If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

The old addage rings true for this bitter-sweet game where the Patriots scored 24 points in the second half to win their final preseason matchup against Big Blue. The Giants ended up squandering a sizable lead late in the second quarter to hand all the momentum over to the Pats when Andrew Woodson came in and abruptly let New England right back into the game.

Perhaps one more quarter of David Carr would have been the saving grace for the Giants tonight. Then again, it is preseason, and winning a meaningless game isn’t the main objective.

Andre Woodson came in and screwed the pooch with a pick six right off the bat – and did little else from there. Rhett Bomar didn’t do much better in the fourth quarter as he drove his squad down the field twice, one completed with a field goal, the other an interception at the goal line intended for Derek Hagan.

To put this game in perspective, however, you’ve got to go back to the first quarter — the first and second teams looked great on offense. They spread the ball around, deep passes down the field and the touchdowns came in droves. The play calling stayed aggressive and dynamic, a refreshing change from the run-run-pass-punt routine the Giants typically are known for. Fans wondering if this Giants team can put point on the board through the air need not be concerned anymore, consider your questions answered.

Defensively the first team looked equally sharp, forcing the Patriots to get off to a sputtering start through their first several possessions. Antonio Pierce’s presence was obviously a factor here, and the team came out as a cohesive unit and scarcely gave up yardage. Nice to see even with starters on the sidelines.

The fun ended, however, once the starters left the field. The offense had nothing to show us after half time, and the defense bled yardage both through the air and on the ground. The Patriots were able to convert several long drives for touchdowns, and the lasting impression I have of the second half defense is there wasn’t any. The only bright spot was Sha’ref Rashad and his run stopping abilities… then he was promptly injured with a minute to go in the game. Perfect.

But in the end, the positive take-aways from this game are this:

• Eli Manning is back on track and was able to efficiently and effectively move his offense down the field for a quick score.

• Ditto for David Carr

• The running game was not on display tonight, although Allen Patrick had a much better game than I had anticipated. Good for him.

• Andre Woodson and Rhett Bomar should probably not be on the 53 man roster.

• 7 receivers might be the magic number as virtually everyone contributed that played – Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, Derek Hagan, Ramses Barden, Sinorice Moss. Sorry David Tyree.

• First team Defense look great as well, ample pressure on the QB and coverage all around was tight.

• Tynes hit a couple field goals including a 46 yarder — yay!

Heading into the season opener against the Skins — winning would have been nice for this game but the larger questions about the potency of the receivers have been answered. This 2009 Giants team has weapons all over the place, and they are going to be tough team to beat so long as Andre Woodson isn’t at the helm.

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