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Garoppolo sharp in Patriots' preseason loss

Staff Report
August 11. 2017 4:46AM
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory runs the ball against New England Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones in the first quarter of Thursday's game at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo had a strong night, but the Patriots’ secondary didn’t as New England dropped Thursday night’s NFL preseason opener, 31-24, to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and a number of other starters didn’t play in the first game of the preseason for both teams.

Garoppolo went 22-for-28 for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Jacoby Brissett went 8-for-13 for 88 yards and no touchdowns.

Tied 3-3 in the second quarter, the Jaguars’ Chad Henne connected with Keelan Cole on a 97-yard touchdown pass on first and 10 from the Jaguars’ 3-yard line. Cyrus Jones, a 2016 second-round draft pick who struggled on special teams last year, was burned in coverage.

The Jaguars scored on their next possession with the big play a defensive pass interference call against New England’s Jason Thompson.

Leonard Fournette bulldozed his way in from 2 yards out to make it 17-3.

New England answered with a touchdown right before the half, as Garoppolo led a 76-yard, nine-play drive. He went 7-for-7, connecting with Dion Lewis for 5 and 11 yards, K.J. Maye for 1 yard, Austin Carr for 20 and 4, and Carr for the 3-yard touchdown. That made it 17-10 at half.

The Pats tied the game with their first possession after halftime as Garoppolo led the team 74 yards on seven plays, going 3-for-3 on passes to Devin Lucien for 17, Jacob Hollister for 38 and Maye 5 yards for the score.

The Jaguars needed just one play to go ahead again as Corey Grant rumbled left for 79 yards and a 24-17 lead.

New England was driving for the tying score when D.J. Foster fumbled on the Jacksonville 8. The Jaguars recovered.

Later in the quarter, the Jaguars went ahead 31-17 as Brandon Allen connected with Dede Westbrook for a 42-yard touchdown. Once again, Jones was torched in coverage.

Brissett took over as quarterback and marched the Patriots 77 yards in 10 plays to make it 31-24. Foster scored from 3 yards out. Brissett connected with Hollister for 15 yards and Sam Cotton for 22 on the drive.


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