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What we learned from the Patriots 17-9 loss to the Giants

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There were five key takeaways from the Patriots final preseason game.

NFL: Preaseason-New England Patriots at New York Giants William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Tom Brady had some rust, but he got rid of it

While most didn’t want to see Brady play in this game, it was apparent that he needed this tune-up. Brady started the game 2 of 7 for 13 yards and an interception, a continuation of his poor performance against the Panthers. He closed out the half on a 14 of 19 performance for 153 yards and a touchdown. Hopefully he can be good Tom Brady when he returns to the field against the Browns.

Running back D.J. Foster might be an impressive option in the backfield

Ignore the fact that the door is open after Tyler Gaffney suffered an injury- Foster just picked up 132 yards on 18 touches and deserves a roster spot regardless. Sure, 9 of his 22 rushing yards came on one carry, meaning that he picked up 13 yards on his other 8 carries- but the second string offensive line was atrocious. Foster picked up a crazy 110 yards on 9 receptions. He’s earned his roster spot, despite his red zone fumble.

Is tight end AJ Derby better than Martellus Bennett?

Honest question. Bennett has been quiet the past few games, especially as a receiver, and it’s not for lack of targets. Bennett picked up 3 yards on 2 receptions today and fumbled the ball. That’s not what you want to see, especially when Derby is picking up 51 yards on 5 receptions and appears to be developing as a blocker every week. Don’t be shocked if Derby’s role grows down the road.

Anthony Johnson might have won the final defensive tackle job

Johnson was battling with Markus Kuhn, Joe Vellano, and Woodrow Hamilton for the final defensive tackle spot on the roster and I don’t think there’s any question that he was the best of this quartet. He was an active pass rusher with half a sack and an extra quarterback hit, and he forced the quarterback to throw on the run. He also added some nice disruptions in the running game. Johnson’s got a bright future if he can keep this up.

Barkevious Mingo, Barkevious Mingo, Barkevious Mingo.

Did the Patriots just steal a stud from the Browns? What the heck were the Browns doing- or not doing- with him? Mingo stepped on the field after one week of practice and absolutely dominated. He was undeniably the best player on the field for the final three quarters of the game. He collected 6 tackles, 2 quarterback hits, 2 fumbles (only one counted), a tackle for loss, and a whole lot of more disruption.