Patriots-Giants Live Blog: Brady Plays 1st Half, But Pats Drop Preseason Finale 17-9

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Follow along for all the updates from New England’s preseason finale against the New York Giants.

Final — Giants 17, Patriots 9

That’s the preseason. The Patriots finish 3-1 in games that don’t count, and now can focus on the Arizona Cardinals.

Brissett finished his night 12-of-20 for 132 yards and looked good again under center. The story of the night was Tom Brady though, as No. 12 played the entire first half and finished 16-of-26 for 166 yards with a touchdown and the interception.

D.J. Foster made his best case to win a roster spot despite an early fumble. He finished with seven catches for 68 yards, adding 22 yards on the ground on nine carries. Tyler Gaffney had 22 rushing yards as well, but left the field in the third with what looked like a leg injury.

There’s also some concern on the offensive line, as Nate Solder left early with an injury. That’s one we’ll be keeping a close eye on over the next 10 days.

Barkevious Mingo was the story on defense, with the newcomer finishing with six total tackles, a pair of QB hits and a forced fumble.

Stick with CBSBostonsports.com for an extended look at tonight’s game, and tune in to postgame shows on both 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV.

4th Quarter, 1:16: Brissett went deep into the end zone, looking for Dobson, but the Giants had him covered and the Patriots turn it over on downs.

4th Quarter, 1:22: Brissett and Foster connected again, but the undrafted rookie only picked up nine yards before being taken down inbounds. That sets up a 4th-and-1 for Brissett and the offense.

4th Quarter, 2:00: Pats offense is looking good so far on this drive. Brissett connected with Foster on first down, who scampered for 22 yards. After getting sacked, Brissett hit Dobson up top for a 15-yard gain.

Another short connection to Foster for three yards takes us to the two minute warning.

4th Quarter, 3:55 — Giants 17, Patriots 9

A lengthy drive by the Giants ends with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Logan Thomas to Roger Lewis, who beat rookie Jonathan Jones on the score.

The 13 play drive covered 79 yards and (thankfully) ate up over six minutes of the clock.

4th Quarter, 10:24: The Giants are swarming Brissett, making him use his legs. He had to scramble on each of the last two plays, and he could only muster a yard on 3rd-and-4 to force another Patriots punt.

On the punt, Kamu Grugier-Hill delivered a bone-crushing hit on Bobby Rainey. Hits like that will get him a spot on New England’s special teams unit.

4th Quarter, 11:53: Grissom and Anthony Johnson combine to sack Nassib on third-and-2, forcing a New York punt. Johnson is battling for a roster spot, so good sign for the defensive end.

Cyrus Jones continues to impress in the return game, this time with a 34-yard return to the New England 40. The rookie made several nice cuts to allude would-be tacklers.

4th Quarter, 14:44 — Giants 10, Patriots 9

Brissett’s third down pass was batted up in the air before falling harmlessly to the field, so the Patriots settled for a 32-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

Tyler Gaffney, injured earlier, made his way to the New England locker room.

4th Quarter, 14:56: D.J. Foster had a nice run to the right to find the end zone, but Keshawn Martin was flagged for a hold to bring it back. Martin also appeared to be shaken up on the play, with what looks like a left leg injury.

End 3rd Quarter — Giants 10, Patriots 6

Nothing for Brissett on 2nd-and-Goal, so the rookie throws it away to close out the third quarter.

Just 15 minutes left in preseason football.

3rd Quarter, 00:29: Devin Lucien went upstairs to make a nice grab on a high pass from Brissett, coming down with a seven-yard reception, but he’s on the ground after a late hit to his back by Mark Herzlich.

The former BC Eagle was flagged for unsportslmanlike conduct, and Lucien had to be helped off the field. It sets up a 1st-and-goal for Brissett and the New England offense.

3rd Quarter, 1:35: A.J. Derby with a nice LeGarrette Blount impression, leaping over a defender to pick up an extra couple of yards on a 13-yard connection with Brissett.

