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Notes from Patriots-Falcons

Posted by Monique Walker, Globe Staff  August 20, 2010 12:28 AM

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ATLANTA -- A few notes from tonight's 28-10 win for the Patriots courtesy of the Patriots media staff:

*WR Wes Welker made his preseason debut and caught two passes on his first two
plays with a 6-yard pass and then a 14-yard pass from QB Tom Brady. He played
during the first series of the game and finished with two receptions for 20 yards.

*RB Fred Taylor scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to culminate a 12-play, 80-yard
drive on the Patriots first possession. He finished the game with 11 carries for 54 yards
for a 4.9-yard average.

*The Patriots had two 20-yard touchdown runs in the game after RB Sammy Morris
scored on a 20-yard run in the third quarter to finish a 9-play, 63-yard drive.

*During that first scoring drive, the Patriots converted three third-down plays. On third-
and-seven from the New England 33-yard line, Brady completed an 11-yard pass to RB
Kevin Faulk. On third-and-seven from the 47-yard line Faulk ran for eight yards and
a first down. Then on third-and-two from the Atlanta 37-yard line, RB Sammy Morris
gained nine yards for a first down.

*QB Tom Brady started the game and played until the last 41 seconds of the second
quarter, finishing 10-of-12 for 85 yards with a 4-yard touchdown pass to TE Aaron
Hernandez. He led the Patriots on two scoring drives, a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive
in the first quarter and an 11-play, 63-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter.

*For the second straight week four rookies were in the starting lineup. First-round pick
CB Devin McCourty and second-round pick LB Brandon Spikes started on defense, and
second-round pick TE Rob Gronkowski and fourth-round pick TE Aaron Hernandez
started on offense.

*Hernandez scored his first NFL touchdown on a 4-yard touchdown from Brady to
culminate an 11-play, 63-yard drive in the second quarter. He also added a 21-yard
reception in the third quarter during the team’s 9-play, 63-yard touchdown drive in the
third quarter.

*Both of the Patriots rookie tight ends scored touchdowns. Aaron Hernandez scored on
the 4-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the second quarter, and Rob Gronkowski
scored on a 24-yard pass from Brian Hoyer in the fourth quarter.

*Newly re-instated LB Derrick Burgess started at outside linebacker.

*In the first half, the Patriots ran 29 offensive plays: 13 rushes for 71 yards and 14 passes
for 79 yards. The team finished the game with 61 offensive plays: 30 rushing attempts
and 29 pass attempts.

*Backup QB Brian Hoyer entered the game with 41 seconds to go in the first half and
finished the game 8-of 15 for 94 yards with one touchdown, a 24-yarder to TE Rob
Gronkowski.

*DL Ron Brace forced a fumble that was recovered by LB Tyrone McKenzie at
the Atlanta 42-yard line with under a minute left in the third quarter. The Patriots
converted the turnover into 24-yard touchdown to rookie TE Rob Gronkowski.
Morris 14 yard run, 8-yard run

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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