BALTIMORE — Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown and the Carolina Panthers’ defense scored three times in a 34-27 exhibition victory over the mistake-prone Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.
Drayton Florence took an interception 71 yards into the end zone, Thomas Davis scored on a 2-yard fumble return and linebacker Luke Kuechly picked off another of Joe Flacco’ passes late in the second quarter to set up a 54-yard field goal by Graham Gano for a 24-7 lead.
Carolina (2-1) had only 67 yards of offense before halftime, yet reeled off 24 straight points after Baltimore (2-1) scored on its first possession.
Late in the third quarter, D.J. Moore intercepted a pass by Tyrod Taylor and ran 31 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-17.
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Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP, played into the third quarter and went 18 for 24 for 169 yards and a touchdown. In three exhibition games, he has two TD passes and three interceptions.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 10 of 19 passes for 99 yards.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. — Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was indicted on first-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of a friend whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from the ex-player’s home.
The six-count grand jury indictment charges Hernandez with killing 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.
Hernandez, 23, is being held without bail.
The Bristol County grand jury also indicted two others in the case: Hernandez associate Ernest Wallace and Hernandez’s cousin Tanya Singleton.
Wallace is charged with accessory to murder after the fact. Prosecutors have said he was with Hernandez the night Lloyd died.
Singleton is charged with criminal contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury. She has been jailed since Aug. 1.
At Lions 40, Patriots 9
Reggie Bush had five catches for 103 yards to help Detroit rout New England.
The Patriots’ first-team offense, which was precise and efficient in the first two games of the exhibition season, was anything but in No. 3. Tight end Zach Sudfeld and running backs Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen lost fumbles and Tom Brady threw an interception in four of New England’s first five possessions. The other possession was a three-and-out that ended with Zoltan Mesko’s punt.
Brady completed 16 of 24 for 185 yards and the second-quarter interception by Detroit cornerback Chris Houston.
Detroit starter Matthew Stafford finished 12 of 25 for 166 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Mallett directed the Patriots for the entire second half with New England’s coaches opting not to play third-stringer Tim Tebow. A contingent of fans at the game broke into a “We want Tebow!” chant.
• The San Francisco 49ers added another quarterback to the competition to be Colin Kaepernick’s backup, signing nine-year veteran Seneca Wallace to a one-year contract. While Colt McCoy had appeared to be the favorite to win the No. 2 job coming into camp, neither he nor Scott Tolzien have separated themselves. Wallace, a former longtime Seahawk, was cut Monday by New Orleans.
• The New York Jets said rookie Geno Smith will start the team’s third exhibition game Saturday. Mark Sanchez also will play, but the team hasn’t determined how to divvy up playing time. The Jets signed veteran wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.
• Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for wearing unauthorized apparel, a T-shirt with “Operation Patience” on it.