Pats are driving, currently at the New York 24.

3rd Quarter, 2:57: On 3rd-and-12, D.J. Foster hauls in a pass from Brissett over the middle for 14 yards.

Solid night for Foster, aside from the fumble, as he has five receptions for 56 yards.

3rd Quarter, 4:15: Tyler Gaffney broke off a nice run for 16 yards up the middle, but just limped off the field.

3rd Quarter, 8:23: Quick 3-and-out for Brissett and crew.

Gaffney ran for nothing on first down, Brissett was sacked for a 7-yard loss on second down and Foster picked up six yards up the middle on third-and-17.

3rd Quarter, 10:19 — Giants 10, Patriots 6

The Giants find the end zone for the first time, as Tavarres King beats Cyrus Jones on a slant and takes it 59 yards to the house. King just outran everyone on his way to the end zone.

Jones was having a solid preseason, but he flat out got beat on that play.

3rd Quarter, 12:15: Brissett got crushed by a trio of Giants before delivering an incomplete to DeAndre Carter, ending his completion streak at 16 (dating back to last game).

It forces a Patriots’ punt. Brissett went 3-of-4 on his first drive, hitting A.J. Derby twice for 14 yards and Devan Lucien for a nice 20-yard gain on his other completion.

3rd Quarter, 15:00: Bill Belichick just confirmed that Jacoby Brissett will start the second half.

Halftime — Patriots 6, Giants 3

Tom Brady played the entire first half under center, taking the field for 39 total snaps. He went 16-of-26 for 166 yards with a touchdown and an interception on his seven drives, which included No. 12 taking a knee to end the first half.

See you October 3, Tom.

On defense, Barkevious Mingo was impressive during the first half, finishing with three tackles and a forced fumble.

2nd Quarter, 00:07: What was a bad drive by the New England defense ends well, with Richards picking off Nassib at the 3-yard line.

Here comes Tom Brady to take a knee, which should end his night.

2nd Quarter, 00:40: Jordan Richards got beat deep, as Nassib hits Larry Donnell for 30 yards to the Giants 39.

2nd Quarter, 1:05: An incomplete to Dobson sets up another Patriots punt. Unless the defense forces a quick 3-and-out, that should be Brady’s night.

2nd Quarter, 1:56: Brady gets sacked by Romeo Okwara right after the tw0-minute warning for a 7-yard loss. Sets up a 3rd-and-20 for New England.

2nd Quarter, 2:45: After two handoffs to Tyler Gaffney, Brady hits A.J. Derby over the middle for an 18-yard gain to move the chains.

2nd Quarter, 4:10: Another Giants punt, as Mingo continues to impress on the defensive side.

He brought down Perkins for a three-yard loss on a first down run, completely ignoring the offensive lineman trying to hold him back. He has three tackles so far.

And Tom Brady is coming back out for his sixth series.

2nd Quarter, 7:21: What could have been a solid drive for the Patriots ends in disappointment, as D.J. Foster fumbles it away at the New York 8.

Foster wasn’t protecting the ball at all on his 7-yard gain on a short pass from Brady, and that miscue could be the difference between making the team and getting cut. Costly lesson for the rookie to learn in the final preseason game.

Belichick has a lengthy conversation with Foster on the bench, so we’ll see if he learns from his mistake the next time out.

2nd Quarter, 7:33: Brady just hit Dobson with a nice deep ball for a 37-yard gain down to the New York 19. Dobson made a nice play to go up and grab Brady’s pass.

That should help his cause to make the roster — or his trade value.

2nd Quarter, 10:13: Here comes Tom Brady for another drive. Risky, given the state of the offensive line.

2nd Quarter, 10:13 — Patriots 6, Giants 3

The Giants are on the board after a lengthy drive that ended with a 25-yard field goal.

The 15-play drive covered 59 yards, but could have ended sooner. Cyrus Jones was all over Tavarres King on a third down bid, but never turned around to bat away Nassib’s pass. It went for a nine-yard gain that moved the chains.

