For about three quarters and 12 minutes, last night’s matchup between the Patriots and Giants ranked right up there with grade school music recitals. It was a whole lot of screens, checkdowns, runs up the gut, and crossing patterns, and the Patriots defense couldn’t stop anything. But those last three minutes...man. That may have been the most exciting end to a Week 4 preseason game at all time. Lead changes, scoring drives...it had it all.
Except for meaning, that is.
All that said, I realized that this was my last chance to slack off on my football coverage until, hopefully, early February. So consider this article the Lena Dunham of Fan Notes - just kind of sitting here with nothing positive or important at all to contribute in any capacity.
- If there’s one thing to really enjoy from the annual Week 4 Pats/Giants matchup, it’s Giants color man Carl Banks. That guy cracks me up. With each passing year, he looks more and more like a guy who just farted and thinks if he stands perfectly still, nobody will suspect it was him.
- The Patriots are riding a pretty nice streak of forcing a turnover right away. And since the golden rule of preseason applies here it’s a surefire sign of things to come and this defense is going to generate at least one turnover every single game from here on out.
- The angle of the camera and the lights made it look like Bill Belichick was wearing a matching velour outfit. I have absolutely nothing else to add other than that.
- I think that Jacoby Brissett looked...OK last night. His stat line - 361 yards, 5 TDs - is through the roof, and he made some great plays with his legs. But he also forced some throws into double and triple coverage, and missed open guys at times. He also surrendered a pick six to Kerry Wynn - but I should add that he was relying on the chop block to be effective there. That said, as a QB you be able to recognize an edge rusher who pulls out of his rush and float the ball over his head if you’re committing to the screen. No clue what the coaching staff is going to do with him - but I say he stays.
- If you’re a fan of defense, last night’s game was not for you. The Patriots kept the safeties deep, primarily just rushed four, and asked the linebackers to play more of a read and react style. Based on the defensive playcalling, I feel like it was the linebackers who the coaching staff were watching most closely, as they were the only positional grouping who did anything other than the NFL equivalent of ordering General Tso’s Chicken at a Chinese restaurant.
- That the Patriots continue to show poor tackling skills doesn’t help maters any.
- Surprised to see Shane Vereen getting so many reps for the Giants in this game - I’m guessing he just needs the extra reps coming off that bicep injury that sidelined him in 2016.
- At this point, I think I’m going to go ahead and say that Austin Carr makes the team. I don’t think he’ll see too much playing time, and he’s nowhere near as elusive in the open field as Edelman was (*sob*), but there are just too many receiver-needy teams out there for him to slip through.
- Tough break for Cyrus Jones. Here’s hoping the Madden Curse is coming out too hot too early and fizzles out by Thursday.
- “By Thursday.” THIS Thursday. Hell yes.
- Also a tough break for pretty much every player out there on defense trying to make a case for themselves. Other than Geneo Grissom, who looked good off the edge, it was just one big bucket of yuck all across the board.
- DJ Foster left it all on the table in terms of presenting his case for a roster spot. I don’t think he sticks around, but if he does leave, he can leave knowing he did everything he possibly could, and I look forward to seeing him on another roster.
- It would appear that Jacoby Brissett will never be able to lead a late game-winning drive in the preseason. What can you do.
- After watching this game, I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for cutdown day. Seeing whether guys like Carr, Hollister, Grissom, and Foster make the team is going to be a lot of fun, and I’ll also be curious to see how this shift in cutting protocol affects roster dynamics league-wide.
The preseason has ended. The regular season has begun. Bring on Kansas City.