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Patriots-Redskins Live Blog: Pats Drop Preseason Opener In Ugly Fashion

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
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New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

BOSTON (CBS) — Follow along for all the updates from the Patriots’ preseason opener against the Washington Redskins!

Final: Redskins 23, Patriots 6: That was bad, but at least it’s only the first preseason game for the Patriots. And now Bill Belichick will have plenty to hammer his team on as they head into next week’s joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Patriots couldn’t get much going on offense, and they struggled on defense and special teams as well. Ryan Mallett was inconsitent in his half of football, going 5-for-12 for 55 yards. There was absolutely no “popping” from the backup tonight, and things looked even worse for Mallett when Jimmy Garoppolo came in and played well. The rookie quarterback finished his “debut” 9-for-13 for 157 yards and a touchdown.

The good news is most of the New England starters watched the game from the bench. There was no Brady and no Revis, so the best players on either side of the ball were just spectators. Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly did hit the field for a series, which is a good sign for the two recovering defensive linemen. 

The Patriots gave up 177 rush yards in this one, and were out-gained 387 to 254. The Pats were flagged a total of nine times for 81 yards, and they also turned the ball over by way of a fumble.

There’s plenty of work to do, but that’s what the preseason is for. Maybe next Friday at Gillette, we’ll see some more starters and get a better feel of where the team is actually at.

Stick with CBSBostonsports.com, WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub for all the postgame reaction and analysis from this one.

4th Quarter, 1:23 — Redskins 23, Patriots 6: Hey, a touchdown!

The Garoppolo-Tyms connection has been a great one in the second half, and the Pats’ rookie quarterback hit the wide out for a 26-yard strike into the end zone. It was a beautiful throw by the rook, and the Patriots are finally on the board with just under 90 seconds to go.

They missed on the two-point conversion, but it’s good to see the rookie handle the two-minute drill very well. He looks very poised under center.

4th Quarter, 6:42: A quick three-and-out for the Patriots as the offense remains stagnant in Maryland.

Garoppolo showed off his feet on a nice nine-yard scramble on first down, but that was all the Pats could manage on the drive. Grey was stuffed up the middle on second down, and Garoppolo couldn’t hook up with Finch deep on a wheel route. He overthrew him by just a few inches, but those are the breaks in football.

At least Ryan Allen is getting a workout tonight.

4th Quarter, 8:45: Pressure on the quarterback has been non-existent this evening, but second-year linebacker Michael Buchanan just notched the team’s first sack.

Buchanan got to McCoy on a 3rd-and-10 on the New England 21, so Washington had to settle for a field goal to put them on top 23-0.

Who cares about the score anymore though. It’s time for more Garoppolo — which brings us to more Levan Reid:

Very tough game to watch so let’s just focus on Jimmy Garoppolo and his production.

Jimmy gets the start in the 3rd quarter and the Garoppolo-led offense moves the ball. They get a long pass to Tyms, then forces a pass interference. The Pats get inside the ten, go for it on 4th and goal and Garoppolo to Josh Boyce does not hook up.  Finally though there is some life in the game.

4th Quarter, 14:37: And that drive had so much promise.

After Garoppolo connected with Tyms on a beautiful 53-yard deep ball, rookie running back Stephen Houston was stripped and fumbled the ball away.

So still no end zone for the Patriots in this one.

End 3rd Quarter — Redskins 20, Patriots 0: Garoppolo completed a nice pass to Tyms over the middle for a 14 yard gain to start the Pats’ latest drive, which now has them set up at their own 22-yard line when things get underway in the fourth quarter.

The game has a much different feel with Garoppolo under center.

3rd Quarter, 1:31:  The Patriots defense came up with a stop, but Finch nearly muffed the punt and turned it over.

Nothing is coming easy for the Patriots tonight. But Jimmy G will be back on the field when play resumes.

3rd Quarter, 3:44: It didn’t result in any points, but Garoppolo led the Patriots on their best drive of the evening.

He got the Patriots down to the Washington four-yard line before turning it over on downs. His first NFL (preseason) pass went incomplete to Justin Jones, but he hooked up with Boyce for seven yards on the very next play.

A few plays later, Garoppolo went deep to rookie receiver Brian Tyms, and Tyms made a very nice effort to make a juggling catch with a defender all over him. Instead, Washington was flagged for pass interference and the Patriots set up shop inside the Washington 10.

Garoppolo overthrew Tyms in the end zone on 2nd-and-goal, and after a Finch rush went nowhere the offense stayed on the field for 4th-and-goal. Garoppolo bought some time with his mobility, but his pass to Boyce was knocked down and there remains a big zero next to the Patriots on the scoreboard.

