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Game Notes: Gostkowski connects on a 60-yard field goal

Posted Aug 22, 2014

The following are game notes from the New England Patriots preseason game vs. the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on Friday, August 22, 2014.

*K Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 60-yard field goal before halftime. The longest field goal in Patriots history is a 57-yarder by Adam Vinatieri at Chicago in Champaign, Ill., on Nov. 10, 2002. The NFL record for the longest field goal is a 64-yarder by Denver’s Matt Prater on Dec. 8, 2013 vs. Tennessee. There have been 14 field goals of 60 or more yards by NFL kickers in the regular season since 1970. Gostkowski’s longest is a 54-yarder vs. New Orleans on Oct. 13, 2013.

*CB Malcolm Butler, a rookie free agent from West Alabama, made his third straight preseason start at right cornerback.

*OL Jordan Devey, a first-year player from Memphis who spent the 2013 season on the Patriots practice squad, made his third straight start when he lined up at right guard. Devey started at left guard at Washington and at right guard vs. Philadelphia.

*CB Alfonzo Dennard made his 2014 preseason debut after missing the first two preseason games.

*Second-year LB Steve Beauharnais made his second start of the preseason, lining up at middle linebacker in place of Jerod Mayo. Beauharnais started in the preseason opener at Washington. He intercepted QB Derek Anderson in the third quarter and returned the ball 61 yards to set up a field goal that gave the Patriots a 23-0 fourth-quarter lead.

*DL Chandler Jones ended the first two Carolina drives with third-down sacks. Last season, Jones led the team and finished seventh in the NFL with 11 ½ sacks. Jones has four career two-sack games, including three two-sack games in 2013.

*QB Tom Brady started the game and played the first two series before being relieved by QB Ryan Mallett for one series. Brady then returned to the game and played the rest of the first half and the first series in the second half. Brady finished the game 17-for-21 (81.0%) for 204 yards and two touchdowns.

*QB Ryan Mallett played on the Patriots’ third offensive series of the game and led the Patriots on their first scoring drive, which ended in a 47-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

*Rookie QB Jimmy Garoppolo entered the game for the Patriots’ second offensive series of the second half and led the Patriots on a 10-play, 32-yard field goal drive and a 12-play, 82-yard touchdown drive. Garoppolo finished the game 9-of-12 (75%) for 105 yards and a touchdown.

*Ryan Wendell made his first of the season at center. Wendell started all 16 games at center in 2012 and 2013. Dan Connolly stated at center in the first two preseason games.

*RB Shane Vereen scored on a 40-yard touchdown pass from QB Tom Brady in the second quarter. Last season, the Patriots had eight pass plays of 40 or more yards. Vereen has two receptions of 40 or more yards in the regular season, including a 50-yard reception vs. Cleveland (12-9-13) and a career-high 83-yard touchdown reception at the New York Jets (11-22-12). Vereen added a second touchdown on a 6-yard reception from Brady to cap off the Patriots’ first drive of the second half and give New England a 20-0 lead.

*Rookie Taylor McCuller, who played linebacker during his college career at West Texas A&M, caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter. McCuller also hauled in a 17-yard catch from Garoppolo earlier on the touchdown drive.

*Jeremy Gallon, the Patriots 2014 seventh-round draft pick, made his preseason debut at wide receiver in the fourth quarter.

*Patriots quarterbacks Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo combined to complete 28-of-36 passes (77.8%) for 323 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Through three preseason games, Patriots quarterbacks have completed 63-of-93 passes (67.0%) for 780 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception.

*Julian Edelman led Patriots receivers with eight receptions for 99 yards against Carolina. Edelman also had punt returns of 30 yards and 21 yards.