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Former Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said Thursday the Dolphins defense is better than the one he played with last season.

“I don’t have a problem saying this, but I think personally we have more talent than we had in the No. 1 defense last year in Detroit,” Suh told The Miami Herald on Wednesday. “One of the reasons I came here, is this team, and especially this defense, has great, great talent,.

“(But) it’s a matter of us putting it together. We don’t play on paper.”

Friday’s games

New England 17, (at) Carolina 16: Tom Brady overcame two early interceptions to lead his first touchdown drive of the exhibition season as the Patriots beat the Panthers.

It has been a titanic struggle for Brady, who is awaiting word on his appeal of a four-game suspension for his role in “Deflategate.” After managing just three first downs in his first 11 exhibition possessions, Brady finally got on track, leading an 80-yard scoring drive before halftime running the hurry-up offense. He capped the drive with a well-placed 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Scott Chandler.

New England played again without tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman.

Carolina managed just two field goals in the first half behind Cam Newton and trailed 7-6 at halftime. Corey Brown bobbled away an easy TD pass from Newton — one of four Carolina drops in the first half.

(At) Kansas City 34, Tennessee 10: Alex Smith threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns in less than a half, and the Chiefs’ offense looked the sharpest it has in a weather-shortened game.

The game was called with 3 minutes, 50 seconds remaining after thunder rumbled and lightning streaked across the sky. Heavy rains had turned one end zone into a lake.

Smith was 16-of-18 before giving way to third-string quarterback Aaron Murray just before halftime. Murray played the rest of the game for Kansas City (3-0), throwing for 146 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception as backup Chase Daniel got the night off.

Marcus Mariota got off to a slow start for the Titans (1-2), misfiring on his first three throws. But the first-round pick out of Oregon was 7-of-8 for 99 yards the rest of the half.

Personnel dept.

Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett (Michigan) missed practice for a personal issue, coach Bill O’Brien said.

... Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel will miss the team’s last two exhibitions with a sore right elbow.

... Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s drug policy, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

... Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was suspended without pay for the first three games of the season for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse.

... Bills coach Rex Ryan says quarterback EJ Manuel will start Saturday’s exhibition against the Steelers.

... 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was sent home from Denver after a Santa Clara County grand jury charged him with misdemeanor sexual battery. The charge stems from a December incident at former teammate Ray McDonald’s house. McDonald was indicted on one count of rape of an intoxicated person.

... Washington linebacker Junior Galette will miss the season after tearing his left Achilles tendon.

... Ravens safety Will Hill signed a two-year deal.

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