DETROIT — Jakobi Meyers caught two touchdown passes in an impressive preseason debut, and the New England Patriots drubbed the Detroit Lions 31-3 on Thursday night.
Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford didn’t play, and plenty of other key players were also spectators, but Meyers stood out for New England. The undrafted rookie caught scoring passes from Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham in the second quarter. He finished with six catches for 69 yards.
Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman (thumb) has been sidelined for the Patriots, and Phillip Dorsett is the only other returning receiver. Meyers seems to be taking advantage of his opportunity so far.
Lions receiver Jermaine Kearse was carted off injured early in the first quarter, and that was the start of a dismal night for Detroit. The Lions didn’t cross midfield until the latter half of the fourth quarter, when they finally drove for a field goal. The Patriots sacked Detroit quarterbacks nine times.
Hoyer went 12 of 14 for 147 yards and two touchdowns. His 14-yard strike to Maurice Harris made it 7-0 in the first quarter. Meyers then caught a 3-yard TD from Hoyer and a 5-yarder from Stidham.
Bills 24, Colts 16
With LeSean McCoy resting, and Frank Gore limited to two series, rookie running back Devin Singletary got Buffalo off to a running start in its home victory over Indianapolis.
On Buffalo’s fourth drive, Singletary showed off the shiftiness that to led the Bills drafting him in the third round. He accounted for 16 yards rushing and 21 receiving as part of a 46-yard drive that ended with Matt Barkley hitting Cam Phillips for an 8-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring 5½ minutes into the second quarter.
The Colts struggled on offense while sitting out numerous starters, including starting quarterback Andrew Luck, who is nursing a strained left calf.
Backup Jacoby Brissett finished 2 of 5 for 21 yards over three series, with both completions to offseason free-agent addition Devin Funchess.
Before the game, Colts backup offensive lineman Ian Silberman was transported to a Buffalo-area hospital for precautionary reasons because of what the team called an abdominal medical issue.
Ravens 29, Jaguars 0
Lamar Jackson directed two scoring drives in three possessions and Baltimore’s defense throttled Jacksonville backup quarterback Gardner Minshew in the home victory.
The Jaguars played without quarterback Nick Foles, the 2018r Super Bowl MVP who was signed as a free agent in March. Foles was one of 32 players who were either injured or rested by coach Doug Marrone in the preseason opener, which came after the teams held two joint practices earlier in the week.
Preparing for his second NFL season, Jackson played the first quarter and went 4-for-6 for 59 yards and a touchdown.
Browns 30, Redskins 10
Baker Mayfield threw a touchdown pass to end his only series, superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. never put on his helmet and host Cleveland gave a brief preview of its offensive firepower in beating Washington.
Mayfield picked up where he left off following his “dangerous” rookie season, firing a 24-yard TD pass to Rashard Higgins as the Browns went no-huddle and drove 89 yards in just 2:13 to open the game.
They did it while Beckham, the Browns’ major offseason acquisition, was kept on the sideline along with Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry by first-year coach Freddie Kitchens.
Mayfield didn’t need his top targets. He misfired on his first pass, but was otherwise flawless, going 5 of 6 for 77 yards and a perfect 158.3 rating before turning Cleveland’s offense over to backup Drew Stanton.
While the Browns’ quarterback situation is finally settled, the Redskins’ is, well, incomplete.
Case Keenum, who is in a three-way competition with Colt McCoy, who was kept out, and rookie Dwayne Haskins, started and threw a 46-yard TD pass — thanks to a miscommunication by Cleveland’s defense — to receiver Robert Davis in the first quarter. He finished 4 of 9 for 60 yards. Haskins threw two interceptions and completed 8 of 14 passes for 117 yards.
Dolphins 34, Falcons 27</&h5>
Josh Rosen threw for 191 yards and directed three scoring drives of more than 60 yards to help host Miami beat Atlanta.
Rosen went 13-for-20 with no touchdowns and one interception and played half the game. He’s competing for the quarterback job with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who worked the first two Dolphins series and led them to a field goal.
Atlanta backup Matt Schaub threw for 172 yards and led the team to four scores in the first half.
Giants 31, Jets 22</&h5>
Daniel Jones threw a touchdown pass in his only series and opened speculation on how long he will have to wait to replace Eli Manning in New York’s victory over its local rival in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The preseason opener for both teams was suspended for 59 minutes late in the first quarter when lightning and heavy rain rolled into the MetLife Stadium area.