LANDOVER, Maryland –Ryan Mallett's showcase night started a bit slowly against the Redskins on Thursday night, but he settled in at the start of his third drive as the first quarter ended.
Mallett went 2 for 3 for 20 yards and took a sack on his first two drives. But a third-down completion to Kenbrell Thompkins and a dart to Josh Boyce moved the chains twice heading into the second. Mallett also had a nice third down completion that he fit into a small window after stepping up in the pocket. That was wiped out by a hold on Nate Solder. Mallett also jammed his left knee into the turf on a scramble and poorly-executed quarterback slide. There was also a throw at Kenbrell Thompkins' ankles on a simple slant that didn't look pretty
A few other first quarter takeaways.
Roy Finch and James White were the deep return men to start the game. Finch, after a Washington touchdown late in the first quarter, squirted out of a scrum and had a nice return going before overdoing it and fumbling. The fumble was wiped out by a penalty on the Skins for being offsides.
Asa Watson was the starting tight end as the Pats opened with an unbalanced line. Marcus Cannon, Jordan Devey, Dan Connolly, Josh Kline and Nate Solder were the starters with Sebastian Vollmer as an extra tackle on the left side.
Logan Mankins and Ryan Wendell had the night off.
Justin Jones came in for Watson on the second play as Watson and Jones split snaps. D.J. Williams did not play after being rolled up on Tuesday.
Brian Tyms, Brandon Lafell, Boyce and Thompkins were the wideouts when the team went with four. Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman had the night off.
In the secondary, Malcolm Butler and Brandon Browner played the first quarter on the outside. Tavon Wilson and Patrick Chung were the first safeties in. Logan Ryan manned the slot. Butler had a pair of nice pass breakups in the first quarter on the left side of the defense.
Devin McCourty, Darrelle Revis and Kyle Arrington had the night off. Alfonzo Dennard did not dress.
Up front, the Patriots did get first-quarter reps for Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.
Solder didn’t fare too well in the first, taking the aforementioned penalty and getting beaten off the edge on the sack that Mallett took.
Browner ran well with the smaller wideouts but did get called for an illegal contact penalty while Michael Buchanan took a 15-yarder for a late hit.
The Redskins touchdown came on a well-thrown ball from Kirk Cousins to Aldrick Robertson who got inside Logan Ryan and made the catch before Harmon could get there in support.