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Final, 28-20 Patriots: And that’s it, the preseason is over. Now we just have to get through cuts, and it’ll be time for the real thing.
Fourth quarter, 6.0 seconds, 28-20 Patriots: We all thought the game was over, but not so fast. Following a turnover on downs, the Pats take over on the 9-yard line. Tebow lofted a pass to the right sideline, and Quentin Sims went up and got it. Those two connect for their second touchdown of the night, and the Pats lead 28-20.
Fourth quarter, 1:07, 21-20 Patriots: Three runs come up just short of a first down, and the Pats punt again. The Giants have life.
Fourth quarter, 1:47, 21-20 Patriots: A third-down pass breakup by Marquice Cole is followed up by a swarming team sack on fourth down, and the Patriots get the ball back.
Fourth quarter, 1:58, 21-20 Patriots: The Giants are driving into field-goal range as the two-minute warning hits. Edge-of-your-seat stuff, to be sure.
Fourth quarter, 4:12, 21-20 Patriots: The answer was no. Tebow came up a yard short on his third-down scramble, and Ryan Allen came on to punt. He pinned the Giants inside the 10 for the second time tonight, which could be significant. He at least gave the Patriots something to think abou tat the punter spot.
Fourth quarter, 6:28, 21-20 Patriots: The defense comes up with a stop, and if Tebow can do his job, this will be his last drive. The Patriots need to pick up a few first downs and run the clock. Whether he can do that is anyone’s guess.
Fourth quarter, 8:01, 21-20 Patriots: Tebow looked like he had something going, running for 13 yards on first down and then picking up a couple of yards on the next play. However, his deep pass along the left sideline intended for Aaron Dobson never got there, as Trumaine McBride picked it off. The pass was a bit of a wobbler, and it just never made it wide enough to the sideline, and Tebow paid the price for it.
Fourth quarter, 9:27, 21-20 Patriots: Logan Ryan looks good, especially compared to some of the defensive backs Belichick has drafted over the years. He just broke up a third down pass to force a punt, and I’d expect to see a decent amount of him this season.
Fourth quarter, 12:26, 21-20 Patriots: Tim Tebow has finally done something positive, hitting Quentin Sims on an in-cut before the receiver broke free for a 52-yard touchdown. Much of that came after the catch, but it nevertheless goes in the books as a touchdown pass for Tebow. He’s now 5-for-9 for 82 yards and a touchdown.
End of third quarter, 20-14 Giants: Well, that’s no way to make the roster.
Leon Washington, eager to make an impression, fielded a punt off a high bounce, but Cooper Taylor hit him as soon as he got the ball. Washington bobbled it and lost it, and the Giants take over at the New England 40.
Here are WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid’s thoughts from the third quarter:
Tebow with the start in the 3rd quarter and after going 2-for-2 on passing plays, the Giants must of picked up his cadence. They were jumping the gun on plays and beating the offensive linemen off the ball. Tebow got sacked twice.
Tebow’s second series and he’s just having issues. Sacked another 2 times, I am not sure what’s going on with him
Tebow’s third series and again the ball isn’t moving. He ran for a first down but still looks like he’s struggling to get this going. He needs a strong fourth quarter.
Third quarter, 1:42, 20-14 Giants: The offense has stalled out completely, not coincidentally aligning with Tebow’s entrance. He completed a short pass to Daniel Fells (who almost assuredly won’t be making the team, considering he’s in there with Tebow right now), and he had a couple of runs for eight total yards, but … punt.
Third quarter, 5:06, 20-14 Giants: A big punt return by Charles James set up the Giants in the red zone, and it didn’t take long to find the end zone. Da’Rel Scott was ruled down just before crossing the end zone (thanks to video replay review), but he was able to score a couple of plays later. 20-14 Giants.
Third quarter, 5:45, 14-13 Patriots: Tebow’s drive:
Not the best drive for Tebow, though not the worst (there’s competition in that category).
Third quarter, 7:08, 14-13 Patriots: The Giants cut the lead to just a single point by kicking a field goal. And now we can all focus on Tebow again.
Third quarter, 11:28, 14-10 Patriots: Tebow definitely looked better than he did last time out, but that’s not saying much. He completed a couple of passes on the drive before getting sacked on back-to-back plays, leading to a punt. The sacks weren’t Tebow’s fault, as the pocket completely collapsed in on him when no receivers had broken free.
Third quarter, 14:56, 14-10 Patriots: Tebow Time begins…
Here are WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid’s thoughts from the second quarter:
Ryan Mallett moving the team adequately down the field. Hits Kenbrell Thompkins on a big third down play. Then on a play for the end zone, Mallett misses on the corner play. He’s not good at any of the touch passes. George Winn punches it in from the one. Mallet needs to execute like a strong number two though.
Leon Washington just made a great punt return. Many have him on the bubble, his run back will help.
Mallett showing off his arm and hits Josh Boyce on a deep ball. Nice play all the way around.
Marquice Cole with a nice defensive play as he batted down a ball on a big play. Had Marquice on the bubble, but he’s playing well tonight.
More good defense and Michael Buchanan with a veteran move to get the ball and cause a turnover. The Pats young players are playing well and as I say it, Aaron Dobson coughs up a ball and former BC linebacker Mark Herzlich gets the interception. Dobson always seems to make the spectacular catch but messes up the easy ones.
