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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Jaguars

Posted Aug 11, 2011

The following are game notes from the New England Patriots Preseason game vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, August 11, 2011.

  • The Patriots opened the preseason with a 47-12 victory. The 47 points against the Jaguars are the most points they have ever scored in a preseason contest. The previous best was a 45-7 win vs. Washington on Sept. 4, 1977.
  • The last time the Patriots scored 40 or more points in a preseason game was a 41-0 win on August 26, 2006 vs. Washington.
  • QB Brian Hoyer started the game and played the entire first half before being relieved by third-round pick QB Ryan Mallett to start the second half. Hoyer completed 15-of-21 passes for 171 yards with one touchdown for a quarterback rating of 111.4. Hoyer completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to WR Taylor Price and a 43-yard completion to WR Mathew Slater in the second quarter. Hoyer has never started a regular-season game but made his second career preseason start tonight. He started the preseason finale as a rookie on August 3, 2009 vs. the New York Giants. He completed 18-of-24 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown against the Giants.
  • Six of the nine Patriots 2011 draft picks made their NFL debut tonight, including two that were in the starting lineup. First-round pick T Nate Solder started at left tackle and fifth-round pick TE Lee Smith both started on offense. Last season, four draft picks were in the starting lineup in the first preseason game. First-round pick CB Devin McCourty and second-round pick LB Brandon Spikes started against the Saints on defense, while second-round pick TE Rob Gronkowski and fourth-round pick TE Aaron Hernandez started on offense.
  • 2010 third-round pick RB Stevan Ridley had three touchdowns on the night with two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. He scored on 1-yard touchdown runs in the first and third quarter and then added a 16-yard touchdown reception from QB Ryan Mallett in the third quarter. Ridley finished the game with a 16 rushes for 64 yards and also caught seven passes for 47 yards.
  • Ridley’s multiple touchdown game marks the second consecutive season that the team had a rookie record multiple touchdowns in a preseason game. TE Rob Gronkowski had two touchdown receptions in a preseason game vs. St. Louis (8/26/10) last season.
  • Ridley’s three touchdowns are the most for a rookie in a single preseason game since 2006 when RB Patrick Cobbs had four touchdowns (3 rushing and 1 receiving).
  • PK Steven Gostkowski made a successful return to the field after being limited to just eight games last season due to a thigh injury. He kicked five extra points and two field goals with a 46 and 43-yard field goal in the second quarter.  Rookie K Chris Koepplin handled kickoffs.
  • 2010 third-round pick WR Taylor Price scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass from QB Brian Hoyer in the second quarter. Price turned a short completion from QB Ryan Mallett into a 50-yard perception early in the third quarter. He finished the game with a team-high 105 receiving yards on five receptions.
  • Third-Round pick QB Ryan Mallett entered the game in the second half. His first NFL completion was a 3-yard pass to rookie RB Stevan Ridley. Mallett led the Patriots on a 13-play, 82-yard drive that was culminated with a 1-yard touchdown run by Ridley on his first series. The highlight of that drive was a short completion to WR Taylor Price that turned into a 50-yard reception. Mallett finished the game 12-of-19 for 164 yards and one touchdown, a 16-yard scoring pass to RB Stevan Ridley.
  • LB Dane Fletcher had two tackles behind the scrimmage in the first half. He tackled Jacksonville RB Rashad Jennings for a six-yard loss in the first quarter and then tackled RB Montell Owens for no gain on a run in the second quarter.
  • WR Mathew Slater, who has played mostly on special teams during his three seasons in New England and has no regular-season receptions, caught a 43-yard reception from QB Brian Hoyer in the second quarter to help set up a field goal. 
  • First-year WR Buddy Farnham played both wide receiver and safety and intercepted a QB Todd Bouman in the fourth quarter. On offense, he caught three passes for 34 yards. Last season in the preseason-finale vs. the New York Giants (9/2/10), he played both ways and broke up a Giants pass in the end zone in the third quarter.
  • RB Richard Medlin, a rookie free agent from Fayetteville, scored two touchdowns with two 2-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter.