FOXBOROUGH — Chandler Jones sacked Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton twice and Rob Ninkovich added a sack as well as the Patriots defense tried to pitch a shutout in their third preseason game, beating the Panthers 30-7.
Backup Patriots linebacker Steve Beauharnais picked off Panthers second stringer Derek Anderson and returned it 61 yards to highlight a sterling defensive effort as the team continued to shuffle its lineups ahead of the regular season.
Along with his two sacks, Jones had a team-high six tackles and three tackles for a loss.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady looked to be in regular season form. He finished 17 of 21 passing for 204 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 138.9 quarterback rating. His favorite target was Julian Edelman, who caught eight passes for 99 yards.
Running back Shane Vereen caught five passes for 57 yards and both of Brady’s touchdowns.
Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals, including a 60-yarder to end the first half.
Jimmy Garoppolo played most of the second half for the Patriots at quarterback. He finished 9 of 12 passing for 105 yards and a touchdown. He connected with linebacker and fullback Taylor McCuller for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Mallett played sparingly, subbing for Brady in the first quarter for only one series. He was 2 of 3 passing for only 14 yards.
HOW THEY SCORED
PANTHERS: 1:13 4th quarter — Carolina’s Joe Webb threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to D.C. Jefferson, ruining the Patriots’ shutout effort. Patriots 30, Panthers 6
PATRIOTS: 3:52 4th quarter — Jimmy Garoppolo connected with linebacker and fullback Taylor McCuller for an 11-yard touchdown. Patriots 30, Panthers 0
PATRIOTS: 12:05 4th quarter — Stephen Gostkowski made his third field goal of the night, this time from 21 yards out, as the Patriots took a 23-0 lead. The field goal capped a 10-play, 32-yard drive led by Jimmy Garoppolo. Patriots 23, Panthers 0
PATRIOTS: 8:25 3rd quarter — Shane Vereen ran in a 6-yard reception from Tom Brady as the Patriots jumped ahead of the Panthers 20-0. Patriots 20, Panthers 0
PATRIOTS: 0:02 2nd quarter — Stephen Gostkowski made a 60-yard field goal — barely — as the Patriots took a 13-0 lead into the half. Patriots 13, Panthers 0
PATRIOTS: 4:50 2nd quarter — Tom Brady threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Shane Vereen on a wheel route with the speedy running back racing all the way to the end zone untouched. The touchdown strike capped a 14-play, 91-yard drive that lasted 7:41. Patriots 10, Panthers 0
PATRIOTS: 2:11 1st quarter — Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 47-yard field goal as the Patriots took a 3-0 lead over the Panthers. The field goal ended a fruitless 7-play, 22-yard drive. Patriots 3, Panthers 0
INJURED OR DEPARTED
Patrick Chung — Left the game limping as if he had hurt an ankle.