Player of the quarter has to be Michael Buchanan. He getting after the ball and the quarterback and becoming a disruptive force.
Halftime, 14-10 Patriots: A holding call on first down leads to the Patriots deciding to kneel on the ball to let the clock wind down. Which means after halftime … it becomes Tebow Time. Brace yourselves.
Second quarter, 1:02, 14-10 Patriots: The damage of the interception isn’t too bad, as the Giants have to settle for a field goal. We’ll see what the Patriots have for us in the final minute here.
Second quarter, 2:38, 14-7 Patriots: Ryan Mallett throws a pick, though it’s not his fault. He hit Aaron Dobson in the chest, but the rookie let it bounce away. Mark Herzlich caught the ball before it hit the turf as the two teams exchange turnovers.
Second quarter, 3:18, 14-7 Patriots: Michael Buchanan is having quite the night at right defensive end, and he just burst into the backfield and strip-sacked David Carr. Steve Beauharnais recovered it, and the Patriots take over.
Second quarter, 4:45, 14-7 Patriots: Marquice Cole may not be a stater, but he’s played very well in spots this preseason. His third-down pass breakup to force a Giants punt just now qualifies as one such moment.
Second quarter, 7:19, 14-7 Patriots: It didn’t take long at all for the Patriots to take the lead, thanks in large part to Leon Washington’s 43-yard punt return. Mallett took over at the Giants’ 40-yard line and threw a deep ball down the left sideline. Rookie Josh Boyce made a finger-tip catch, and the Patriots lead 14-7.
Second quarter, 9:50, 7-7: If things in a preseason game can be significant, that replay review was significant, because on third down, Corey Webster interfered with Thompkins in the end zone. George Winn scored from a yard out, Stephen Gostkowski hit the extra point, and the game is now tied 7-7.
Second quarter, 9:57, 7-0 Giants: Things were looking up for Ryan Mallett, who completed two long passes to Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson on a drive that looked like it was heading for six. Instead, Mallett lofted a pass to Dobson in the back left corner of the end zone, and Prince Amukamara picked it off. Another bad result for Mallett … however, replay review showed the cornerback’s hand touched out of bounds prior to his two feet coming down.
Here are WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid’s first quarter thoughts:
The Pats second and third string defense get the start and surprisingly they are playing well. Adrian Wilson is out there and Jeff Tarpinian is calling the plays in the huddle.
Ryan Mallett missed a wide open Leon Washington. Not sure it was going to be six but it was going to be a big play.
Big debate about Adrian Wilson going on. He’s out there. I didn’t think he was on the bubble but I guess he may be. He needs to be better in the passing game.
Giants played their first string for three series and on the third, they finally got on the board. Hakeem Nicks was too long and strong for Logan Ryan.
First quarter, 54 seconds, 7-0: A third crack at the Pats’ backup defense was what the Giants needed, as their third drive looked like what you might expect in such a matchup.
Manning hit Nicks on a slant in the end zone to cap off the 91-yard drive.
First quarter, 6:38, 0-0-: A Josh Boyce reverse was the highlight of that drive, as the rookie showed off his speed on a big gain of about 20. However, back-to-back incompletions from Mallett led to another punt. On comes Eli Manning for another crack at this Patriots defense.
First quarter, 9:02, 0-0: Another good showing for the Patriots’ defense, which forced the Giants’ top offensive unit to punt again. Marquice Cole stopped a running play after blitzing from the right side on second down, and after a false start penalty, Logan Ryan played Hakeem Nicks tight and forced an incompletion.
First quarter, 10:47, 0-0: A little bit of good (a completion to Zach Sudfeld for a first down) and a little bit of bad (overthrowing an uncovered Leon Washington on a would-be big play on third down) for Ryan Mallett on the opening drive of the night. Mallett’s had his ups and downs this preseason, but missed plays like that are the ones that make us question whether he can be an NFL quarterback.
First quarter, 13:25, 0-0:The Patriots’ defense comes up with a stop of Eli Manning and the Giants’ first team offense, giving up a first down but that was it. Eli Manning threw deep to nobody on third down, bringing on the punt team. Leon Washington returned the punt about three yards, but an illegal block in the back pushes the Pats back to the 7-yard line.
First quarter, 14:56, 0-0: The game is under way in Foxboro. The Giants received and will begin at the 16, after a short return by Michael Cox.
7:34 p.m.: Brandon Bolden and Nate Ebner are two players not in uniform tonight, which probably doesn’t bode well for their chances of making the roster.
7:22 p.m.: With just a few minutes until game time, the Patriots have an interesting guest on the sideline in … Tiger Woods.
6 p.m.: As it turns out, Tom Brady is a big tease.
The quarterback said earlier this week that he was expecting to play tonight, and he was preparing as though that would be the case. However, the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe reported earlier this afternoon that Brady, along with several other starters, will not be playing at all.
The decision says that Bill Belichick is satisfied with where his new-look offense is heading into the regular season, even after last week’s ugly showing in Detroit.
It also means tonight will be more about battles for roster spots. While most of the 22 cuts that must come before Saturday might already be decided, there are definitely three or four that the coaching staff has not yet figured out. Perhaps a shining performance (or the opposite) tonight will be enough to tip the scales one way or the other.
Whatever happens, it’ll all be here in the live blog, so stick with us throughout the night.