Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Tom Brady looked ready for the 2019 season while Cam Newton sustained an injury and left the game early during the New England Patriots' preseason win against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night.
Brady completed 8-of-12 passes for 75 yards in the 10-3 win at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Newton was 4-of-6 for 30 yards before exiting the game in the second quarter after taking a sack. Sources told NFL Network Newton's X-rays were negative and he has a left foot sprain. Newton left the stadium in a walking boot.
"I think we took another step forward tonight," Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters. "Still, obviously, have a long way to go, but I thought we had a good, competitive effort out there. Carolina's a good football team. They've got a lot of good players, so it was good to compete against them and the schemes that they run."
The Panthers punted on all five of their first half drives. New England punted twice to start the game before Brady led a 15-play, 66-yard scoring drive. James Develin capped off that drive with a 1-yard rushing score, giving the Patriots a 7-0 edge.
The Panthers got on the board with a 41-yard field goal from Joey Slye in the third quarter. The Patriots responded with a 23-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski on the next drive for the final points of the game.
Panthers 2019 NFL Draft pick Will Grier completed 4-of-8 passes for 44 yards in relief of Newton. Kyle Allen completed 3-of-6 passes for the Panthers. Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey rushed for 16 yards on three carries and hauled in a 10-yard reception in the loss.
"I was looking for a little more consistency out of the two of them [Allen and Grier]," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "You know, I thought Will got a little something going at one point, but then we shoot ourselves in the foot with the holding call and then illegal procedure. And you can't expect to have success when you do silly things like that. \
"Probably the biggest disappointment was what happened up front, you know. I thought those guys played well, then all of a sudden we made too many mistakes to give ourselves a chance. And that's probably the biggest disappointment."
Jarrett Stidham completed 15-of-19 passes for 134 yards in relief of Brady. Jakobi Meyers led all receivers with 74 yards on seven receptions for the Patriots. Nick Brossette paced the Patriots' ground game with 53 yards on 10 carries. Patriots running back Sony Michel picked up 34 yards on 10 carries.
The Panthers had just 99 total yards in the loss. Newton was sacked twice in the loss.
"Yeah, I think those guys [Patriots wide receivers] are all working really hard," Brady said. "They've played a lot of football this preseason. You know, they really haven't had many veteran guys out there to show them the way, so they've just been kind of learning on the fly.
"But, I'm proud of the way they competed. We're just going to keep working together. We've got one more game to go, and then we'll see what happens after that."
The Patriots host the New York Giants in their final preseason game at 7:30 p.m. EDT Thursday in Foxborough. The Panthers host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
"Another week here -- the Giants -- this will be a good opportunity for us to continue to make some progress and be ready to go here in a couple of weeks," Belichick said. "I think we're moving along. It's good to get out there and have a good, competitive night."