The New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers have one half of football in the books.
While the score of this exhibition is ultimately meaningless, New England came out ahead at the midway point, which should be expected as it rolled out the majority of its starters — unlike Carolina. Mac Jones and the first-team Patriots offense started out a bit sluggish and punted on their opening two drives, but found a groove heading into the second quarter. That’s where they put together a 10-play, 81-yard drive that culminated in a Ty Montgomery rushing score. That was the end of the night for Jones, who finished 4-of-8 passing for 61 yards.
Meanwhile, the Panthers held out the bulk of their starters, leaving PJ Walker and rookie Matt Corral to man the offense. That duo has alternated between quarters as they compete for that third spot on Carolina’s opening 53-man roster. One Panther who will be a factor in Week 1 and played Friday was first-round tackle Ikem Ekwonu, although it wasn’t a particularly strong showing, as he gave up two sacks.
As the action continues to unfold, stay locked in with our live blog of this head-to-head below. There, you’ll find instant highlights and expert analysis all evening long.