The NFL’s preseason is over: the New England Patriots defeated the New York Giants 17-12 in the two teams’ fourth and final exhibition contest of the year. As usual, star players and roster locks sat out the contest, which gave depth players plenty of opportunities to prove themselves one last time before roster cutdowns start.
New England Patriots 17 at New York Giants 12
Date: Thursday, August 30, 2018
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ
SB Nation Affiliate: Big Blue View
Patriots starting lineups
LT: Cole Croston
LG: Brian Schwenke
C: Ted Karras
RG: Ulrick John
RT: Matt Tobin
QB: Danny Etling
TE: Will Tye
WR: Devin Lucien
WR K.J. Maye
FB: Henry Poggi
RB: Ralph Webb
DE: Keionta Davis
DT: Adam Butler
DT: Vincent Valentine
DE: Derek Rivers
OLB/DE: Geneo Grissom
LB: Nicholas Grigsby
LB: Marquis Flowers
CB: J.C. Jackson
CB: Keion Crossen
S: Jordan Richards
S: Jason McCourty
The Patriots lose the opening coin toss and receive the opening kickoff. Devin McCourty, James White and David Andrews are on the field as captains.
The Patriots offense goes three-and-out to open the contest. The Giants get one first down before having to punt themselves. Cyrus Jones fair catches it.
On its second drive, New England gains a first down on a five-yard run by Ralph Webb. However, the team does not move any further and has to punt again.
After allowing two first downs early on during the next drive, the Patriots defense is able to stop the Giants after three straight incomplete passes.
Thanks to some defensive penalties, Danny Etling and the Patriots offense are able to move down the field and into the red zone. While the team is unable to reach the end zone it took a 3-0 lead on a 33-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. [NE 3-0; 10 plays, 66 yards]
The Giants’ ensuing drive ends on the second play: a deep pass by Kyle Lauletta gets intercepted by Patriots rookie JC Jackson, who was able to get inside position and pick off the football. New England does nothing with its next possession, though, and goes three and out.
The Patriots defense starts the second quarter on the wrong foot and allows New York to march 70 yards in seven plays, capped by a 41-yard touchdown pass on third down. [NYG 6-3; 7 plays, 70 yards]
New England moves the football well on its next possession, with a nicely executed screen pass to K.J. Maye on 3rd and 13 the best play of the series so far. Unfortunately, offensive tackle Ulrick John just limped off the field and into the blue medical tent. The Patriots’ series ends with a red zone interception by quarterback Danny Etling.
The teams exchange punts after their next few series, to give New England’s offense a chance to add to their point total with under a minute left. However, Danny Etling throws his second interception of the quarter to basically end the half – but not before Eric Lee registered a sack as time expired.
New York receives the opening kickoff of the second half, but sees its first possession of the half come to a quick end thanks to J.C. Jackson’s second interception of the game. He again was able to get inside position to undercut Lauletta’s throw.
The Patriots are able to take advantage of the takeaway. Two plays after a 45-yard bomb from Danny Etling to K.J. Maye set the team up with first-and-goal, rookie running back Ralph Webb caught a touchdown pass to give New England the lead. [NE 10-6; 6 plays, 58 yards]
The two teams exchange multiple punts; one of them saw the aforementioned Jackson – he of two interceptions today – stay on the ground with an apparent injury. While he walked off the field under his own power, he was carted to the locker room shortly afterwards. According to the team, Jackson is dealing with dehydration.
The highlight of the early fourth quarter is a Ryan Allen punt: the veteran placed a 40-yard kick perfectly and had it roll out of bounds inside the Giants’ 1-yard line.
Following Allen’s punt, the Giants were allowed to methodically drive down the field. New England’s defense tightens up in the red zone, though, and stops the home team on a 4th and 6 to force a turnover on downs.
The fourth down stop is followed by one of the most spectacular preseason plays in recent memory: Etling kept the football on a bootleg run and with nobody on the Giants’ defense paying attention ran for an 86-yard touchdown. That really happened. [NE 17-6; 1 play, 86 yards]
New York responds with a touchdown drive of its own. After finding the end zone, however, New England’s defense was able to stop the ensuing two-point attempt to seal the game. [NE 17-12; 12 plays, 75 yards]