Patriots - Panthers: 3 things to watch for on Friday night in Carolina

Tom Brady looked sharp in his preseason debut, throwing a 33-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan in helping the New England Patriots to a 19-17 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers on Friday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Pats will obviously be without Tom Brady for the first four games of the season and much has been made about his absence and whether the team will be able to salvage without him but with Bill Belichick in command you can be sure that the Patriots will be just fine. In receiving Chris Hogan had 62 yards and a touchdown in five catches while Aaron Dobson added 49 yards in two catches.

Garoppolo enters the season with a plethora of options to look for in the passing game, including a two-headed monster at tight end composed of four-time First-team All-Pro Rob Gronkowski and newly acquired 2014 Pro Bowl selection Martellus Bennett.

While Brady has developed a late-career reputation for inefficiency on downfield passes, his willingness to pull the trigger stood in stark contrast to Garoppolo's reluctance to throw past the sticks. However, it wasn't all bad as a former second-round wide receiver continues his strong play in the preseason.

Trey Flowers - Flowers continued his strong preseason Friday night and led all defenders with six tackles including a sack, and was part of a Patriots pass rush that did a great job making things hard for Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. The result is a dropped signal, or a dropped ball in this case. Those players are looking to make the roster, but that means that some are on their way out.

It means next Thursday night's preseason finale in NY against the Giants may have a different feel.

Starting offensive linemen Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner were attended to after the first team's final drive. Offensive guard Andrew Norwell injured his right ankle.

North Korea test-fires submarine-launched ballistic missile
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Head coach Ron Rivera said after the game that Turner's shoulder was OK. Cash said after the game via that he is "fine".

Defensive lineman Terrance Knighton was noticeably absent from Friday night's action against the Panthers. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game and replaced by Kasey Redfern.

Randle, 25, finished out his rookie deal with the Giants previous year with a good season: 57 catches, 797 yards and eight touchdowns. He showed marked improvement in last week's match-up against Chicago- completing 16 of 21 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. DT Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton, is a possible surprise cut.

Panthers: CBs James Bradberry and Daryl Worley fared well.

Blechen finished the game with three tackles. But the real concern, unless the injuries to Turner or Norwell are serious, has to be with punter Mike Scifres. The 14-year veteran had surgery on his left knee during the offseason. Redfern later had a second 61-yard punt, but it was returned 60 yards.

The second-year punter out of Wofford College, who signed with Carolina on August 15, boomed two 61-yard punts Friday night.

Malcolm Butler - It was another stellar night for Butler, who was great in coverage and kicked things off by absolutely drilling the Panthers' Ed Dickson and set the tone for the night.

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