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Sidelines Notes

Giants vs. Patriots: Sideline notes and observations

Here are my notes from the Giants' fourth and final preseason game against the Patriots based on what I saw from the radio booth and from watching the game tape this morning. 

• Donte Deayon couldn't have done much more to make his case to make this team. On two deep balls thrown in his direction, he was in perfect position, staying behind the receiver. He tracked the ball in the air, coming down with one difficult diving catch near the sideline, just getting his elbow down in-bounds on a Danny Etling pass intended for K.J. Maye. On the other deep ball, this one to the post, he might have had another interception but Patriots receiver Devin Lucien got his arm in to knock the ball away. Deayon's second interception was even more impressive. Etling was once again looking for Lucien with 17 seconds left in the first half and the ball at midfield. Lucien ran a deep in-cut, but Deayon understood he had safety help deep, read the route combination, and used his speed to undercut the route and grab his second interception of the game. In the third quarter, Deayon also knocked the ball away from wide receiver Paul Turner after he momentarily caught a slant, forcing an incomplete pass. Deayon was playing excellent football in training camp before his hamstring injury, and he finished the preseason with a bang. 

• If Deayon is the fourth cornerback, the battle for the fifth raged all game. Cornerback Grant Haley made a nice play knocking away a Etling pass to Lucien on the Patriots' first drive. Haley did allow a deep pass to be completed to Maye, but it looked like he should have had safety help from Andrew Adams as Maye came all the way across the field on a post. Chris Lewis-Harris was active all game, knocking away a couple of passes in the first half and making a nice tackle in run support. He did let Turner get behind on a deep ball and was fortunate Turner dropped the pass.

• I would consider Lorenzo Carter's sack a coverage sack, but Carter deserves some credit for sticking with the play. Offensive lineman Matt Tobin stopped his initial move, but Carter used his strength to send Tobin off balance to the outside, before coming inside to sack Etling, who was stepping up in the pocket. Carter was also active on special teams during the game. In one way, shape or form, Carter will help the Giants win games this year. 

• Edge rusher Avery Moss briefly left the game with a knee injury but returned and was very active. He had the chance for a sack as the inside man on an end-tackle twist but couldn't bring down Etling. A few plays later, he made a nice play against the run, coming down the line from his spot outside. 

• There isn't much to say about the Danny Etling's 86-yard touchdown run because there is no single mistake to point out. I'm not sure there was one Giants player on the field that realized Etling had kept the ball on the play action bootleg until he was 10 yards downfield, and too far away for anyone to catch the speedy quarterback. 

• The battle for the final wide receiver spot(s) raged on Thursday night. Kalif Raymond knows how to get open with his speed and quickness, which allows him to get separation down the field. He had two opportunities to catch deep balls from quarterback Kyle Lauletta, but the passes were underthrown. Raymond also got a chance to return punts and brought back one for 16 yards.

• Roger Lewis Jr., on the other hand, once again showed up as a gunner on special teams. He had an excellent open field tackle on Patriots punt returner Cyrus Jones, arriving right after the ball and taking him down for a one-yard loss. 

• Kyle Lauletta had an up and down game. He was strong in the short and intermediate areas, throwing on time and accurately. His best throw of the game might have been his first. With Patriots defensive tackle Adam Butler coming right up the middle, Lauletta delivered a perfect strike on a pass that traveled 25 yards in the air over the middle to Kalif Raymond. Despite the pass rusher bearing down in his face (and eventually hitting him hard after the pass was thrown), Lauletta kept his composure and fundamentals, resulting in an accurate, well-thrown ball to Raymond. 

• Lauletta throws a beautifully arced deep ball that can drop in perfectly if thrown accurately. Unfortunately for him, he had a couple of open receivers on deep balls outside the numbers that came up a little short and resulted in interceptions by Patriots rookie cornerback J.C. Jackson. Lauletta has struggled from time to time at practice generating the power necessary to put the ball down the field outside with sufficient force, and it showed up in Thursday's game. 

• Alex Tanney got to play the majority of the second half and looked like the same solid quarterback we have seen in practice. He has a good arm, has good mobility and knows where to go with the ball. I've seen a lot of back of the roster quarterbacks come through here and he might be one of the best. If he doesn't find a job with the Giants this year, he deserves to be on a NFL roster somewhere.

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