Gold Stars, Penalty Flags: Garoppolo, Carr & Hollister Shine In Patriots’ Preseason Opener

BOSTON (CBS) — Preseason game No. 1 is in the books, giving Bill Belichick and the coaching staff have something to look on film. The Patriots’ starters sat out Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Jaguars, so it was just the guys fighting for roster spots and playing time on the field.

Here are your gold stars and penalty flags from the 31-24 loss:

Gold Stars

– Jimmy Garoppolo gets a gold star. The Patriots’ backup QB has had an inconsistent camp so far, but when the lights came on Thursday night he was very good. He had a bit of a slow start, but in the end he finished 22-for-28 for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jimmy still needs to work on his accuracy but he is becoming as good as advertised, making some plays with his feet on Thursday night.

Undrafted rookie wide receiver Austin Carr gets a HUGE gold star. Carr turned heads in camp but the big question was how he would he handle the spotlight come game time. He did just fine on Thursday night with five catches for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Not to mention, that TD grab was the catch of the night.

The Pats are not going to be able to stash Carr on the practice squad, and if he keeps this up, he has a chance to make difference on this roster.

Tight End Jacob Hollister gets a gold star. He was the go-to guy against the Jags with seven catches (on nine targets) for 116 yards. The Pats are running a very competitive camp and Jacob is a testament to that. He’s come to play every practice and and it showed in the first preseason game. He made some tough catches in traffic and got up from some solid hits.

gettyimages 830161010 Gold Stars, Penalty Flags: Garoppolo, Carr & Hollister Shine In Patriots Preseason Opener

Jacob Hollister hurdles Jaguars defenders. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Let’s see if he can string a couple of these games together.

Penalty Flags

– Cyrus Jones gets a penalty flag. Whether it was his fault or the someone else’s, bad stuff seems to happen in Cyrus’ zip code. He was beat for a 97-yard passing play because he looked up and lost his spot. He got beat again on a 42-yard passing play, where it looked like he thought he might have some help from safety Jordan Richards.

This was the start of his second season and Cyrus has failed to produce. But at least he he didn’t fumble and of his kick returns on Thursday night.

– The defense as a whole gets a penalty flag. They gave up 447 yards of total offense and 207 yards on the ground. Matt Patricia’s defense let up three big plays and they all led to touchdowns. The next step is fixing that, which could also mean a couple of changes in the roster.

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