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Quick-hit thoughts after 3rd quarter

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick-hit thoughts after the third quarter of tonight's preseason game:

1. Receiver Taylor Price and running back Stevan Ridley continued to build momentum. Price had a big catch-and-run, while Ridley displayed his hard-charging style with a 1-yard touchdown run after being denied while leaping on his previous attempt. Ridley later added his third touchdown of the night on a 16-yard touchdown catch-and-run as he was one of the big stories of the night.

2. Rookie QB Ryan Mallett started the third quarter and was at the controls for an opening 13-play touchdown drive and then directed another scoring drive. Doesn't get much more productive than that. One observation: The ball doesn't come out of his hands as fast as Brian Hoyer, but he shows promise. The Patriots look to have one of the best quarterback situations in the NFL.

3. The Patriots went deeper into their roster on defense in the quarter. Third-year cornerback Darius Butler remained on the field, however, as he seemed to have a tough night. Jonathan Wilhite as well. Both had a tough time tonight.

4. Veteran defensive end Mark Anderson also played throughout the third quarter. Probably nothing to read into that other than a chance to get him reps in the new defense. The Patriots have him a one-year, $1.375 million contract as a possible edge rusher in their scheme.

5. Rookie free agent Jeff Tarpinian (Iowa) led the defensive huddle.