Week 2 of the NFL preseason continues on as the Carolina Panthers travel to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Patriots on Friday. Carolina won its preseason opener over the Washington Commanders 23-21, while New England fell to the New York Giants 23-21. Both teams will continue to evaluate their rosters as they each seek out a win on Friday.
All eyes were on the players under center for the Panthers as Baker Mayfield was announced the starter ahead of their preseason opener. Mayfield completed 4-of-7 passes for 45 yards in one series. Sam Darnold took command of the second series, going 2-for-3 from the pocket for 16 yards and a touchdown. P.J. Walker was given a majority of the snaps as he completed 10-of-19 passes for 136 yards.
Spencer Brown found the end zone, rushing for 36 yards on 10 carries. Rashard Higgins caught the lone receiving touchdown to go along with three receptions for 22 yards. With the starting quarterback role for Week 1 still very much up in the air, Friday’s preseason matchup will be another assessment as the quarterback competition carries on.
Which Panthers will play, expected inactives:
P.J. Walker and rookie Matt Corral will alternate quarters against the Patriots.
P.J. Walker is expected to start at quarterback for the Panthers in their second preseason game vs. the Patriots, per sources. Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold are still in a QB battle for the 1 spot and Panthers playing mostly 2s and 3s tonight. So, neither gets the start.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 19, 2022
Mac Jones didn’t play in New England’s preseason opener; Bailey Zappe was given the majority of snaps under center. Zappe went 19-for-32 from the pocket with 205 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Lil’Jordan Humprey caught six passes on eight targets for 62 yards and a touchdown. Tyquan Thornton also found the end zone with a receiving touchdown to go with nine yards receiving on two catches.
Kristian Wilkerson led all wideouts with 99 receiving yards as New England continues to assess its roster with a new offensive scheme. It remains to be seen if Jones or any other offensive starters will get playing time throughout the remainder of the preseason. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge should continue to alternate playcalling duties, continuing with Friday’s matchup with Carolina.
Which Patriots will play, expected inactives:
Game day.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 19, 2022
Patriots host the Panthers (7p) and Mac Jones and most of the healthy starters are expected to play, per sources.
Panthers will primarily play their 2nd/3rd units, according to coach Matt Rhule.