16 for 36 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns. Starters or not, that’s ugly.

Belichick was asked specifically to comment on Brady’s play.

“I said we didn’t do much offensively,” Belichick reiterated.

Here are some other takeaways from Belichick Friday night:

On Reggie Wayne playing in the first half:

“[We wanted him to] play a little bit. Fifteen or 20 plays, or whatever it was.”

On playing the rugged Carolina Panthers:

“It was another interesting game. We had a lot of good situations come up at the end of the game, end of the first half. I thought our guys competed well. As usual, it’s a physical, tough game against the Panthers. They’re well coached, very good fundamental team. They certainly gave us some problems. I thought we hung in there. I’m proud of the way the guys competed today.”

On where the team stands heading into Tuesday’s cut deadline down to 75 players. (Patriots are at 84):

“We all have a lot of work to do. Clock’s ticking. Just keep grinding it out here and see if we can continue to make progress. We certainly have a lot of work to do.”

On his defensive back group, which including Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung back at safety and Tarell Brown, Brandon Fletcher and Malcolm Butler as corners:

“I thought we competed well. We’ll look at the film and see how it all unfolded. We competed all the way through against a good football team on the road. Some of those plays were extended with the quarterback scrambling around, a couple little longer than maybe we normally do. I thought defensively we competed hard. We were out there for a long time and competed all the way through.”

On the performance of Scott Chandler, making his Patriots preseason debut:

“It was good to get a few guys back. Scott has gotten a lot of time on the field (in practice), missed a little bit of time recently but it was good to get him back.”

On the right leg injury to fullback James Develin (no update postgame):

“Hate to see that.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo each threw a touchdown pass and Stephen Gostkowski hit another long field goal as the Patriots won their second preseason game with a 17-16 win over the Panthers at

Scott Chandler beats Thomas Davis of the Panthers to haul in a  touchdown pass from Tom Brady Friday night. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Scott Chandler beats Thomas Davis of the Panthers to haul in a touchdown pass from Tom Brady Friday night. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo each threw a touchdown pass and Stephen Gostkowski hit another long field goal as the Patriots won their second preseason game with a 17-16 win over the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Brady played all seven series in the first half, leading the Patriots to just 45 total yards on the first six. Brady was flushed out of the pocket twice, leading to a pair of runs for 18 yards. He was sacked once.

But on the seventh, and in the two minute drill, Brady finally turned it on, completing 5-of-6 passes for 71 yards. The final drive just before the half was capped off when Brady threw a perfect touch pass to Chandler down the left sideline. The new Patriots tight end hauled it in for Brady’s first touchdown pass in three preseason games with 50 seconds left in the first half.

Before that pass, Brady was just 2-for-7 for 13 yards and two interceptions. Both interceptions came on passes intended for Aaron Dobson. On the first pass, Brady threw down the middle and the pass hit Dobson in the hands. As Dobson fell to the ground, he was stripped by 13-year veteran Charles Tillman.

On the next series of the first quarter, Brady threw over the middle for Dobson and was picked off by Kurt Coleman, who undercut the route. Brady finished 7-of-13 for 84 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

[For the full box, click here.]

Jimmy Garoppolo, who finished 13-of-17 yards for 126 yards, came on to start the second half for the Patriots after Cam Newton opened the third quarter with a nine-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by a 3-yard TD pass in the flat to Mike Tolbert.

Garoppolo looked shaky on his first series, nearly getting intercepted for a sure pick-6 by corner Bene Benwikere. One play later, Garoppolo threw to the other side of the field and was nearly intercepted again. Both reprieves were the result of Carolina drops.

The Patriots defense was outstanding in situation football in the first half, again coming up with two big red area stops. The Patriots defense was given a reprieve late in the second quarter when Corey Brown dropped a sure touchdown from Newton from the Patriots 30. Several plays later, the Brown dropped a sure first down at the Patriots 5. The two drops led to a 30-yard Graham Gano field goal that put the Panthers up, 6-0.

The Patriots defensive line showed very strong in the first half, with rookie Malcom Brown and Chandler Jones getting good push and pressure on Newton. Jerod Mayo made his first start of the preseason and combined with fellow linebacker Jamie Collins (wearing green dot) to stop the Panthers on the first drive on third and fourth down runs.

After a 39-yard field goal from Gano grew the Panthers lead to 16-7, Garoppolo had his best series of the night. He connected on a 40-yard pass down the right side to Dobson to the Panthers 9. On the very next play, Garoppolo fired a crisp pass to Dion Lewis on a slant in the end zone to cut the lead to 16-14.

LeGarrette Blount did not start but played almost exclusively as the feature back in the second half.

With 8:01 left in the fourth quarter, the Patriots sustained what could be a significant loss to their offense when one of Tom Brady‘s most dependable fullbacks James Develin was carted off the field. His right foot appeared to stick in the grass and then when it let go, it crashed into oncoming safety Dean Marlowe. Medical staff looked closely at Develin’s right ankle.

Moments later, Stephen Gostkowski connected on yet another long field goal, hitting from 53 yards to give the Patriots a 17-16 lead.

The Patriots conclude the preseason next Thursday night at Gillette Stadium with their annual preseason battle against the Giants at 7:30 p.m.

DraftKings Kick off this football season with the biggest fantasy football contest ever on DraftKings! Prizes worth $10 million are up for grabs, including $2 million for first AND $1 million for second! PLAY IN THE WEEK 1 MILLIONAIRE MAKER, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Patriots tight end Scott Chandler returned to practice this week and then caught a nice 18-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in Friday night’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.

Chandler’s wife, Alissa, and three daughters were watching at home, and Alissa tweeted out this video of their daughters’ adorable reaction to the touchdown:

Blog Author: 
WEEI

It gets worse and worse for Chris Mortensen.