Patriots Live Blog: Giants Use Touchdowns on Special Teams, Defense to Pull Off 18-17 Victory

Patriots Live Blog: Giants Use Touchdowns on Special Teams, Defense to Pull Off 18-17 Victory

Final, Giants 18-17: Ryan Mallett's comeback bid was halted due to a series of sacks, and the Giants scored the last 15 points of the game to pull off an ugly victory. All in all, the Patriots' starters played well, but their second- and third-string offense was horrendous.

The preseason is in the books, and the Patriots finished with a 2-2 record that doesn't mean a thing. It's now time to trim the roster and get ready for Week 1.

Fourth quarter, 2:20, Giants 18-17: Ryan Mallett has another opportunity to erase this one-point deficit after James Ihedigbo sliced through blockers to force the Giants to punt. Ihedigbo has been receiving medical attention on the bench, and it's really tough to tell what's wrong. Also, on his way off the field, he received congratulations from Matt Patricia, Patrick Chung and Josh Barrett.

Fourth quarter, 3:53, Giants 18-17: After another atrocious performance from the backup offensive linemen, the Patriots were forced to punt again. James Ihedigbo showed up well again in coverage and has had a good night. He looks like he could be an important special teamer for the Patriots if they don't end up carrying a million defensive linemen.

Fourth quarter, 7:51, Giants 18-17: Ryan Mallett has been erratic since the opening drive, and he has missed some open receivers, including a couple of chances to Tiquan Underwood. Of course, Mallett would benefit if the Patriots could run the ball, but they just haven't been able to do that too much with the backups.

Fourth quarter, 9:40, Giants 18-17: Bill Belichick is going to hate the fourth quarter of this game. Richard Medlin, who rushed for two touchdowns in the preseason opener, coughed up the ball in the backfield, and Derrick Martin did the ol' scoop-n-score routine. Ryan Perrilloux then connected with Jerrel Jernigan for a two-point conversion. Jernigan had a horrible game before that, and he made a nice catch over James Ihedigbo for the score.

Fourth quarter, 11:34, Patriots 17-10: Nothing very impressive about that Patriots possession. Now, quarterback Ryan Perrilloux and the Giants have a chance to drive for a game-tying touchdown in prime time. What could be more exciting than this? (Sarcasm alert.)

Perrilloux was a fun quarterback to watch at LSU simply because of his athleticism, but he wasn't much of a passer at all. He also transferred to Jacksonville State after getting booted off the team, so that's not all that good, either.

Fourth quarter, 14:50, Patriots 17-10: Hey, a bright spot for the Giants, who used a fake punt to account for a 65-yard touchdown from the speedy Da'Rel Scott. It was a blown play all around, but Brandon Tate took a poor angle and was caught flat-footed when Scott made one move to the inside to breeze into the end zone. Special teams coordinator Scott O'Brien is ticked.

Third quarter, 0:58, Patriots 17-3: The Pats turned it over on downs after Shane Vereen got smoked in the backfield. Right guard Mike Berry let the play break down.

I liked Ryan Mallett's showing there, but his one incompletion was a mechanical error. I've harped on this throughout the preseason, but I'll note again that Mallett looks tremendous when he steps into a throw rather than just relying on his arm strength. Well, he armed one over the middle to Tiquan Underwood, and the throw sailed a little wide as a result.

Third quarter, 4:25, Patriots 17-3: Brandon Tate lost a yard running laterally on the punt return, and he's struggled in that department. He could outrun a lot of guys on that unit in college, but they're a whole lot faster and more disciplined at this level.

Ross Ventrone played cornerback on that possession and made a really nice tackle in the backfield.

Ryan Mallett has taken over for Brian Hoyer.

Third qurter, 7:21, Patriots 17-3: Brian Hoyer has been getting clocked on a regular basis, which seems to be the theme when he plays behind the second-string line. I will say, aside from the chop block, Shane Vereen has done a good job picking up the rushers. He's gotten guys from the middle and the edge, which shows that Hoyer is recognizing the blitzers before the snap and Vereen is understanding the calls. The rest of the offensive linemen, particularly in the middle, need to do their part, though.

Third quarter, 10:12, Patriots 17-3: Rhys Lloyd missed a 48-yard field goal to add to the disaster that is the preseason finale for the Giants. Brandon Meriweather, James Ihedigbo and Sergio Brown all played at safety on that series. Patrick Chung and Josh Barrett manned the position in the first half. Also interesting to see Aaron Lavarious play outside linebacker throughout the game. He's been OK.

Third quarter, 12:46, Patriots 17-3: Brian Hoyer was sacked and recovered his own fumble after the Giants looked like they were on ice skates trying to secure the loose ball. Hoyer was blind sided by Tyler Sash, who ran free off the right side of the defense. The breakdown happened for one of two reasons — either Hoyer misread the play and didn't call for Will Yeatman to stay in and block, or Nate Solder pinched in instead of taking the edge.