But with Garoppolo in the game, the Patriots offense looked better than the first half. The rookie quarterback went 2-for-5 for 15 yards on his first drive.

3rd Quarter, 8:46 — Redskins 20, Patriots 0: It’s getting worse for the Patriots.

Colt McCoy picked up where Cousins left off, and led the Redskins on a 65-yard drive capped off with a seven-yard touchdown to tight end Ted Bolser.

The Patriots will have a new quarterback, as Jimmy Garoppolo will get his first action in a Patriots uniform. This is the first NFL game the kid has ever attended.

Halftime — Redskins 13, Patriots 0: Inconsistency was the name of the game for the Patriots in the first half.

About the only thing they did on a consistent basis was get flagged for penalties. The Patriots were hit with six flags for 65 yards, including numerous personal fouls.

Mallett was inconsistent throughout the half, connecting on only five of his 12 passes for 55 yards. The offense as a whole tallied just 80 total yards, compared to 183 by the Redskins. It’ll be interesting to see if Mallett gets to play the entire second half, or if he continues to struggle and the Patriots give Jimmy Garoppolo a chance.

Washington’s backup, Kirk Cousins, on the other hand is making it look easy. He is 9-for-13 for 103 yards and a touchdown.

Washington racked up 15 first downs in the first half while New England mustered just five. We’ll see what adjustments the Patriots make at halftime, and if they make a difference in the second half.

Here are some second quarter observations from WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid:

Pats with the ball and they are moving it. Mallett showing off his gun. James White has entered the game and the rookie is trying to run the rock. They get to a third down and Mallett and Lafell do not connect. The Pats turn the ball over on downs.

Redskins first possession of the quarter and Washington starts deep in their own territory. The one foot line. Cousins gets them out. He hits Robinson, in the middle of the field and gives the Redskins some breathing room. Washington keeps moving the ball but the Pats defense stops them and the Redskins miss on a 46 yard field goal.

Pats second possession of the quarter and Ryan Mallett is inconsistent. He hits on one play and then misses on another. Not what the Pats were looking for. The drive ends with Stephen Gostkowski missing on a long field goal.

Redskins get the ball and the Pats have an injury. Chris Jones goes down with a leg injury. He walks off on his own power but he’s hurt. Pats hold the Redskins to another field goal attempt.

2nd Quarter, 0:36: Three more points for Washington after a nine-play, 47-yard drive against the Patriots defense.

2nd Quarter, 0:45: Defensive tackle Chris Jones just had to be helped off the field after having suffering what appeared to be a knee injury.

Jones was a good fill-in on the defensive line last season when both Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly went down. Losing him would hurt the d-line’s depth, so we’ll have to keep an eye on his condition in the coming weeks.

2nd Quarter, 3:35 — Redskins 10, Patriots 0: Nothing is going right for the Patriots in this one, and that is no overstatement.

After another stalled drive, Stephen Gostkowski missed a 54-yard field goal that would have put the Patriots on the board.

Mallett was inconsistent again on the drive. He missing badly on his final two pass attempts to Boyce and Finch, though it looked like none of the players were on the same page at any point.

Mallett did hit James Develin for a first down on a 3rd-and-2, so if you love fullbacks you at least got a little something out of the latest drive to nowhere.

The Pats have just 69 total yards of offense.

2nd Quarter, 6:17: The Patriots’ D gets a stop and Washington missed a 46-yard field goal, but it wasn’t pretty.

The Pats surrendered a nice of field thanks to some poor placement by Logan Ryan and a penalty on Malcolm Butler.

With Washington on their own one-yard line on second down, Robinson beat Ryan over the middle of the field again, and Cousins hit him for a 23 yard gain. A few plays later, Butler was whistled for a 15-yard personal foul after sending Ryan Grant to the ground with some force.

The Patriots have now been flagged five times for 50 yards.

2nd Quarter, 12:48: Mallett hit LaFell for a nice 11-yard gain to start the quarter, but that would be it for the Patriots on their last drive.

Rookie James White gained six yards on a first-down run, but was stuffed on second down and Mallett couldn’t connect with LaFell on third-down, setting up another New England punt.

The offense is playing better after a very sluggish start, but they still need to put together a nice drive and get some points on the board.

The Redskins will take over on their own one-yard line, so we’ll see if the defense can hold and give Mallett and company some nice field position to work with.

