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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

NFL notes: Tom Brady sharp, Cam Newton struggles as Patriots top Panthers

Associated Press

Tom Brady looked sharp in his preseason debut, throwing a 33-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan in helping the New England Patriots (3-0) to a 19-17 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers (1-2) on Friday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Brady relieved Jimmy Garoppolo late in the first quarter and completed a 37-yard pass to Aaron Dobson on his first play from scrimmage, leading to a field goal. On his second drive Brady heaved a perfectly placed over-the-shoulder pass to Hogan down the right sideline for a 9-0 lead.

Reigning MVP Cam Newton struggled mightily in his most extensive playing time of the preseason. Newton was intercepted twice and the Panthers failed to get any points on his eight first-half possessions. Overall, the Panthers scored just three points in 10 Newton-led drives.

Packers 21, 49ers 10: Aaron Rodgers played just two series but passed for 60 yards and a 6-yard TD to Randall Cobb to lead Green Bay over San Francisco in Santa Clara, California.

Four 49ers QBs combined to complete 9 of 20 passes for 61 yards.

Redskins 21, Bills 16: Kirk Cousins found a groove and undrafted rookie running back Robert Kelley made the most of his chance and Washington (2-1) beat Buffalo (1-2) in Landover, Maryland.

With the Bills resting almost their entire starting defense, Cousins overcame a rough start to finish 12 of 23 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

Kelley ran for 51 yards on 12 carries in a personal showcase with Matt Jones and Chris Thompson out and after seventh-round pick Keith Marshall sprained his left elbow on his only carry of the game.

Buccaneers 30, Browns 13: Jameis Winston threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns in one half of work and Tampa Bay rolled to a victory over Cleveland in Tampa, Florida.

Browns troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon caught a pair of passes in his preseason debut, scoring on a 43-yard reception and also hauling in another pass from Robert Griffin III for a 44-yard gain that led to a first-quarter field goal.

Griffin completed 8 of 14 passes for 119 yards, one TD and no picks.

Steelers 27, Saints 14: Ben Roethlisberger torched New Orleans’ defense for 148 yards and two touchdown passes, including a 57-yarder to Antonio Brown, on his first two series of the preseason, then got the rest of the game off while Pittsburgh cruised past New Orleans in New Orleans.

Roethlisberger, who sat out of the first two preseason games, opened by leading a 14-play, 76-yard drive on which he converted two third downs and found tight end Jesse James for a 5-yard score. The Steelers star finished with 12 completions on 17 attempts.

Berry will report to Chiefs

All-Pro safety Eric Berry plans to end his holdout and report to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, giving him two weeks and one preseason game to prepare for the start of the regular season.

Berry was given the franchise tag early in the offseason but has not signed the deal, which means he could skip all of training camp without being fined. Once he signs the one-year contract, he will make just over $10.8 million, making him the league’s highest-paid safety.

Kansas City plays its first regular-season game Sept. 11 against San Diego.

Romo OK after hit

Quarterback Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys breathed a sigh of relief that a hit by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril on the third play of Thursday night’s game didn’t end Romo’s season.

Romo told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that his back felt fine after a few minutes and that Cowboys coach Jason Garrett gave him the rest of the game off as a precautionary measure. Dallas’ final preseason game is Thursday in Houston and it hasn’t been determined if Romo will play.

Around the league

Atlanta Falcons rookie strong safety Keanu Neal, the team’s first-round pick and a projected starter, will miss the beginning of the season with a knee injury. Neal will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Monday and is expected to miss three to four weeks. … Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews and Packers defensive end Julius Peppers met this week with NFL investigators looking into allegations linking them to performance-enhancing drugs, the players’ union said. … Over the past few days, the Pittsburgh Steelers created more than $5 million in room under their salary cap, according to NFL Players Association figures, by restructuring the deals of Mike Mitchell and Marcus Gilbert. The Steelers must account for a bunch of injury settlements that are due.

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