Final, Giants 16-13: This one is over. Garoppolo got sacked, threw an incompletion, then dumped it off to Josh Boyce to kill the clock.
The Patriots suffered two injuries that could impact roster cuts. Linebacker James Morris didn’t return from a knee injury, and defensive end Michael Buchanan didn’t return after he hurt his ankle.
The Patriots must cut down their roster from 75 to 53 by Saturday at 6 p.m. It will be a tense few days for many of these Patriots players as they await their fate.
Fourth quarter, 0:38, Giants 16-13: This one is almost over, and the Giants just broke the tie, so it doesn’t look like it’s going into overtime.
This one has been a little messy, and Garoppolo might not have done enough to prove that he deserves that No. 2 QB job over Mallett.
Fourth quarter, 2:38, 13-13: Josh Boyce hasn’t done much in this game to help earn a spot on the 53-man roster. He hasn’t been on the same page as Garoppolo on a few players now, and he’s clearly behind LaFell, Thompkins, Edelman and Amendola on the depth chart based on training camp reps.
The Patriots went for it on fourth down and Garoppolo’s pass was incomplete to Boyce.
Fourth quarter, 5:22, 13-13: Brandon Browner is still in the game as he readies himself for a four-game suspension. He’s out there making plays, though. He made a pass deflection and showed some nice coverage on a deep pass down the sideline.
The Patriots forced another punt.
Fourth quarter, 6:51, 13-13: All eyes have been on left guard Josh Kline all game, and he hasn’t been very impressive. He’s been beaten for two sacks, and he allowed pressure on Garoppolo’s interception. There are still three big question marks at left guard, center and right guard.
The Patriots had to punt again, and we’re still tied up at 13-13.
Fourth quarter, 8:57, 13-13: The Patriots are running low on linebackers. Beauharnais just took a shot to the helmet and was wobbly getting up off the turf. He should be going through concussion tests on the sidelines.
The Patriots allowed a field goal, and we’re all tied up.
Fourth quarter, 14:11, Patriots 13-10: The Patriots went three-and-out once again.
Wideout Dobson grabbed another nice reception. He could make a big Year 2 jump in 2014.
End third quarter, Patriots 13-10: Cornerback Daxton Swanson is making a late surge for a roster spot. He made a pass breakup, and followed it up with a forced fumble and recovery. The young cornerback has played well against the run tonight.
Swanson looked great in OTAs and minicamp, but he has tailed off during the summer.
Third quarter, 3:16, Patriots 13-10: The Patriots were moving the ball well, but Jimmy G couldn’t hit Thompkins or Dobson in the end zone.
Dobson has looked good in his first game back, and he could be a Week 1 starter for the Patriots. Dobson has put on muscle, and he seems to have gained confidence over the offseason.
Third quarter, 8:02, 10-10: The Patriots were able to halt the Giants again. Defensive end Michael Buchanan suffered an injury to his right ankle or foot and walked off the field limping. Buchanan was having a solid game, and rookie Zach Moore replaced him on the edge.
Third quarter, 9:53, 10-10: The Patriots are having a tough time moving the football in the second half. Tim Wright caught his third pass of the game, however. He has three receptions on five targets for 27 yards.
Third quarter, 11:23, 10-10: The Patriots have finally been able to generate some pressure here in the second half. Buchanan has been flying off the edge, and edge-rusher Jake Bequette recorded a sack. Bequette has a tendency to look solid in the Patriots’ fourth preseason game and make the roster.
Third quarter, 12:54, 10-10: This game might lag if both teams keep churning out one-minute offensive drives. Garoppolo started out the half with two incompletions. He nearly got sacked, but was able to shed the Giants’ defenders to throw the ball away.
Third quarter, 13:54, 10-10: The Patriots made quick work of the Giants on New York’s first offensive drive. Cornerback Daxton Swanson and linebacker Ja’Gared Davis made a nice stick on the Giant’s first-down run, Butler made a pass breakup on second down and Buchanan nearly sacked Nassib on third down.
Jimmy’s coming back out for the second half at quarterback.
End half, 10-10: After a tough first two drives for Garoppolo, the rookie quarterback is heating up. The Patriots were able to tie the game at the half on a 37-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.
The Patriots’ best play of the drive came on a pass from Garoppolo to White on a wheel route. White has had trouble gaining yards on the ground, but he has soft hands and he’s a solid blocker. He’ll have a role this season, but he’s not about to take Ridley’s starting job.
Garoppolo got crushed on a sack when Josh Kline and the entire Patriots’ O-line collapsed on the rookie. It’s still not certain who will start at guard and center this season, but it might be the five players that aren’t on the field in this game — Solder, Cannon, Wendell, Connolly, Vollmer.
Second quarter, 3:31, Giants 10-7: Giants quarterback Ryan Nassib, running back Peyton Hillis and the New York offense were able to bleed nearly eight minutes off the clock on the way to a touchdown on fourth down. Hillis finally was able to jump over the line of scrimmage for the score.
Patriots linebacker James Morris injured his right knee during the drive. He had to be helped off the field and departed for the locker room. Morris got rolled up by teammates near the goal line.
Second quarter, 11:06, Patriots 7-3: Jimmy Garoppolo got the Patriots on the board with a nice deep pass down the sideline to recently recovered wide receiver Aaron Dobson.
