Rookies Stevenson, Jones star as Patriots beat Washington

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP)Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson had two touchdown runs, including a 91-yard score with just over a minute to play to help the New England Patriots beat Washington 22-13 to open the exhibition season for both teams Thursday night.

Quinn Nordin had three field goals for the Patriots, including a 50-yarder. Joejuan Williams had the play of the night for the New England’s defense, picking off Steven Montez early in the fourth quarter to set up Stevenson’s first TD. Stevenson finished with 10 carries for 127 yards.

New England led 15-7 in the fourth quarter before Montez took Washington on a 15-play, 92-yard drive he capped with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lamar Miller with 1:25 left.

Montez appeared to complete a 2-point conversion pass to Antonio Gandy-Golden. But a booth review overturned the call. Stevenson then got free down the sideline on the third play of New England’s ensuing series to put away the game.

All eyes were on the quarterback position for New England, with Cam Newton entering training camp looking to rebound from a disappointing 2020 campaign and cement his spot as the starter after the Patriots used a first-round draft pick on Mac Jones.

Coach Bill Belichick has said Newton is his starter. But it was Jones who had the better preseason debut. The rookie completed 13 of 19 passes for 87 yards in five series, spreading the ball around with confidence after he took over for Newton late in the first quarter.

Newton, who shared a field with Washington coach Ron Rivera for the first time since they were together in Carolina from 2011-2019, played the opening two series and finished 4 of 7 for 49 yards.

STEELERS 24, EAGLES 16

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Dwayne Haskins continued his push for the backup quarterback spot, throwing for 161 yards and a touchdown to lead Pittsburgh.

Ben Roethlisberger sat out Pittsburgh’s second preseason game. Mason Rudolph has been the team’s backup for the past three seasons and just may keep that job. Haskins, though, is giving Rudolph a bit of a push in his attempt at winning the backup spot.

Haskins threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Johnson. Pittsburgh also got a 1-yard scoring run by Anthony McFarland.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni made his debut on the sideline, replacing Doug Pederson. Sirianni turned 40 in June and is Philadelphia’s youngest head coach since Dick Vermeil in 1976. This was his first game in charge at any level,

He has a young QB leading the way in Philly. Jalen Hurts played two series and was a modest 3 of 7 for 54 yards. He hit tight end Zach Ertz over the middle for 34 yards and had receivers drop passes on his next two attempts.

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