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Instant Analysis: Giants fall to Patriots, 28-20


PLAY OF THE GAME:**Late in the first half linebacker Mark Herzlich intercepted Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett on a pass defended by cornerback Trumaine McBride. The play led to Josh Brown's 38-yard field goal, bringing New York within four points of New England before halftime.

TURNING POINT: After the Giants scored 13-straight points to regain the lead in the third quarter, Quentin Sims caught a 52-yard touchdown from Tim Tebow to give the Patriots a 21-20 lead in the fourth. The Patriots would extend the lead later in the game to beat the Giants 28-20.

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TOP DRIVE:New York put together a 10-play, 91-yard scoring drive in 5:42 midway through the first quarter, capped off by Eli Manning's three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks for the first points of the game. Manning began the drive with a 37-yard completion to wide receiver Louis Murphy. SACK OF THE NIGHT:

 More than 650 pounds met third-string quarterback Tim Tebow when defensive tackles Mike Patterson and Shaun Rogers split a sack in the second half. Matt Broha followed up with one of his own on the next play, forcing the Patriots to punt.WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:

It didn't start with an 84-yard touchdown like last week, but the first-team offense showed consistency while the starters remained in the game. In addition to the drive noted above, David Wilson piled up 37 yards on six carries (6.2 average) with a long of 16. However, running back Andre Brown suffered a fractured leg in the first half after eight rushed for 27 yards. First-year Giant Brandon Myers hauled in a 15-yard catch on the first play from scrimmage for his third catch of the preseason. He was second on the Giants with three catches for 42 yards. In order, the Giants' quarterbacks were: Manning (6/9, 74 yards, 1 TD); Ryan Nassib (4/9, 37 yards); David Carr (5/8, 42 yards); Curtis Painter (8/11, 94 yards, 1 TD).

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE: The Giants notched five sacks against the Patriots, who did not play starting quarterback Tom Brady in the fourth and final preseason game. Mike Patterson led the team with 1.5 of them. Back from an ankle injury, safety Antrel Rolle looked as healthy as ever when he chased down wide receiver Josh Boyd reverse on a reverse. The play went for 18 yards, but Rolle showed he is able to fly around the field. Prince Amukamara nearly came down with his second interception in as many games. The third-year cornerback won a jump ball in the end zone thrown by Ryan Mallett. Originally called an interception and a touchback, the play was overturned after a review, and the Patriots scored their first touchdown two plays later.WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:

Rookie running back Michael Cox continues to provide good field position for the Giants. He averaged 30.0 yards on three attempts, with a long of 38 yards. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Charles James muffed his first punt return of the night but was able to retain possession. It was all positive from there as he averaged 10.0 yards on four returns, including a 30-yarder in the third quarter, setting up Da'Rel Scott's touchdown. Kicker Josh Brown was 2-for-2 with a long of 48 yards and booted touchback after touchback to secure field position for the Giants.

ROOKIE WATCH: QB Ryan Nassib 4 of 9, 37 yards; CB Charles James 5 punt returns, 10.0-yard average (long of 30); S Cooper Taylor 2 tackles (1 solo), 1 FF; S David Caldwell 1 solo tackle; DT Johnathan Hankins 2 tackles, 1 solo.

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