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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Jaguars

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.
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