Ups & downs for the Patriots

PHILADELPHIA -- Some ups and downs from the Patriots' 31-22 preseason-opening victory over the Eagles:


LeGarrette Blount -- A 51-yard touchdown run, zig-zag style, that is sure to find its way on the highlights. The 6-foot, 250-pound bruiser makes a strong case to stick as a top backup to Stevan Ridley.

Tommy Kelly/Chandler Jones -- Defensive linemen combine for a strip sack on the third series for the top defense, ending their night on a high note.

Shane Vereen -- Running back with a sensational catch in the back left-hand corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown after he was split out wide in an empty set.


Stephen Gostkowski -- Kicker hits from 34 yards, but misses from 44 and 53.

Ryan Mallett -- Entering his third season, this is his time to show he's capable of elevating to a No. 1 quarterback job. No major momentum built -- 9-of-18 for 97 yards -- as he misses open receiver Josh Boyce on a would-be touchdown.

Aqib Talib -- Cornerback is in coverage on DeSean Jackson's long-bomb 47-yard touchdown catch.