With Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro battling for the Chicago Bears kicking job, the best kicking effort in Thursday's preseason opener at Chicago came instead from Carolina Panthers rookie Joey Slye.
Slye made field goals of 42, 55 and 29 yards and the Panthers had a 7-yard touchdown catch and 11-yard TD run from rookie Elijah Holyfield in a 23-13 victory over the Bears.
The Panthers already have a standout kicker in Graham Gano, and it's possible Slye put himself on the radar of the Bears as well as other teams seeking a kicker by hitting a second-quarter kick of 55 yards for a 6-0 lead. The former Virginia Tech player made a 29-yarder in the third quarter to expand Carolina's lead to 16-10. Slye's 42-yarder came on Carolina's second possession to open the scoring.
While the Bears look for a kicker, the Panthers are trying to determine who will back up quarterback Cam Newton.
Both Carolina quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Will Grier enjoyed solid efforts, with Newton sitting out to rest his shoulder after offseason surgery.
Allen started and completed 7 of 11 for 76 yards, while Grier completed 9 of 16 for 77 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Grier's 7-yard TD pass to Holyfield put the Panthers ahead 13-10 in the third quarter, and was set up by a 57-yard punt return from Terry Godwin. Holyfield added his 11-yard run, cutting to the left sideline in the final two minutes.
The Panthers' defense kept the Bears in check much of the game, with Marquis Haynes and Brian Burns each getting two sacks.
Bears rookie running back David Montgomery made his debut and broke off left tackle for a 7-yard TD in the second quarter, and Fry's point-after kick put the Bears up 7-6. Montgomery finished with 16 yards on three rushes and caught three passes for 30 yards.
Fry later had the Soldier Field fans roaring with a 43-yard field goal to close the first half, the same distance and at the same upright Cody Parkey missed from on his double-doink to end the Bears' 16-15 playoff loss last season to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Pineiro wasn't as fortunate, missing wide left on a 48-yard attempt in the first half before making a 23-yard chip shot to get the Bears within 16-13 in the fourth quarter.
Chicago quarterback Chase Daniel completed 11 of 13 for 120 yards and a TD while Tyler Bray was 8 for 17 for 85 yards for the Bears. Rookie tight end Ian Bunting led the Bears with 77 yards on three receptions.
PATRIOTS 31, LIONS 3: Jakobi Meyers caught two touchdown passes in an impressive preseason debut, and New England drubbed the Lions at Detroit.
Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford didn't play, and plenty of other key players were also spectators. Myers 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.
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.
The Lions finished the third quarter with only 41 net yards — and minus-11 passing.
Lions coach Matt Patricia has been moving around on a vehicle at practice while recovering from surgery on his left leg. He did coach this game from the sideline, perched behind a handful of coolers near midfield, a safe distance from the field.
RAVENS 29, JAGUARS 0: Lamar Jackson directed two scoring drives in three possessions and the Ravens' defense throttled Jacksonville backup quarterback Gardner Minshew at Baltimore.
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.
Jackson played the first quarter and went 4 for 6 for 59 yards and a touchdown.
With Foles on the sideline, Minshew, drafted in the sixth round out of Washington State, proved to be fodder for a defense that last year was ranked No. 1. Minshew lost his helmet when struck on a first-quarter foray out of the pocket, and in the second quarter he got hit a whole lot harder after mishandling a snap. Minshew quickly picked up the ball, just an instant before Kenny Young swooped in untouched and applied a crushing tackle that separated the quarterback from his helmet — again.
Minshew was mercifully lifted after going 7 for 14 for 46 yards.
BILLS 24, COLTS 16: With LeSean McCoy resting, and Frank Gore limited to two series, rookie running back Devin Singletary got the Bills off to a running start at Orchard Park, N.Y.
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.
With his Pro Football Hall of Fame uncle Jim Kelly in the stands, Colts quarterback Chad Kelly scored on a 33-yard scamper in accounting for three scoring drives — including two field goals — after taking over midway through the third quarter. Kelly, who grew up in Buffalo and has had a checkered college and pro career, finished 13 of 19 for 121 yards and 53 yards rushing.
GIANTS 31, JETS 22: 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 the Giants' victory over the local rival Jets on at East Rutherford, N.J.
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.
By that time, Jones had Giants fans on their feet. Taking over after Manning had a three-and-out series, the sixth pick overall in the draft hit all five of his passes, the final one a perfect 12-yard throw to Bennie Fowler III in the right corner of the end zone.
Sam Darnold and the Jets had looked just as good on their opening series for new coach Adam Gase, going 75 yards in seven plays against a defense that many think is the Giants' weak link. Darnold hit passes of 32 and 28 yards before finding Jamison Crowder from 3 yards.
Alex Tanney added a 51-yard touchdown pass to Russell Shepard, linebacker Jake Carlock scored on a 59-yard interception return and Kyle Lauletta hit TJ Jones with a 31-yard touchdown pass for the Giants, who were 5-11 last season. Aldrick Rosas added a 23-yard field goal.