Clint Sintim was also carted into the locker room with a right leg (likely knee) injury, and it looks serious. He tore his right ACL last year, so that's really tough to see.

Third quarter, 15:00, Patriots 17-3: Brandon Tate took a knee in the back of the end zone, which had to be frustrating for a guy who I think needs to show some flash in this game to make the team.

Halftime, Patriots 17-3: Good first half for the Patriots, and Shaun Ellis checked in by racing around the right tackle to record a sack of David Carr, which pushed Rhys Lloyd's field-goal attempt back to 49 yards. Lloyd missed to fittingly end a disastrous half for the Giants.

The Patriots should be happy with their first-half performance, and I thought it was important for the starters to get some playing time. The offense showed up well, got Chad Ochocinco a little more involved and saw some more good things from the line and BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

Defensively, obviously, there were more positives from Albert Haynesworth, Shaun Ellis, Devin McCourty and definitely from Gary Guyton.

I think it's telling that Darius Butler and Josh Barrett have gotten a lot of playing time on the eve of roster cuts. I think Butler has been all right, and Barrett hasn't really been tested all that much. He's a good tackler, though, and he's the size of an outside linebacker, which is very noticeable.

Second quarter, 5:10, Patriots 17-3: By the way, it looks like Patrick Chung had the wind knocked out of him one play before the Giants' fumble on their last series. Chung received attention from the medical staff, but he was on the field for punt coverage. Disaster averted.

Second quarter, 5:27, Patriots 17-3: So this is what happens when NFL teams play after two days of rest. Granted, the play was called back because Tiquan Underwood lined up out of position, but Jerrel Jernigan fumbled the punt and it was returned by Gary Guyton for a touchdown.

Matthew Slater, who I've thought for weeks has been having the best preseason of his life, just made another spectacular open-field tackle on the re-punt.

Second quarter, 7:03, Patriots 17-3: Brian Hoyer and the second-team offense has taken over for Tom Brady and the starters after another Giants turnover. David Carr fumbled the snap on the goal line and Andre Carter recovered it at the 2-yard line.

Second quarter, 14:35, Patriots 17-3: This is why I think BenJarvus Green-Ellis will still lead the Patriots in rushing this season. He scored his second touchdown of the game and has showed the same talent that made him a 1,000-yard rusher in 2010. He probably won't hit that milestone again this season, and the loaded backfield will annoy fantasy owners. But Green-Ellis is obviously still the main man in that group.

End of first quarter, Patriots 10-3: Tom Brady showed some great downfield vision before his 64-yard pass to Matthew Slater. Brady shuffled up in the pocket as the line was breaking down, and he could have easily dumped it off to Danny Woodhead who was directly in his sightline in the flat, but Brady made the tougher throw and delivered it over two linebackers down the field to Slater, whose raw speed has always been eye-popping.

First quarter, 2:46, Patriots 10-3: Rhys Lloyd kicked a 48-yard field goal to put the Giants on the board. Gary Guyton has been active in this game, and he registered a nine-yard sack on third down after blitzing through a huge hole. The Patriots have used their outside linebackers to blitz a little more in this game, similar to their strategy against the Bucs.

First quarter 4:45, Patriots 10-0: Matt Light's holding penalty was enough to halt that drive, and Giants punt returner Jerrel Jernigan is going to hear it after getting forced out of bounds by Zoltan Mesko. If you've run it back 42 yards and only have the punter to beat, well, you don't want to see that play in the next day's film session.

First quarter, 5:55, Patriots 10-0: Albert Haynesworth got two loud ovations when he was announced as the tackler on the last series. Haynesworth has had some really good reps so far, driving back left guard Chris White on one-on-one matchups and either slicing through the gap or containing two blockers on other assignments. Really good stuff from the big guy. And when Gary Guyton forced Andre Brown's fumble, there were three Giants trying to contain Haynesworth, even as he was down on one knee.

First quarter, 10:14, Patriots 10-0: Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal after the Pats' drive stalled. Tom Brady immediately involved Chad Ochocinco with a quick pass that went for nine yards, but things came to a halt after six plays and two incompletions.

The Patriots obviously look better than they did against the Lions, but they should since they're playing against a large contingent of backups.

First quarter, 12:04, Patriots 7-0: Devin McCourty made a nice play to turn his hips and intercept a poor pass from David Carr to Domenik Hixon. The Patriots have also used Darius Butler, Josh Barrett and Antwaun Molden early on defense, presumably to get a better look at them before roster cuts. Albert Haynesworth was replaced by Kyle Love on that series, too.

First quarter, 14:40, Patriots 7-0: Nice start for the Patriots, who got a one-yard touchdown run from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. There have been three plays in this game — a penalty on the Giants on the opening kickoff, a turnover on the Giants' first play, and very little contact on Green-Ellis on the Pats' first play. So yeah, tough start for the Giants, too.

