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Game Notes: 11 veteran players make their Patriots debut

INDIVIDUAL NOTES  

JIMMY GAROPPOLO MAKES THE START

Jimmy Garoppolo made his second preseason start and played the entire first half, finishing 11-of-18 for 168 yards. His first preseason start was on Aug. 14, 2014 vs. the New York Giants when he played the entire game and finished 22-of-42 for 284 yards with one touchdown and one interception. 

11 VETERAN PLAYERS MAKE THEIR DEBUT IN A PATRIOTS UNIFORM

Of the 16 veteran players that are new to the Patriots in 2016, 11 of them made their debut in a Patriots uniform: DB E.J. Biggers, TE Clay Harbor, LB Ramon Humber, DL Terrance Knighton, DL Markus Kuhn, DL Chris Long, LB Shea McClellin, TE Bear Pascoe, WR Nate Washington, TE Martellus Bennett and DB Vinnie Sunseri.

ALL NINE OF THE PATRIOTS 2016 DRAFT PICKS SAW ACTION; TWO STARTED

All nine of the Patriots 2016 draft picks played in the game with second-round pick CB Cyrus Jones and third-round pick OL Joe Thuney in the starting lineups. Jones started at right cornerback for Logan Ryan, while Thuney started at left guard for Josh Kline. 

STARTING BLOCKS

With Jones and Thuney in the starting lineup, New England has now had at least one rookie in the starting lineup in the preseason opener for eight straight seasons. 

PATRIOTS ROOKIES IN THE STARTING LINEUP

2016 – second-round pick CB Cyrus Jones and third-round pick OL Joe Thuney. 
2015 – first-round pick DL Malcom Brown, fourth-round picks OL Tre' Jackson and OL Shaq Mason, seventh-round pick DB Darryl Roberts and rookie free agent OL David Andrews. 
2014 – Rookie free agents TE Asa Watson and CB Malcolm Butler
2013 – second-round WR Aaron Dobson
2012 - first-round picks DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont'a Hightower . 
2011 - first-round pick T Nate Solder and fifth-round pick TE Lee Smith
2010 - first-round pick CB Devin McCourty and second-round pick LB Brandon Spikes started against on defense, while second-round pick TE Rob Gronkowski and fourth-round pick TE Aaron Hernandez started on offense. 
2009 – sixth-round pick DL Myron Pryor

PATRIOTS DEFENSE FORCED FOUR TURNOVERS;CONVERTS TURNOVERS TO 22 POINTS

1.) DL Jabaal Sheard forced a fumble on the first drive that was recovered by rookie Cyrus Jones to end the Saints first drive. 

2.) LB Jamie Collins picked off a pass from Saints QB Garrett Grayson and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Collins has recorded three regular season interceptions and two postseason interceptions in his career. He has one career touchdown, returning a fumble 14 yards for a touchdown at the New York Jets on Dec. 27, 2015. 

3.) Rookie free agent CB Cre' von LeBlanc picked off a QB Luke McCown pass in the end zone to end a Saints drive in the third quarter. The Patriots took over and scored on the drive when RB Tyler Gaffney ran it into the end zone on a 44-yard run. 

4.) In the fourth quarter DL Trey Flowers forced a fumble on an 18-yard sack and returned the fumble 17 yards for a touchdown. 

G SHAQ MASON START AT RIGHT GUARD

Shaq Mason started at right guard. As a rookie in 2015, he started 10 games at left guard. 

FB JAMES DEVELIN MAKES SUCCESSFUL RETURN

FB James Develin made a successful return to action after missing all of last season with a leg injury suffered in a preseason game at Carolina (8/28). 

JAMES WHITE REGISTERS A 56-YARD RECEPTION TO SET UP A TD

James White caught a short pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in the second quarter and turned the play into a 56-yard gain to the 1-yard line to set up a touchdown. White has one 50-yard reception in the regular season. He connected with Tom Brady for a 68-yard gain at Miami in the 2015 regular season finale on Jan. 3, 2016. 

ROOKIE QB JACOBY BRISSETT PLAYED THE ENTIRE SECOND HALF

Second-round draft pick QB Jacoby Brissett entered the game in the second half and played the rest of the way, finishing 7-of-13 for 63 yards. 

GAFFNEY SCORES ON A 44-YARD TOUCHDOWN RUN

RB Tyler Gaffney scored on a 44-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Gaffney finished the game with 9 rushing attempts for 64 yards and a touchdown. He also caught 2 passes for 7 yards. 

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