Dobson didn’t get much separation down the field, but he tracked the ball well, made a leaping catch and rolled into the end zone.
The drive also saw White rip off a 9-yard run on a draw. It was more of a bunt single than a home run, but at least it was a hit for the rookie running back who has struggled to gain yardage in the preseason.
Second quarter, 14:48, Giants 3-0: The Giants had to settle for a field goal after running back Andre Williams ripped off a 38-yard run, getting New York into the red zone. Worthy and Moore failed to hold their ground on the long run, and Harmon and Ebner missed tackles.
Harmon and Ebner made nice plays during the defensive series before and after the long run, however.
First quarter, 3:04: Jimmy Garoppolo finally got picked.
It looked like Garoppolo and Boyce weren’t on the same page and Zack Bowman got the pick. Left guard Josh Kline allowed a pressure on the play, and Garoppolo was forced to throw off his back foot.
First quarter, 6:15: This Giants offense is really struggling. The Patriots’ reserves just halted them again. Safety Tavon Wilson made a great play on a pass to tight end Kellen Davis. Wilson drove him to the sideline before Davis could get a first down.
First quarter, 7:52: Jimmy Garoppolo needs to take a deep breath. The rookie quarterback is struggling, and he’s nearly been picked about five times so far. After having two attempts picked in the first drive, Garoppolo was nearly picked off three times. He threw an interception on an attempt to Josh Boyce, but the Giants were called for illegal contact.
Ryan Mallett might secretly be pumping his fist on the sideline right now.
Running back James White has yet to break out in the running game during preseason games. He looked a lot better in training camp when defenders weren’t allowed to tackle.
First quarter, 11:11: This Giants offense is awful. They managed just 20 yards against the Patriots’ backup defense.
Here was the Patriots’ starting 3-4 defense:
DE: Zach Moore, Jerel Worthy
NT: L.T. Tuipulotu
LB: Darius Fleming, Michael Buchanan, James Morris, Steve Beauharnais
CB: Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler
S: Duron Harmon, Alfonzo Dennard
On nickel, Tavon Wilson came in at safety, Dennard slid down to the slot, Worthy and Moore kicked inside and Jake Bequette came in to play defensive end with Buchanan.
First quarter, 12:48: Jimmy Garoppolo had a tough time in his first drive against the Giants. He completed 1 of 4 passes, and he had two attempts tipped by Giants defensive backs.
Jordan Devey (LT), Josh Kline (LG), Bryan Stork (C), Jon Halapio (RG) and Cameron Fleming (RT) started on the offensive line. Tight end Tim Wright also started after being traded on Tuesday.
First quarter, 15:00: The Patriots won the toss and chose to receive.
7:33 p.m.: We’re minutes away from kickoff now, and MetLife Stadium is looking pretty bare. Garoppolo is getting a chance to start, but there probably won’t be too much crowd noise to distract the young QB.
7:01 p.m.: Running back Brandon Bolden, tight ends Michael Hoomanawanui and Rob Gronkowski, linebackers Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower, defensive tackles Dominique Easley, Chris Jones and Sealver Siliga, and offensive tackles Chris Martin and Sebastian Vollmer were not spotted during pregame warmups by multiple reporters.
6:46 p.m.: Linebacker Dont’a Hightower is tweeting about the Texas A&M game right now, so it appears that he didn’t make the trip to New York. He missed last week’s game, as well.
6:27 p.m.: Rookie center Bryan Stork will start tonight’s game, according to Patriots radio color commentator and former backup quarterback Scott Zolak.
Stork and Garoppolo were roommates during training camp.
6:10 p.m.: Based on the pre-game workout reports, I’d expect to see a lot of action for wide receivers Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and Brian Tyms with Garoppolo. Rookie Jeremy Gallon and second-year pro Josh Boyce also will get a fair share of snaps.
At running back, James White and Jonas Gray will get a lot of work.
Here are five story lines we’ll be watching for tonight.
5:38 p.m. ET: New England Patriots rookie Jimmy Garoppolo has handled the pressures of being an NFL quarterback swimmingly in his first three preseason games, but the second-round draft pick has his biggest test to date on Thursday night.
Garoppolo will start against the New York Giants, and he’ll have to face NFL starters to begin the game. With a strong performance, Garoppolo could push backup quarterback Ryan Mallett off the Patriots’ 53-man roster. Garoppolo must prove that he can be a capable backup, though.
It appears that the Patriots have tipped their hand to the no-play list. It’s typically a good sign if a veteran doesn’t play in the final preseason game, and Mallett, quarterback Tom Brady, cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Kyle Arrington, linebacker Jamie Collins, wide receivers Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Matthew Slater and Danny Amendola, defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Joe Vellano, running backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty, defensive ends Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, fullback James Develin, and offensive linemen Nate Solder, Ryan Wendell, Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly were spotted working out together on the field before the game. Since they are unlikely to play, it’s logical to assume that those players have locked up roster spots. Chung and Vellano are the biggest surprises among that group. Mallett is unlikely to see action because Garoppolo is expected to play the entire game.
Wide receiver Aaron Dobson and center Bryan Stork are expected to make their preseason debuts. Newly acquired tight end Tim Wright made the trip to MetLife Stadium, and also is expected to suit up for the Patriots.
Stay here for updates and analysis throughout the Patriots’ final preseason game.
Photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images