End 1st Quarter — Redskins 10, Patriots 0:

Mallett looks to be OK after his rough slide, as he completed a pair of third down passes.

One of them didn’t count, as he hit Kenbrell Thompkins for enough yards to move the chains, but it was whipped out by an offensive holding call.

But facing a 3rd-and-10, Mallett hit Josh Boyce over the middle for 15 yards an a first down to close out the quarter.

Mallett finished 2-for-30 for 20 yards in his first quarter of preseason football. The Patriots finished with 29 total yards, with 35 penalty yards.

It’s been ugly, but at least it’s football.

Here are some first quarter thoughts from WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid:

- Ryan Mallett gets the start.  First test happens on a 3rd-and-7 and Ryan seemed to convert. He scrambled and found Brandon Lafell. The play was called back for holding. The Pats end up punting the ball away.

- Good to see Tommy Kelly and Vince Wilfork out there for the Pats’ D. Redskins convert on their first third and short. Washington is running the ball well with Alfred Morris. The Redskins get close but Malcolm Butler makes a solid play in the end zone. Redskins settle for a field goal.

- Second possession of the quarter for Ryan Mallett and the Pats offense and the get nothing. 3 and out. Mallett had a bad throw and he was sacked during that drive.

- Redskins second possession of the quarter. RG3 is out and Kirk Cousins is in and he’s moving the rock. 2nd 15 and they convert for 16 yards. On the first drive the Redskins used the run, now they are beating the Pats with the play action. All of a sudden the penalties that people were talking about have come into action. A couplso f holding calls and some pushing and shoving. Cousins end the drive with a touchdown to Robinson. The Pats look tired.

- Ensuing kick off Roy Finch fumbles the rock after making a couple of guys miss. Coach went right over to Finch and put it back in the game. Preseason rules so they gave the kid a second try. Coach does not want to cut that kid.

- Mallett back in for third possession of the quarter and he looks like he hurts himself on a slide. Pats try and convert on a third down and Josh Boyce is offsides. Mallett completes to Boyce though for a first down on the next play. 

Pats down 10-nothing after one

1st Quarter, 0:55: Mallett just took the ball himself on a play-action play, and grabbed his knee after taking an awkward slide after gaining three yards.

1st Quarter, 2:06: Early lesson learned by rookie running back Roy Finch.

The back made a nice move to get some open field on a kick return, but then he coughed up the ball thanks to some horrible ball security. Luckily for him, the Redskins were offsides and the fumble didn’t count (not that any of this counts).

Belichick went right up to Finch on the sidelines after his miscue.

So now we’ve had miscues in all three phases of the game for the Patriots.

1st Quarter, 2:18 — Redskins 10, Patriots 0: The Patriots were caught napping in the middle of the red zone, and Kirk Cousins took advantage.

Cousins zipped a 10-yard pass to Aldrick Robinson through the Patriots secondary, freezing Logan Ryan in the middle of the field, and Robinson stepped in for the touchdown.

It was a nine play drive for the Redskins, covering 60 yards in 4:17.

The Patriots defense looks a little slow-footed to start the preseason. Maybe they felt a little too good after “dominating” the Redskins in practice this week.

1st Quarter, 3:59: We’ve got our first illegal contact flag of the game, and no surprise, it was Brandon Browner who was flagged for the infraction.

There wasn’t much contact, but Browner grabbed Robinson’s jersey and that was enough for the flag. That’s how they’ll be calling it this season, so we’ll see how long it takes for Browner to get really upset with these flags.

1st Quarter, 6:40: Just as soon as they took the field, Mallett and the Patriots’ offense was off of it.

After missing LaFell on first down, Mallett was sacked for a five-yard loss when Nate Solder couldn’t handle Brian Orakpo. The Pats ran the ball on 3rd-and-15 on their own 15, and were forced to punt it away when Shane Vereen

Mallett is 1-for-2 over his first two drives, and the Patriots offense has just nine total yards.

Kanorris Davis made a nice play on special teams though, making a tackle on New England’s punt despite losing his helmet on the way up the field.

1st Quarter, 7:58 — Redskins 3, Patriots 0:  The Redskins offense ran all over the Pats defense on their first drive, with Alfred Morris and Roy Helu combining for 31 yards on six carries, but the D kept Washington out of the end zone and they had to settle for a field goal.

Robert Griffin III tried to hit Aldrick Robinson in the end zone on third down, and the receiver made a nice athletic catch over corner Malcolm Butler, but his hand came down out of bounds and Washington settled for three points.