2nd Quarter, 14:42: Mingo is everywhere, hitting Nassib as the QB completed a third down pass to move the chains for the Giants.

It resulted in a first down for New York, but Mingo has been impressive so far.

End 1st Quarter — Patriots 6, Giants 0

That’s the end of the first quarter. Brady went 12-of-19 for 92 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Hopefully his night is done.

1st Quarter, 1:24: Another injury for the Patriots, as rookie linebacker Elandon Roberts is down after New England’s kickoff. His ankle was rolled up on during the kick return.

He limped off the field on his own, so we’ll see if he’s back as he battles for a roster spot.

1st Quarter, 1:32 — Patriots 6, Giants 0

The Patriots are on the scoreboard, as Brady hit Keshawn Martin for a 7-yard score. His job was likely safe entering the game, but that should seal the deal.

The Patriots went for two, and Brady felt some heavy presure from the Giants’ D. He was forced to throw it away, and the Pats settle for six points.

1st Quarter, 3:24: Brady scrambles for 10 yards, as everyone in New England holds their breath.

1st Quarter, 3:36: Brady just hit D.J. Foster for 30 yards on a lovely wheel route, and the Pats are threatening late in the first quarter.

1st Quarter, 4:33: Brady to Edelman for 20 yards, and all is right in the world.

1st Quarter, 5:10: Mingo has forced another fumble, and this time the ball belongs to the Patriots. He hit Giants running back Paul Perkins as he went to the ground, knocking the ball out again.

So here comes another Brady-led drive for the New England offense.

1st Quarter, 5:32: The Patriots should have the ball, but an illegal use of hands penalty on Elandon Roberts whipes out a Barkevious Mingo forced fumble.

Barkevious came off the edge and stripped a scrambling Nassib, with Geneo Grissom picking up the loose ball.

1st Quarter, 6:19: And it’s a fumble by Bennett. Giants football.

Two turnovers for the Patriots already. Not a good offensive showing thus far.

1st Quarter, 6:19: This will be a quick drive for Brady and the New England offense. Brady hit Martellus Bennett on a short pass, but the tight end coughed it up as he went to the ground.

Bennett was ruled down before fumbling, but the Giants have challenged and this one is going to get overturned.

1st Quarter, 6:39: The defense forces a 3-and-out, as Chris Long continues to be disruptive along the line. He forced a quick throw from Nassib on third down, which flew over the head of Dwayne Harris.

Here comes more Tom Brady.

1st Quarter, 8:05: Brady went looking for Edelman over the middle on 3rd-and-2, but the pass was tipped away and the Pats are forced to punt it away.

Brady is now 5-for-11 for 32 yards.

1st Quarter, 10:15: Brady is looking great in the pocket, buying some extra time to allow plays to develop (even though most of them haven’t necessarily developed).

But he hit Chris Hogan for 16 yards on a 3rd-and-7, buying some extra time with a little scramble.

There is bad news though, as Nate Solder ran off the field with what looks like a left leg injury. Any kind of injury on the offensive line is the last thing the Patriots need heading into the regular season.

Cam Fleming replaced Solder at left tackle.

1st Quarter, 10:51: Brady is back out there. The Patriots’ drive will start at the New England 6.

1st Quarter, 11:38: The Patriots D is off to a solid start tonight, albeit against players who won’t be on the field for the Giants a week from Sunday.

Jamie Collins is playing and making his presence felt, forcing a fumble (which rolled out of bounds) on a sack on Nassib. Collins has three tackles already.

Hopefully that’s the end of the night for the super-human linebacker.

1st Quarter, 12:57: Brady is not a happy man right now.

His first drive ended with an interception by Trevin Wade, who jumped in front of a pass over the middle intended for Aaron Dobson. Dobson didn’t put up much of a fight for the pass, which is nothing new from him.

Brady finished the drive 1-for-4 with -4 yards.

The Giants take over at midfield.

