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Friday, August 16, 2013
Quick-hit thoughts after third quarter

By Field Yates

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Entering the final quarter of play, the Patriots lead the Buccaneers 25-10. Passing along some quick-hit notes and observations from the third quarter:

1. Tebow time. After stopping the Bucs on their opening drive of the second half, it was Tim Tebow who took over at quarterback for the Patriots in the third quarter. He entered the game with just under two minutes left in the first half against Philadelphia after Ryan Mallett left the game with a head injury. He's 1-for-3 with minus-one yards passing and has rushed twice for 15 yards.

2. Ryan snags pick-six. Positive sign from Logan Ryan, the Patriots' third-round cornerback out of Rutgers, as he plucked a Mike Glennon throw and returned it 53 yards for a score. Ryan has emerged of late in training camp, particularly as a special-teams player. Due to recent injury issues, Ryan could also be in the mix as a top four cornerback.

3. Defense pitches shutout. The Patriots offense wasn't able to score any points during the third quarter, but the defense didn't surrender any, either (though they did score six points). The defense was filled with reserve and depth-level players, but it gave us a good chance to see rookies Jamie Collins, Ryan, Duron Harmon, Michael Buchanan and Steve Beauharnais.

4. Collins sharp. Collins impressed with his movement skills during the preseason opener, and we'd argue he's been good again thus far tonight. He's aligned mostly as a stand-up strongside linebacker, playing well in the run game.

5. Penalty box. The following Patriots were flagged for penalties during the third quarter: defensive end Marcus Benard (offsides), running back George Winn (neutral zone infraction on punt return) and offensive tackle Luke Patterson (holding).