LANDOVER, Md. — It was supposed to be Ryan Mallett's moment to shine, an opportunity to showcase his talent before NFL general mangers, coaches, and scouts ahead of his impending free agency in 2015.
Instead of Tom Brady under center to start the game, it was him. Bill Belichick handed him the entire first half to lead the offense and hopefully put something noteworthy on his resume, and he couldn't deliver.
Mallett finished 5 of 12 passing for 55 yards, upstaged by his rookie counterpart, Jimmy Garoppolo (9 of 13 for 157 yards, 1 touchdown) as the Patriots lost to Washington, 23-6.
Garoppolo came in and showed poise and rhythm in his throws, connecting with Brian Tyms on five passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. It was the kind exceptional outing for the Eastern Illinois product that had been missing during training camp. And it was exactly the kind of outing that would've helped Mallett.
Instead, Washington marched to a 23-0 lead thanks to a Kirk Cousins 10-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson as well as a 7-yard touchdown throw from Colt McCoy to Ted Bolser. Zach Hocker had a pair of field goals and Kai Forbath added another as Washington stormed ahead.
It wasn't until the final two minutes of the fourth quarter that Garoppolo orchestrated a 5-play, 78-yard drive, hitting Tyms for a 26-yard touchdown that he took into the stands with him. The Patriots were unable to convert on a 2-point attempt afterward with 1:23 left in the game.
How they scored
WASHINGTON — Kai Forbath with a 39-yard field goal with 7:58 left in the first quarter following an 11-play, 35-yard drive.
WASHINGTON — Kirk Cousins connected on a 10-yard pass with Aldrick Robinson for a touchdown with 2:18 remaining in the first quarter. 9 plays, 60 yards, 4:17. Score: Washington 10, Patriots 0
WASHINGTON — Washington’s Zach Hocker with a 27-yard field goal in the second quarter. Drive was 9 plays, 47 yards, in 2:55. Score: Washington 13, Patriots 0
WASHINGTON — Colt McCoy with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ted Bolser with 8:46 left in the third quarter. Bolser was wide open, finding a gap in coverage. The drive was 10 plays for 65 yards in 6:14. Score: Washington 20, Patriots 0
WASHINGTON — Zach Hocker with a 39-yard field with 8:18 left in the fourth quarter. Follows a 10-play, 58-yard drive that lasted 6:19. Score: Washington 23, Patriots 0
PATRIOTS — Jimmy Garoppolo threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brian Tyms with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter, completing a 78-yard drive that spanned five plays in 1:00. Going for the 2-point conversion, Garoppolo couldn’t connect with Derrick Johnson in the corner of the end zone. Score: Washington 23, Patriots 6
Brian Tyms — He caught five passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. He showed he can be a receiver in this league and make some miraculous catches, including one he bobbled and still caught on a deep pass from Garoppolo.
Malcolm Butler — Malcolm Butler showed up plenty Thursday, collecting asix tackles and breaking up a few passes. He showed some competitive spirit that came across positively.
Kanorris Davis — As the gunner on the punt team, came down with a helmet-less tackle after getting manhandled going down the field. Big kudos to him for not quitting on the play.
Not So Good
Roy Finch — Fumbled his first kickoff after what appeared to be an excellent return. But he was let off the hook after an offsides penalty was called on Washington. He followed up by muffing a punt return later in the game, recovering his own fumble. It wasn't a good showing for Finch, who was likely competing for a spot on the team with his special teams play.
Ryan Mallett — When he needed a good outing, he didn’t get one. He finished 5 of 12 passing for 55 yards.
Stephen Houston — He had only three carries in the game and fumbled away one. That's not how you make a team run by Bill Belichick.
Injured or departed
Chris Jones — Left the game with an ankle injury.