1st Quarter, 13:02: Well, there was that pocket practice Brady has wanted. After hitting Julian Edelman for a four-yard loss on first down, Brady went his way deep on second down, buying some time with a nice scramble before taking a hit. He couldn’t connect with Edelman on the deep pass, but Edelman forced a holding call on third down to move the chains for New England.

1st Quarter, 13:37: The New ENgland D forced a quick 3-and-out on New York’s first possession.

Malcolm Butler had a nice break-up on a pass to Victor Cruz on first down, and Chris Long batted down Nassib’s third-down pass attempt to force a New York punt.

Alan Branch, back from his team suspension, started along the defensive line with Malcom Brown.

And here comes Tom Brady.

Pregame: — 7:07 p.m.: The Giants have won the toss and will receive. Tom Brady and the New England offense will have to wait.

Ryan Nassib is under center for the Giants.

Pregame — 6:54 p.m.: Julian Edelman is not listed among New England’s inactives tonight. Maybe he will be chucking up some passes this evening.

Pregame — 6:40 p.m.: It should come as no surprise that we will not see Rob Gronkowski tonight. Gronk hasn’t seen the field in the preseason since 2012.

He was one of 11 Patriots not seen in uniform during warmups, along with special teams captain Matthew Slater, Jabaal Sheard and rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell.

Also not spotted: Danny Amendola, Jonathan Cooper, Shaq Mason, Shea McClellin and Cre’Von LeBlanc.

Chris Harper was on the field but not in uniform.

Pregame — 6:30 p.m.: Bill Belichick didn’t give out his plan under center tonight, but instead had some fun with Scott Zolak on the 98.5 The Sports Hub’s pregame show.

“I’ll put Julian in there and run some option plays,” Belichick joked.

He did have plenty of nice things to say about Barkevious Mingo, who we should get our first glimpse of this evening.

“He took a lot of snaps on defense and the kicking game. I think well get a chance to play him tonight in several different roles,” said the coach. “We’ll see how it goes, getting him comfortable with calls and with teammates.”

Belichick said Mingo is a smart and versatile player who picks things up quickly.

Pregame — 6:06 p.m.: Tom Brady may be playing tonight, but he won’t be going against New York’s top defenders.

Pregame — 6:00 p.m.: If you wanted to see Jimmy Garoppolo and Julian Edelman tonight, here’s your opportunity:

Pregame — 4:41 p.m.: The Patriots conclude the preseason tonight with a visit to the New York Giants, and Tom Brady will reportedly be New England’s starting quarterback for the finale.

According to CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran, Brady will get the start while Jimmy Garoppolo will be a spectator. It’s a curious move, as Garoppolo could clearly use some more work before taking over for the first four games of the regular season. But Bill Belichick must be pleased with what he’s seen out of the third-year QB, enough so that he’s keeping him out of harms way on Thursday night.

It’s customary for starters to see little to no action in the preseason finale, but it’s unusual that Brady will be out there. He hasn’t played in the preseason finale since 2011, aside from a quick appearance as a holder in 2014, and while it’s understandable that Brady would want to see the field before his month-long ban from everything Patriots football, there’s always the chance that something could happen out there. With Brady under center, that should mean the starting offensive line also sees the field tonight, further raising the injury concern on an already thin crop of lineman.

It remains unknown which of Brady’s weapons will be on the field, but it sounds unlikely that Julian Edelman will be joining him. The receiver made the trip and is on the field for pregame warmups, but is not going through the aggressive routine we’re used to seeing out of him:

So we’ll see who else takes the field with Brady when this bad boy kicks off. There are plenty of other intriguing story lines to follow other than No. 12, including the battle in the backfield with Tyler Gaffney and D.J. Foster trying to secure a spot on the roster. It’s also worth watching along the defensive line, with Markus Kuhn, Anthony Johnson and Rufus Johnson among those trying to pad their resume.

Stick with CBSBostonsports.com throughout the game for all the updates, and tune in to the action on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Kickoff is set for 7pm, and both stations will have full postgame shows following the tilt.

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