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Patriots Beat Giants 38-27 In Final Preseason Game

It may have been the final preseason game, and the Patriots may have been playing all their scrubs and youngsters, but the Giants looked really, really good in a 38-27 loss to  the Pats in Foxboro. The Giants started off the scoring quickly, with Eli Manning throwing a 23 yard touchdown pass to Sinorice Moss. Moss was at it again, this time catching a 12 yard pass from David Carr to make the score 14-0 midway through the first. Hakeem Nicks caught a 64 yard touchdown pass from Carr, to make 21-0 at the end of the first.

The Patriots got on the board early in the second, with Brandon McGowan returning an interception from Andre Woodson 27 yards for the touchdown. After a 46 yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes, the Patriots scored another touchdown on a 1 yard run by Benjarvus Green-Ellis (who easily has the best name in all of football). The Patriots added a third touchdown on an eight yard pass to Robert Ortiz, which was after an unnecessary roughing penalty by Travonti Johnson. The Patriots tied to game on a 46 yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. The Giants broke the tie on a 25 yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes. But, the Patriots came right back with another one yard touchdown by Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and they took the 31-27 lead. Green-Ellis added another touchdown late, on a 32 yard run, which made the Giants defense look silly.

Eli and the first team offense were really impressive. Eli was 3-3 for 76 yards and a touchdown. David Carr replaced him after the first series, and went 6-6 for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Mario Manningham added 74 yards in the air, while Hakeem Nicks build upon his strong play last week, with 64 yards receiving.  Shaun Bodiford had a catch for 39 yards, and Travis Beckum had a 29 yard grab. Moss only had 35 yards in the air, but his two touchdowns will serve him well in the final cut process. The running game was not particulary impressive, with Allen Patrick as the leading rusher with 50 yards on eight carries. Andre Woodson, who is fighting to stay on the roster, was awful, going 6-19 for 98 yards and an interception. He overthrew wideouts, made bad decisions. This could be his last game in Blue. His main competitor, Rhett Bomar, was 2-6 for 40 yards, and an interception in his unexplainable limited duty, but had 26 yards on the ground.

The first team defense was impressive. They were very explosive, with a good pass rush, and good plays made in the secondary.  They didn’t allow a first down in the first quarter. The second team defense was not as good, but that’s to be expected. The first team rebounded after two rough weeks in a row. They showed the pressure that we expect from a Giants defense. I think a lot of it has to do with the return of Antonio Pierce, who is such an important part of the team. Again, don’t put too much stock in the play of the second team defense, who let the Pats march down the field in the second half. They were missing a bunch of tackles, and seemed out of place on a bunch of plays. They let the Patriots back in, and eventually win the game.  But,  most of these guys will not make the team. The ones who do will not play that much. So, it’s not worth getting worked up about. As my mother always says, ” If it doesn’t affect you, don’t worry about it.” She had to have been talking about the Giants second team defense.

Lawrence Tynes hit from 46 and 25 yards. A weak point of special teams was kick return coverage. The Patriots consistently had good field position. I thought the Giants were weak in that department last year as well. That will have to get fixed.

In injury news, Hakeem Nicks left the game with a mild hip flexor injury. Adam  Koets left the game with an ankle sprain. Jeremy Clark was carted off the field with an ankle injury, and went in for x-rays. Terrell Thomas had x-rays on his neck, but they came back negative.  Sha’Reff Rashad left the game late with an  ankle injury, but it’s not known the extent of it. We’ll update you as soon as we know.

Since this is the last preseason game, I feel obligated to talk  about “bubble players” on the roster. Here’s who I think separated themselves, and who didn’t do themselves any favors.

WHO SEPARATED THEMSELVES:

Sinorice Moss- His two touchdowns, I think, put himself on the final roster. That was really all he did on the night, but I think it was enough to put himself on the roster. The Giants are still high on him, after spending a second round pick, so I think that these two touchdowns cemented his place on the roster.

Gerris Wilkinson-Gerris seemed to me like the odd man out at linebacker, but he played really well tonight, with a couple of nice tackles. He might not stay after week one, which is when Michael Boley is due back. But, the former third round pick might be living up to that billing.

Allen Patrick- I still don’t think he will make the team. I just can’t see the Giants carrying 4 running backs. But in every game, and in this one, he gains yards. He makes things happen. He’ll probably end up on the Practice Squad. But, he’s done a lot of good for himself.

WHO DIDN’T DO THEMSELVES ANY FAVORS

Travonti Johnson- His unnecessary roughness penalty led to a touchdown. Tom Coughlin will not stand for that.

DeAndre Wright- The 6th round pick has not done anything in this preseason to make a case for him to be on the roster, and didn’t do anything tonight.

Andre Woodson-We wrote about Mr. Woodson above. And to be fair, he played better in the second half with better protection. Still, I can’t see him making the team. He’s too erratic.

Derek Hagan- It’s not what he did, it’s what he didn’t do. Hagan had only once catch for eight yards. Moss had two touchdowns. That won’t bode well for Hagan. I had thought coming into the game that Hagan had already made the team. But, the performance of Moss tonight puts that in serious jeopardy. The coaching staff has a tough decision to make.

Bruce Johnson: I like Bruce. I do. I thought early this week he was absolutely on the roster. After tonight? Not sure. He was beat on the Robert Ortiz touchdown. The misplay of the second team secondary begs the question: Why exactly did they cut Stoney Woodson? Woodson was impressive in preseason play, and while he was injured, they should have still kept him. I really liked him.

Adam Koets- Koets injured his ankle and left the game. That’ll make it easier to cut him. I had him not making the team anyway, but the injury doesn’t help.

All in all, the Giants were very impressive. Granted, it was against mostly scrubs and backups, so take this one with a huge grain of salt. But, after two so-so games in a row, it’s a great sign that the Giants showed efficiency, and played with the energy and success we’ve come to expect. The wide receivers were excellent, the first team defense was as well. On the preseason, the Giants went 1-3. Obviously, not good. But, it’s preseason. The Lions last year went 4-0. In 2007, the Giants went 1-3 before winning a Super Bowl. So it means nothing.  There were mistakes, and there were a bunch of injuries this preseason, but overall, I feel that Giants fans should be confident that this 2009 team is in for a very good year.


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