AT A GLANCE: There are a few other games between the Giants and Patriots that people might say produced more dramatic comebacks, but the two teams delivered a pretty good one on Thursday night in the preseason finale. After allowing 26 unanswered points, the Giants scored 21 of their own without response for a 31-29 victory to finish the preseason with a perfect 4-0 record. Kyle Lauletta threw a 14-yard touchdown to wide receiver Alonzo Russell as time expired to complete the comeback as the entire team ran on the field at Gillette Stadium.
UP NEXT: Clubs must reduce their active rosters to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 31. Then it’s all systems go for Dallas. Next Sunday will be the fourth time in five years and the fifth time in seven seasons the Giants will open at AT&T Stadium against the Cowboys.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:
*Pat Shurmur wanted to give Daniel Jones a full week of preparation as the starter, and that’s what the head coach did with the rookie sixth overall pick heading into the finale. Shurmur announced Sunday that Jones would start and Eli Manning would sit the fourth preseason game for the fifth year in a row.
Jones, behind the second-team offensive line, came out hot and completed his first four passes for 47 yards. He led the team down to a third-and one at the Patriots 13, where running back Paul Perkins, who started at halfback, failed to convert on two tries as the Giants turned the ball over on downs. That would be the end of the night for Jones, who finished his first preseason 29 of 34 (85.3 percent) for 416 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He fumbled three times and lost two.
*Alex Tanney took over on the second series and, on his first attempt, threw a 35-yard touchdown to wide receiver Alonzo Russell down the left side of the end zone.
*In the competition for touches behind Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley, who did not appear in a preseason game this year, Perkins and Wayne Gallman carried most of the load on Thursday night. Perkins ran 11 times for 54 yards, but it was Gallman who found the end zone on a six-yard run in the fourth quarter.
*Tight end Scott Simonson, who is battling for the third tight end spot, caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Lauletta late in the third quarter. A defensive back fell on his ankle as he reached the end zone, and Simonson had to be carted off the field. He did not return.
*The Giants twice attempted a two-point conversion, but were unsuccessful both times.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE:
*With the first team on the sideline, the starters up front were RJ McInstosh, John Jenkins, and Olsen Pierre. At linebacker, Ryan Connelly and B.J. Goodson started inside with Markus Golden and Oshane Ximines on the edge. Corey Ballentine and Ronald Zamort started at cornerback, while Michael Thomas and Julian Love were at safety. Goodson led the defense with six tackles, including a sack.
*The Giants forced a turnover on back-to-back Patriots drives in the first quarter. The first was an interception by safety Sean Chandler, who caught it easily thanks to a hit by defensive lineman Jake Ceresna that dislodged the ball from quarterback Jarrett Stidham, a rookie fourth-round pick who started the game. On the next drive, outside linebacker Keion Adams recovered a fumble.
*The tables then turned, and the Giants allowed 26 unanswered points in the second quarter alone. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas caught two touchdowns in that stretch, including a 35-yarder from Stidham, as the Patriots took the lead and never relinquished it.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:
*Pro Bowl kicker Aldrick Rosas made two field goals on Thursday night, finishing the preseason without a miss on five attempts.
INJURY REPORT: OLB Keion Adams (knee), WR Brittan Golden (calf), CB Ronald Zamort (ankle), LB Nate Stupar (concussion), TE Scott Simonson (ankle)
GAME CAPTAINS: C Spencer Pulley, LB B.J. Goodson, LB Nate Stupar Stupar