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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Eagles

The following are game notes from the New England Patriots preseason game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Friday, August 9, 2013.

*The Patriots began the 2013 preseason with a 31-22 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. New England has now won five straight preseason openers dating back to 2009 and are 10-4 (.714) in preseason openers since Bill Belichick became head coach in 2000.

*The Patriots offense rushed for over 248 yards against the Eagles. Last season, the Patriots rushed for over 200 yards two times, in back-to-back weeks with 247 yards at Buffalo (9/30) followed by 251 yards vs. Denver (10/7).

*QB Tom Brady started the game and played two series, which both ended in touchdowns. Brady did not attempt any passes on the first series that opened with a 62-yard run by RB Stevan Ridley and ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Ridley. Brady was 7-of-8 for 65 yards before connecting with RB Shane Vereen on a 13-yard touchdown pass on the second drive.

*QB Ryan Mallett entered the game after the first two series and played most of the second half before leaving late in the first half with a head injury. Mallett finished 9-of-18 for 97 yards.

*QB Tim Tebow entered the game at the end of the second quarter and played the rest of the game, finishing 4-of-12 for 55 yards. He also gained 31 yards rushing on four attempts.

*RB Stevan Ridley opened the game with a 62-yard run to help set up his 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. His longest run in the regular season was a 41-yard run at St. Louis in a game played in London on Oct. 28, 2012.

*Ridley, who had the fourth-highest rushing total in team history with 1,263 yards in 2012, finished the game 92 yards rushing on eight attempts with one touchdown.

*Newly acquired RB LeGarrette Blount scored on a 51-yard run in the second quarter. His longest run in the regular season was 54-yard touchdown at Green Bay on Nov. 20, 2011 while with Tampa Bay.

*Last season, the longest runs by the Patriots were a 47-yarder by Julian Edelman vs Indianapolis (11/18) and a 41-yarder by Stevan Ridley at St. Louis (10/28).

*Blount finished with 101 yards on 11 carries and scored on a 51-yard run and a 1-yard run. Blount has seven career NFL 100-yard games.

*All Seven of the Patriots 2013 draft picks made their debuts tonight with second-round pick WR Aaron Dobson in the starting lineup.

2012 Draft Class
Jamie Collins (second round)
Aaron Dobson (second round)
Logan Ryan (third round)
Duron Harmon (third round)
Josh Boyce (fourth round)
Michael Buchanan (seventh round)
Steve Beauharnais (seventh round)

*With second-round pick WR Aaron Dobson in the starting lineup, it marked the fifth straight year that a New England draft pick was in the starting lineup in the first preseason game.

Patriots Draft picks in the starting lineup
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 the 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

*TE Jake Ballard made a successful return to action against Philadelphia as he made his New England debut. Ballard was claimed off waivers from the New York Giants on June 12, 2012 but spent the entire season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list with a knee injury that occurred in Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots. Ballard started against the Eagles.

*Rookie free agent TE Zach Sudfeld from Nevada was in the starting lineup in a two-tight end alignment. He caught a 22-yard pass from QB Ryan Mallett in the second quarter that helped get the Patriots in position for a 34-yard field goal.

! *Ten of the 13 veteran players that are new to the Patriots this season made their first appearance in a Patriots' uniform tonight: WR Danny Amendola, DL Marcus Benard, LB A.J. Edds, WR Johnathan Haggerty, DL Tommy Kelly, OL Will Svitek, QB Tim Tebow, RB Leon Washington, DB Adrian Wilson and RB LeGarrette Blount

*Of that group, WR Danny Amendola, DL Tommy Kelly, OL Will Sviteck and DB Adrian Wilson were in the starting lineup.

*Veterans OL Tyronne Green, WR Michael Jenkins and OL Kevin Haslam did not dress.

*Newly acquired DL Tommy Kelly was credited with a forced fumble on a 6-yard sack of Philadelphia QB Nick Foles that was recovered by LB Brandon Spikes in the first quarter.

*The Patriots finished the game with one turnover. The Patriots have forced a turnover in 27 straight regular season games, dating back to 2011, and including all 16 games of 2012. The last team to have at least one forced turnover in all 16 regular season games was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

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