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The Giants cap the preseason with a 17-9 victory over the Patriots

With the first round of cuts this past Tuesday, the Giants final preseason game against the New England Patriots still had real stakes even if multiple starters on both sides of the ball didn’t play a single snap.  The Giants’ final roster cut is on Saturday, September 3rd and will reduce the roster to 53 which means that all the players on the bubble had one last chance to prove their worth to the coaching staff.  The Giants started the game with the ball and failed to gain a single yard, going three and out.  The Giants single attempt at running the ball showed yet again the offensive line’s inability to give Rashad Jennings any time to make a move.  Jennings was hit in the backfield for a 4 yard loss.  Though, the Giant’s defense looked good on the Patriots’ first possession, specifically cornerback Trevin Wade.  Wade made one tackle for a loss and intercepted Brady near midfield.  The Giants offense continued to look sluggish with Ryan Nassib at the helm gaining a total of 17 yards through the first two series.  On the third series Orleans Darkwa got an opportunity to get some reps and on two carries rushed for 6 yards but the Giants went three and out yet again. Through the entire first quarter the Giants offense could barely muster anything.  Following the Patriots 2nd turnover, a fumble by tight end Martellus Bennett, the Giants took over near midfield.  An opportunity for the offense to get going was squandered when rookie running back Paul Perkins returned the ball right back to the Patriots with a fumble of his own.  Tonight was a legitimate chance for Perkins to show his skill set and he proved that ball security is an issue for him.  In the first preseason game Perkins also fumbled the ball.    The lone highlight for the Giants offense in the opening quarter was Orleans Darkwa, who rushed for 24 yards on 5 carries (4.8 yards per carry ).

The Giants’ opened the second quarter by continuing their drive which began at the close of the first quarter.  The Giants drove the ball 59 yards downfield on 15 plays culminating in a 25 yard field goal by Randy Bullock.   The Giants defense showed up yet again forcing the third turnover of the half when Kerry Wynn knocked the ball out of wide receiver Aaron Dobson’s hands after the reception.  Linebacker Mark Herzlich recovered the fumble and the Giants took over in their own territory.   On the Giants final drive of the half the Giants looked ready to put some points on the board but Ryan Nassib threw an interception to Safety Jordan Richards.  The Patriots took over on their 2 yard line and Tom Brady took a knee, letting time run out in the first half.  Though the Giants’ defense gave up 189 total yards in the first half, the Patriots’ three turnovers kept them within striking distance, as the Patriots led 6-3 at the half.

The Giants opened up the second half with a bang, going 86 yards on 4 plays for the touchdown.   The big play was made by Tavarres King, whose 59 yard touchdown reception gave the Giants a 10-6 lead.  Prior to the game, King already seemed destined for the 53 man roster but if anyone had a doubt, his play in the first half along with the touchdown seems to have solidified it. (4 receptions for 80 yards and 1 touchdown ).   The Patriot’s third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett came in to relieve Tom Brady in the 2nd half.  Over the course of a 6 minute drive that stretched between the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Patriots tacked on 3 points with a 32 yard field goal.   With just under 10 minutes to play in the game, holding onto a 10-9 lead, 3rd string quarterback Logan Thomas came in to relieve Ryan Nassib.  Logan Thomas proceeded to drive the ball 79 yards down the field, capped off by a 17 yard touchdown completion to Roger Lewis Jr.  The drive ate up just over 6 minutes and expanded the Giants’ lead to 17-9 with just under 4 minutes to play in the game.  The Patriots would get the ball back once more with a chance to tie it up but fell short.  The Giants defense held the Patriot offense in check and held on to win the game by a score of 17-9.

Players of Note:

In the final preseason game there were multiple players who stood out for the Giants on both sides of the ball.   On the offensive side of the ball the players of note were Tavarres King, Bobby Rainey and Roger Lewis Jr.  King solidified a spot on the roster with his second straight impact game.  He hauled in 4 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, along with one carry for 8 yards.  King has been consistently good through training camp and has taken it up another notch in the last two preseason games.  He seems ready and capable of being a productive receiver this season.  Running back Bobby Rainey (38 rushing yards, 37 receiving yards, and 48 yards between 2 punt and 1 kickoff return ) had 123 all purpose yards on the night and though he may not make the 53 man roster, he gave other NFL teams a glimpse into his versatility with his performance on Thursday night.  He showed a real burst in the hole when he was rushing the ball and for the first team this preseason showed that he’s more than competent as a receiver too.  The question is will the Giants use a roster spot for him when he’s competing with 5 other running backs to make the team.   He certainly gave them a lot to think about before Saturday.  One of the main players who has been competing with Tavarres King for a roster spot is Roger Lewis Jr.  Lewis had three receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown.  He was targeted 6 times in the game so there were a few passes that got away, but with his touchdown catch in the waning moments of the game he may have secured a spot on the practice squad.  On the other side of the ball, linebacker Mark Herzlich was dynamic throughout the game.  He finished with 9 tackles, 2 quarterback hits, 1 sack and recovered a fumble.  He was extremely active and involved in a number of plays on the field.  Defensive End Kerry Wynn had another strong game with a pair of tackles and a forced fumble.  Since coming back from the groin injury Wynn has played very well in the final two preseason games and been an impact player for the defense.


Dan Evans is a Contributing Writer for PureSportsNY   You can follow him on Twitter @ DanEvansPSNY

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