Jimmy Garoppolo stars for Patriots; Cyrus Jones' struggles continue

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Based on an initial glance, and without the benefit of film review, a look at which New England Patriots players' performances were up and which were down in Thursday's 31-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the preseason opener:


WR Austin Carr -- The undrafted free agent from Northwestern played a lot of snaps and made the most of his opportunity, totaling five catches for 44 yards and one touchdown. On the touchdown, which was a 3-yard completion, Carr ran an effective route in which he shook the coverage with a decisive cut to the inside and ran along the back line of the end zone before leaping up to make the grab. He also showed excellent concentration along the sideline to keep his feet in bounds on another reception. After the game, Carr said, "I was talking with the guys and I just wanted to get my first catch, my first hit, my first tackle, and it's all done now. It was tons of fun. I love this game. Nights like tonight, being able to play in front of a home crowd, it's kind of what you live for."

QB Jimmy Garoppolo -- Things might have started a little slowly for the backup, but when one considers that Garoppolo wasn't playing with any of the team's top-flight skill-position players, it's easy to conclude he couldn't have done much more in going 22-of-28 for 235 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His work with the two-minute offense late in the second quarter was particularly impressive. "He's a great leader and I think that really showed in the second quarter, especially," Carr said. "A great communicator on the field and very composed. I think it showed on offense."

TE Jacob Hollister --The undrafted tight end from Wyoming who received one of the highest totals in guaranteed money ($90,000) across the NFL among players not drafted, finished with a team-high seven catches for 116 yards as he showed reliable hands and a toughness to absorb some significant hits. "I think I needed a couple of those hits to get me going," he said. At the start of the game, Hollister had some jitters. "I definitely was having butterflies," he said, "but getting through the first couple of plays, I started getting into a rhythm and started feeling good."


CB Cyrus Jones -- The 2016 second-round pick from Alabama was involved in two of the biggest plays of the game. He was in coverage on a 97-yard touchdown pass to receiver Keelan Cole in which he might have been expecting some safety help. Still, Cole had a step on him. Then he was in coverage again on a 42-yard touchdown pass to Dede Westbrook, another play in which he might have been expecting safety help. Nonetheless, Jones' reaction after the second score was telling. Frustration was high.

S Jordan Richards -- The 2015 second-round pick from Stanford might have been responsible for safety help on the two long touchdown passes, while his questionable angle/inability to wrap up contributed to Corey Grant's 79-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Once Grant got by Richards, who came downhill into the hole with force, no one was catching him.

LB Elandon Roberts -- The linebacker seemed to get caught up in traffic on the inside on Grant's 79-yard run, which contributed to the back-breaking play. There was another play in which his gap assignments seemed to be compromised. The fact he was playing, while veteran David Harris was not, reflects his place on the depth chart.