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Instant Analysis: Giants 40, Patriots 38

Posted Aug 31, 2017

Giants.com's Dan Salomone brings you an instant postgame recap of Thursday's game:


AT A GLANCE

With 21 of 22 starters getting the night off, the Giants’ backup quarterbacks put on a show in the preseason finale, but it was kicker Aldrick Rosas who made a 48-yard field goal as time expired to give the Giants a 40-38 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Giants finish the preseason 2-2, the same as last year.

>> WATCH GIANTS VS. PATRIOTS HIGHLIGHTS

UP NEXT

Auditions are closed. Clubs must reduce their active rosters to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, eight days before the Giants open the regular season in Dallas.

WHAT WE LEARNED ON OFFENSE

• With the backup quarterback competition coming to a head, Geno Smith got the start in Foxborough. He has been alternating all summer with Josh Johnson on the second and third teams. Smith completed his first seven passes, including a 25-yard touchdown – the first passing score of the preseason for the Giants -- to tight end Matt LaCosse. Smith finished 10 of 11 for 111 yards with the score before Johnson took over early in the second quarter.

• Johnson didn’t make the decision any easier for the Giants and looked just as impressive, completing 11 of 14 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. Davis Webb, the rookie third-round draft pick, played the fourth quarter and went eight of 14 for 103 yards while leading the game-winning drive.


• LaCosse’s touchdown was his time finding the end zone in the NFL, preseason or otherwise. He found it again in the second quarter on a two-yard pass from Johnson.   

• Tight end Will Tye lost a fumble on the opening drive. The play was originally ruled an incomplete pass, but the Patriots successfully challenged that he had control before losing the ball.

• Orleans Darkwa set the tone for the team’s most productive game on the ground this preseason with 40 yards on six carries, including an early 21-yarder. Shaun Draughn took over from there and accounted for 54 of the team’s 141 rushing yards, including a one-yard touchdown.

WHAT WE LEARNED ON DEFENSE


• The Giants’ defense accounted for 16 points last week due to pick-sixes from safety Landon Collins and cornerback Donte Deayon as well as a safety by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. That onslaught continued on Thursday night when defensive end Kerry Wynn intercepted Jacoby Brissett, who started for New England, and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

• Linebacker J.T. Thomas continued his comeback campaign. On Saturday against the Jets, he played in his first game since suffering a torn ACL in the 2016 season opener in Dallas. On Thursday, he started as the weakside linebacker. Thomas had a big play when he punched the ball out of the hands of fullback Glenn Gronkowski, and the fumble was recovered by linebacker Stansly Maponga.

• Curtis Grant, who has been playing all three linebacker positions this summer, led the team with 11 tackles, six solo. Defensive tackle Robert Thomas had the Giants’ lone sack.

WHAT WE LEARNED ON SPECIAL TEAMS

• Before Thursday night, Giants kickers Aldrick Rosas and Mike Nugent had alternated throughout the first three preseason games, and both were perfect with a few 50-yarders under their belts. Against the Patriots, though, Rosas handled all of the kicking duties and made all four attempts, including a 48-yarder as time expired to seal the victory. Nugent, a 14-year veteran, was brought in at the beginning of the month to compete with Rosas, who has never played in a regular-season game. 


STARTING LINEUPS

The Giants sat the entirety of their usual starting lineup, with the exception of one player: safety Darian Thompson. Here was their starting lineup:
 
Defense
LE 72 Kerry Wynn
LT 99 Robert Thomas
RT 64 Josh Banks
RE 97 Devin Taylor
SLB 78 Romeo Okwara
MLB 46 Calvin Munson
WLB 55 J.T. Thomas III
CB 35 Nigel Tribune
SS 33 Andrew Adams
FS 27 Darian Thompson
CB 38 Donte Deayon
 
Offense
WR 19 Travis Rudolph
LT 63 Chad Wheeler
LG 75 Jon Halapio
C 69 Brett Jones
RG 76 D.J. Fluker
RT 66 Adam Bisnowaty
TE 45 Will Tye
QB 3 Geno Smith
WR 18 Roger Lewis
RB 26 Orleans Darkwa
FB 43 Shane Smith

GAME CAPTAINS

LS Zak DeOssie, OL Brett Jones, RB Orleans Darkwa, S Darian Thompson, DE Romeo Okwara, CB Donte Deayon