First quarter, 14:44, 0-0: Albert Haynesworth destroyed the Giants' left guard in a one-on-one matchup and got a hand in David Carr's face. Carr still delivered a 12-yard pass to Domenik Hixon, whose fumble was recovered and returned to the 1-yard line by Patrick Chung. It's under review. (Update: The play held up. Credit a forced fumble to Rob Ninkovich and an 18-yard return for Chung. But Haynesworth was the most impressive player in that string of events.)

First quarter, 14:56, 0-0: Albert Haynesworth has gotten the start for the Patriots' defense. He's on the line with Vince Wilfork, Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter, and the Giants will start at their own 5 after an illegal wedge on the kickoff.

7:34 p.m.: Former Patriots guard Joe Andruzzi, his three brothers and father are honorary captains for this game.

The Giants called heads, won the toss and will receive the opening kickoff.

7:06 p.m.: With Sebastian Vollmer out of the lineup, it looks like Nate Solder will start at right tackle. Also, Rich Ohrnberger will likely start at right guard for Dan Connolly.

7:05 p.m.: Patriots not in uniform include Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Stevan Ridley, Leigh Bodden, Kevin Faulk, Eric Kettani, Jeff Tarpinian, Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, Brandon Deaderick, Sebastian Vollmer, Mark Anderson, Jermaine Cunningham and Ron Brace.

7:02 p.m.: Albert Haynesworth is in full uniform and will make his preseason debut.

6:44 p.m.: Tom Brady is in full uniform, and his ankles are wrapped up, which is a strong indication he'll play. Wes Welker and Shane Vereen are also in full uniform. And wide receiver Tiquan Underwood took off his helmet, and his hightop fade was still in perfect condition. That's just amazing.

6:38 p.m.: Shaun Ellis, who was warming up on the field, and Albert Haynesworth will make their preseason debuts, according to 98.5 The Sports Hub. That makes this preseason finale a whole lot more interesting.

6:24 p.m.: Defensive lineman Shaun Ellis is on the field in game pants, so it looks like he could be ready to make his preseason debut. Wes Welker was also out there in football pants, which is such a strange term.

6:17 p.m.: Cornerback Antwuan Molden, who was claimed off waivers from the Texans, is warming up on the field, and he has taken James Sanders' old No. 36. That was a quick giveaway. For what it's worth, Molden is wearing shorts, so it's not a definite that he'll play. Several other Patriots are warming up in their game pants.

There was also an unidentified member of the Patriots who was wearing a big gold chain while warming up. The number on his sweatshirt was tough to read, so I am not sure who it was. That's working out in style.

5:21 p.m.: In customary fashion, the Patriots' three specialists were the first to take the field to warm up. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski, punter Zoltan Mesko and long snapper James Dearth are all present amid a myriad of Giants. Dearth has spent awhile talking with a handful of Giants staffers, presumably since he's known them from sharing the same facility with them for so many years.

5:08 p.m.: Interestingly, only five NFL teams are scheduled to send scouts to this game. One scout from the Bills, Dolphins, Raiders, Rams and Redskins is listed on the seating chart in the press box. The Toronto Argonauts will also be in attendance, which is noteworthy because there's a strong likelihood that plenty of the NFL's roster cuts will wind up in Canada this season.

If memory serves, there were 16 NFL teams present for the preseason opener, so the fact that the number has dwindled is surprising since there will be about 800 roster cuts around the league in the next 48 hours.

4:46 p.m.: It's a beautiful day in Foxboro, where the Patriots and Giants are getting ready wrap up the preseason at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are honoring all United States service members in the memory of 9/11 on Thursday night, and they're getting ready on the field right now.

When I got here about 20 minutes ago, Patriots defensive linemen Ron Brace and Brandon Deaderick were working out on the field. I saw them do a little running before they departed for the locker room. Both are on the physically unable to perform list.

8 a.m. ET: At this point, everyone is probably ready for some regular-season football, but the Patriots and Giants have one last order of business to conduct Thursday night at 7:30 at Gillette Stadium.

Both teams are coming off some chaotic weeks, but the Giants' schedule has been the tougher of the two. After Hurricane Irene caused them to reschedule their preseason game against the Jets twice, they've had two days off to prepare for the Patriots. And after Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka were injured in that game, it would be surprising if the Giants played their starters Thursday.

The Patriots, meanwhile, didn't have power at Gillette Stadium on Sunday or Monday and were forced to do some scrambling to conduct meetings. After Saturday's debacle in Detroit, it would make a lot of sense for Tom Brady and the rest of the starters to play against the Giants. They'll need the work to tune up for the Sept. 12 season opener against the Dolphins.

Stay with NESN.com's live blog throughout the day to keep up with all of the action.

Yardbarker

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