AT FIRST GLANCE**
For the 11th consecutive preseason finale, the New York Giants and New England Patriots met on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Resting Eli Manning for the entire game, Big Blue defeated the defending Super Bowl champions 12-9 on all field goals to finish 2-2.
They will meet again in Week 10 at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants have 10 more days to prepare for their 2015 season opener against the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, Sept. 13, at AT&T Stadium.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE
Thinking he might play one or two series heading into it, the Giants eventually made the decision to rest quarterback Eli Manning for the entire fourth and final preseason game of the year. The same went for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who spent an extended period of time running routes and catching passes from Manning in pregame warmups.
That led to backup Ryan Nassib getting his first start as an NFL quarterback. The third-year pro and former fourth-round draft pick went 16 of 32 for 193 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. His longest play of the game was a 40-yarder to rookie wide receiver Geremy Davis on a deep pass down the right sideline in the second quarter.
Nassib later hit tight end Jerome Cunningham for a 33-yard gain in the fourth quarter. On the offensive line, Geoff Schwartz made his first start of the preseason, lining up at right guard next to tackle Marshall Newhouse (John Jerry rotated in and out with Schwartz).
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE
With no Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo, Ryan Lindley was under center for the Patriots. The Giants capitalized and notched a preseason-high four sacks, including two from defensive end George Selvie, who returned from a knee injury this week. Second-year defensive tackle Jay Bromley recorded the first sack of his career, and defensive end Damontre Moore had a strip-sack that the Giants recovered with a minute left in the game.
Giants took a knee for the victory. For the second-straight game, the Giants had to come away encouraged by the play of young safeties Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor. Collins, the Giants' second-round draft pick, had four tackles (two solo), including some hard hits in the run game. He also made an impressive play to break up a deep pass from Lindley intended for wide receiver Reggie Wayne in the first quarter, forcing a fourth down and a Patriots punt. Meanwhile, Taylor also wrapped up nicely on a pair of tackles on short passes. Additionally, fellow safety Stevie Brown, who signed with the Giants this week, did what he does best and notched an interception late in the game.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE SPECIAL TEAMS
Handling the kicking duties for Josh Brown, who bruised his leg while making a tackle last week against Jacksonville, Chris Boswell made all four of his field goal attempts from 34, 29, 33, and 41 yards. Boswell signed back with the Giants the day before the preseason finale after he was waived in training camp on Aug. 16.
Five standout performers in the Giants fourth preseason game vs. Patriots
DID NOT PLAY
CB Trevin Wade (back), WR Corey Washington (shoulder), DE Robert Ayers (ankle), LB Jon Beason (knee), Will Beatty (PUP), S Nat Berhe (calf), CB Chykie Brown (knee), K Josh Brown (bruised leg), LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), WR Victor Cruz (calf), CB Chandler Fenner (hamstring), DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), S Jeromy Miles (groin)
Kerry Wynn and George Selvie were the starting defensive ends in place of Jenkins and Ayers; Jameel McClain for Beason at middle linebacker; Cooper Taylor for Miles at safety.
DT Johnathan Hankins, C Weston Richburg, WR Dwayne Harris
Photos from the Giants Preseason Week 4 matchup with the Patriots