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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Saints

The Patriots opened the preseason at home with a 27-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The following are notes from the game.


BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. New Orleans Saints.

*The Patriots opened the preseason at home for only the second time in the last six years and the first time since the 2008 season against Baltimore.

*LB Jerod Mayo and the newest member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, Sam "Bam" Cunningham served as game captains. Cunningham was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in a ceremony prior the game.

*QB Tom Brady started the game and played the entire first quarter, finishing the game 5-of-8 for 67 yards. The Patriots scored a field goal and a touchdown on Brady's two offensive drives, including a 14-play, 93-yard drive that was culminated by a 6-yard touchdown run by RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. During that touchdown drive, Brady completed three passes of 20 yards or more with a 23-yard pass to Randy Moss, a 20-yard pass to Brandon Tate and a 21-yard pass play to Julian Edelman.

*Eleven of the 12 Patriots 2010 draft picks made their NFL debut tonight, including four that were in the starting lineup. 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. WR Taylor Price, P Zoltan Mesko, OL Ted Larsen, OL Thomas Welch, DL Brandon Deaderick, DL Kade Weston and QB Zac Robinson saw action as reserves. Second-round pick DE Jermaine Cunningham did not dress for the game.

*WR Julian Edelman led the team with six receptions for 90 yards, including five receptions for 78 yards in the first half with a 21-yard pass from Tom Brady in first quarter and a 25 yarder in the second from Brian Hoyer.

*First-round draft pick CB Devin McCourty had two 50-yard kickoff returns in the second quarter. He returned the second half kickoff 52 yards and then added a 50 yarder later in the period. Last year as a senior at Rutgers, McCourty returned 14 kicks for 356 yards, including one that he returned 98 yards for a touchdown.

*Six newly acquired veteran free agents made their Patriots debut (RB Thomas Clayton, TE Alge Crumpler, G Eric Ghiaciuc, DL Damione Lewis, LB Marques Murrell and DL Gerard Warren). Two of them were in the starting lineup with Murell starting at linebacker and Crumpler starting at tight end.

*Backup QB Brian Hoyer entered the game in the second quarter and engineered a 10-play, 79-yard drive that ended on a 5-yard touchdown run by Laurence Maroney on his first series. Hoyer was 4-of-5 for 49 yards on that drive. He played the entire second quarter and most of the third quarter, finishing 8-of-13 for 106 yards.

*Fifth-round draft pick Zoltan Mesko had five punts with 3 landing inside the 20-yard line.

*RB Laurence Maroney scored two touchdowns with a 5-yard scoring run in the second quarter and a 1-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

*First-year WR Darnell Jenkins set up the game-winning field goal with a short pass reception from QB Zac Robinson that was turned into a 52-yard gain to the New Orleans12-yard line with under two minutes remaining. K Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 28-yard field goal with 57 seconds remaining to give the Patriots a 27-24 lead.

*LB Eric Alexander intercepted Saints QB Chase Daniel with 48 seconds to play to seal the victory.

*WR Matthew Slater, CB Leigh Bodden, DB Bret Lockett, DB Terrence Johnson, LB Gary Guyton, T Nick Kaczur, WR Wes Welker, WR Torry Holt, DL Ty Warren, DE Jermaine Cunningham, DL Ron Brace and S Josh Barrett did not dress for the game.

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