1st Quarter: Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly and Brandon Browner are all starting for the Patriots, but they’re the only No. 1’s out there on the defense.

But at least you have that Revis warmup video to watch, right?!?!

1st Quarter, 12:48: Not much doing for the Patriots on their first possession of the preseason.

After a pair of Stevan Ridley runs got just three yards, Mallett bought some time in the pocket and hit Brandon LaFell for a first down. But Mallett’s efforts were for nothing, as a hold on Nate Solder (or Josh Kline, depending who you ask) whipped the play out. Mallett hit LaFell again on a 3rd-and-17, but it wasn’t enough and the Pats were forced to punt.

Logan Mankins and Ryan Wendell were not out there on the offensive line for New England.

7:35 p.m.: The Patriots won the coin toss and have elected to receive to start the game. We’re just a few short moments away from sweet, glorious football.

7:25 p.m.: We’re just a few minutes away from kickoff, and here’s the list of players who didn’t dress for the Patriots:

WRs Aaron Dobson, Matthew Slater, Jeremy Gallon

DBs Jemea Thomas, Alfonzo Dennard

RBs Tyler Gaffney, Brandon Bolden

LBs Cameron Gordon, Ja’Gared Davis

TEs Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, D.J. Williams

C Bryan Stork

T Chris Martin

DL Dominique Easley

DE Jake Bequette

DT Sealver Siliga

6:45 p.m.: We’re just about 45 minutes away from kickoff, with both teams now on the field getting ready for their first action of the preseason.

Bill Belichick just confirmed on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Patriots Preview show that Tom Brady will not play tonight. Brady was on the field in full warmups, but it’s not uncommon for No. 12 to take the field ahead of preseason games he isn’t playing in. The man just loves football.

The coach also said that Rob Gronkowski will practice next week, a good step forward for the recovering tight end.

If you can’t wait for football, here is some video of Revis warming up for the Patriots:

Washington’s DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, both out tonight, played a game of catch with some fans while they were on the field during warmups.

6:06 p.m.: As expected, Darrelle Revis will not have to worry about Washington’s top receiving option tonight.

DeSean Jackson has been officially ruled out for tonight’s tilt, according to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer.

Fellow receiver Pierre Garcon is also out for Washington, and on the defensive side safety Ryan Clark is out. That should make life a little easier for Ryan Mallet this evening.

5:30 p.m.:  It’s been 200 days since the Patriots last took the field in game action, and even though nothing really counts tonight, it’s a night with plenty of excitement.

Football is here, and that’s all that matters. The Patriots kick off their preseason schedule against the Washington Redskins at Fedex Field in Maryland, and while it will lack some of the New England star power, we’ve still got plenty to look forward to.

Tom Brady will get the night off, as will the recovering Rob Gronkowski, who stayed home this week as the Patriots held three joint practices with the Redskins. With Brady out, Ryan Mallett is expected to get the start and a chance to showcase what he’s learned heading into his fourth year in New England.

Mallett hasn’t done much on the field, throwing just four passes in games that count, and he’s had some very mixed reviews in camp. This is a very important preseason for him, as it’s likely his final chance to show that he can be an NFL quarterback before hitting free agency this offseason. A strong showing over the next four games could increase his value, and could even lead to an early-season trade if a team has a need for a quarterback.

Mallett also has a rookie hoping to steal some snaps from him in Jimmy Garroppolo, who will likely see his first NFL action late in the game.

If Mallett doesn’t excite you, don’t worry, there are some stars expected to suit up tonight. Darrelle Revis has already hit the field for warmups and fans will get their first glimpse of the super corner in a Patriots uniform. It’s unclear how much he’ll play, but just seeing Revis on the field in a game, for the Patriots, is a sight we’ve been waiting to see all summer.

Keep an eye out for the Revis-Brandon Browner duo early in the game, because they may not be out there for too long. The same goes for fellow defensive veterans Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly and Jerod Mayo, who are all coming back from season-ending injuries last season.

As for rookies to keep an eye on, running back James White has drawn praise from nearly everyone on the offensive side. The fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin could get plenty of run in the second half tonight, after Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen get their share of action in the first half.

Tight end depth is a concern for the Patriots, and with Gronk and Michael Hoomanawanui out against Washington, undrafted rookie Justin Jones will get to show off what he can do. The East Carolina product is huge, standing at 6-foot-8 and 275 pounds, and a strong preseason can inch him closer to a roster spot.

Stick with CBSBostonsports.com all night for all the updates from Maryland, and tune in to tonight’s game on WBZ-TV or 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots.

MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON

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