Patriots finish dismal preseason

Posted: Friday, September 03, 2004

FOXBORO, Mass. Quinn Gray threw three touchdown passes in the final eight minutes and the Jacksonville Jaguars ended the New England Patriots' poor exhibition season with a 31-0 win Thursday night.

If there was any consolation for the Super Bowl champs, they played without most of their first-stringers, including quarterback Tom Brady, although they were healthy.

Panthers 16, Steelers 13

PITTSBURGH Rod Rutherford's 57-yard completion to Eugene Baker in the fourth quarter set up John Kasay's third field goal, and Carolina finished off its second consecutive unbeaten preseason.

The Steelers (2-2) led 13-10 after Rod Bironas' second field goal, but Carolina recovered Pittsburgh rookie Richard Colclough's fumbled punt early in the fourth quarter and turned that into Kasay's tying 34-yarder.

Ravens 27, Giants 17

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. With the exception of a knee injury to seven-time Pro Bowl tackle Jonathan Ogden, everything went right for the Ravens.

Kyle Boller threw a touchdown pass, Chris McAlister scored on an interception return and Jim Fassel got to enjoy it all on the Ravens' sideline. The game was Fassel's first here since being fired by the Giants after a 4-12 campaign last season, and it must have seemed like old times.

Lions 20, Bills 17

DETROIT Drew Bledsoe led Buffalo's first-string offense to its only touchdown of the preseason, but three Detroit defensive backs were hurt.

Lions safety Brock Marion (bruised right knee), cornerback Fernando Bryant (neck stinger) and cornerback Rod Babers (shoulder) all left the game with injuries. Bryant was hurt on the second play from scrimmage, Marion went down three plays later and Babers was also hurt during the first possession. Marion was later carted away from the sideline with an ice pack strapped to his knee, but X-rays were negative. Bryant is a starter, and Babers is competing for a roster spot.

Buccaneers 17, Texans 9

HOUSTON Michael Pittman, who got extensive playing time because the Bucs rested starter Charlie Garner, ran for 71 yards on 12 carries and Tampa Bay held Houston to three field goals.

Several starters on both sides were on the sidelines by the end of the scoreless first quarter, leaving reserves jockeying for jobs to play the rest of the night.

Cowboys 24, Chiefs 20

IRVING, Texas Vinny Testaverde could've had as many interceptions as completions and Eddie George had more carries than yards. Then Tony Romo led the Cowboys on three straight scoring drives and the defense made it hold up in the fourth quarter.

Even in defeat, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil had to feel good because his starters and their top backups performed well. It was the players lower on the depth chart who let Dallas (3-1) rally and failed to do the same for Kansas City (1-3).

Cardinals 33, Broncos 21

DENVER Neil Rackers kicked four field goals and Josh McCown and Sean King combined to go 14-for-19, leading the Cardinals over the Broncos.

Rackers kicked field goals of 45, 47, 57 and 47 yards as Arizona's offense struggled against Denver's backups.

Seahawks 23, Vikings 21

SEATTLE Trent Dilfer completed 17 of 20 passes for 211 yards and two first-half touchdowns and Seneca Wallace led a late drive for the winning field goal as Seattle beat Minnesota.

Josh Brown kicked a 28-yarder with no time remaining after Wallace led a nine-play, 68-yard drive in the final 2:57. Brown also kicked a 41-yard field goal with 5:21 to play and hit a 39-yard try early in the second half.

Raiders 28, Rams 24

OAKLAND, Calif. Rich Gannon threw his first touchdown pass of the preseason in Oakland's final exhibition game, a win over St. Louis.

The 38-year-old Gannon connected with Justin Fargas for a 5-yard TD on the Raiders' 13-play, 77-yard opening drive. Gannon scrambled in each direction and got away when grabbed by defensive tackle Damione Lewis.

Chargers 31, 49ers 15

SAN FRANCISCO Philip Rivers completed his first 13 passes of the second half and the San Diego finished the preseason with a win over San Francisco.

The 49ers finished the preseason winless for the first time since 1974.

Rivers, the fourth pick in this year's draft, missed the first two exhibition games in a contract holdout. Coach Marty Schottenheimer said the quarterback battle remained an open competition.

Drews Brees, whose poor play last year contributed to San Diego's decision to acquire Rivers, made his case for keeping the job. He went 5-for-5 for 71 yards, including a 35-yard TD pass to Eric Parker, and led San Diego to 14 points on three drives.

Rivers had just three pass plays in the first a sack when he held onto the ball too long, an intentional grounding penalty and an interception.

Rivers completed eight passes for 43 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter. He exploited San Francisco's defense with short throws on a 16-play drive, capped by rookie Michael Turner's 2-yard run.

A fumble by punt returner Arnaz Battle set up Rivers' first touchdown pass as a pro a 4-yarder to Kevin Dyson that made it 31-15 early in the fourth quarter. Rivers finished 13-for-16 for 85 yards.

The 49ers know Tim Rattay is their starting quarterback. Rattay underthrew Cedrick Wilson on a deep ball on San Francisco's opening drive, but finished his night with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd. Rattay went 7-for-8 for 101 yards.



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