FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady’s offense and the New England Patriots’ defense dominated the Carolina Panthers.
Brady threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 60-yard field goal and the Patriots shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers 30-7 on Friday night.
“We could have lost 30-7. None of it’s going to matter two weeks from now” in the season opener, Brady said. “It’s not so much the final score. It’s just more how guys are playing.”
The third exhibition game for both teams was no contest as the Patriots outgained the Panthers 405-271.
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“There was no consistency in the way we played,” said Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who may use his regulars longer than he had hoped next Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. “It’s something that has to be corrected and has to be fixed now.”
Brady led the Patriots (2-1) to scores on three of his five series and completed 17 of 21 passes. Newton was 8 for 12 for 88 yards and was sacked three times. All five of his possessions for the Panthers (1-2) ended in punts.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rex Ryan saw enough to finally reveal the New York Jets’ worst-kept secret.
Yes, Geno Smith — and not Michael Vick — will be the team’s starting quarterback this season.
“He’s done everything that we’ve asked,” Ryan said after Smith threw a touchdown pass in the Jets’ 35-24 exhibition loss to the Giants.
Smith looked every bit like a cool and confident starting quarterback in this one, finishing 9 of 14 for 137 yards, including a 1-yard scoring toss to rookie Jace Amaro. Vick replaced Smith to start the second half for the Jets (2-1) and led an 11-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a go-ahead 3-yard TD toss to Eric Decker against the Giants’ backups. Vick finished 4 of 5 for 35 yards in his two series against the Giants (4-0).
At Packers 31, Raiders 21
Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Lacy rumbled for a 1-yard score on Green Bay’s opening drive and prized free-agent acquisition Julius Peppers recorded his first sack in a victory over Oakland (1-2).
Rodgers, who finished 9 of 20 for 139 yards playing into the second quarter for the Packers (2-1).
At Lions 13, Jaguars 12
Reggie Bush broke free for an 86-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, one of only a few offensive highlights as Detroit (2-1) edged Jacksonville in a penalty-filled game. Blake Bortles threw for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Jaguars (1-2).
• New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was fined $30,000 for twice dunking over the goal post during an exhibition game against Tennessee last week.
• Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was fined $12,000 by the NFL for directing a middle-finger salute at Washington’s bench Monday night.
• Kansas City Chiefs tackle Donald Stephenson was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
• Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o will miss the third exhibition game with a sprained foot.