Patriots-Giants Live: Tim Tebow, Ryan Mallett Help Pull Out 28-20 Victory Over New York in Fourth, Final Preseason Game

ryan mallettFinal, Patriots 28-20: Listen, I’m not saying, but I’m just staying, the Patriots are 3-0 in preseason games Tebow played and 0-1 in games he didn’t.

Tebow’s 52-yard pass to Quentin Sims was the play of the game, but the players of the game were Michael Buchanan and Jake Bequette, who seriously helped their chances of making the roster.

We had seen barely any pressure from the second-team defense all training camp and preseason, but the first- and second-year defensive ends stepped up their game a notch.

Buchanan had 2 1/2 sacks and a quarterback hit, while Bequette was pressuring the Giants’ quarterbacks all night. Bequette was also a force in the run game, holding his edge well for all four quarters.

There are only so many defensive ends the Patriots can keep on the roster. Buchanan or Bequette could be taking a spot from Jermaine Cunningham or Marcus Benard.

Fourth quarter, 1:47, Patriots 21-20: The Patriots brought the heat on 4th and 5. Marcus Benard, Scott Vallone, Steve Beauharnais and Michael Buchanan were all in on that one. Benard got the credit, though.

Marquice Cole got some looks at safety on that drive. The Patriots could keep four safeties if they think Cole can play there in a pinch. He played back there at times in the spring.

This one is finally almost over, not that I’m not enjoying myself. My job is awesome.

Fourth quarter, 4:13, Patriots 21-20: Apparently 10:20 p.m. is not Tebow Time. Once Tebow’s first read is gone, there’s a 90 percent chance the play will end badly and a 10 percent chance the play will be magnificent.

Fourth quarter, 8:01, Patriots 21-20Tebow got picked off by Tremaine McBride, and fans are now piling out of Gillette Stadium.

The throw was intended for Aaron Dobson, who didn’t do Tebow many favors with his fight, but the pass was severely underthrown.

Fourth quarter, 9:18, Patriots 21-20: David Carr and the Giants still can’t get anything going here. During the Giants’ first attempt at a punt, Zak DeOssie and Marcus Benard got into it in the middle of the field.

Fourth quarter, 12:26, Patriots 21-20Tim Tebow finally connected with his main man Quentin Sims twice on that drive. The last for a 52-yard touchdown.

Almost all of Tebow’s best passes in training camp were to Sims. Sims has barely played in the preseason, though.

After Tebow was booed heavily by the Gillette Stadium faithful, we can now officially declare 9:59 p.m. as Tebow Time.

The Patriots lead 21-20 off some good ol’ fashioned Tebow magic.

Fourth quarter, 14:04, Giants 20-14: The Giants couldn’t get anything going and turned the ball over on downs. Preseason football can be fun for a while, but this game is dragging, and Tebow’s not making it any more fun.

End third quarter, Giants 20-14: Patriots fans may not want to hear this, but this team isn’t very deep. There will be plenty of players who don’t exactly deserve to make the roster that still will.

Some impressive play from Jake Bequette and Michael Buchanan might have turned their fortunes around, though. Veterans Leon Washington and Adrian WIlson have struggled.

Third quarter, :07, Giants 20-14Tebow couldn’t get much going on his third drive, and now he won’t get a chance for a fourth in the third quarter. Leon Washington muffed the punt, and the Giants regained the ball.

The Giants’ drive in the middle of all that action saw Dane Fletcher getting a nice quarterback hit on a third-down blitz. Logan Ryan also continues to flash at cornerback.

Third quarter, 4:23, Giants 20-14After coming close a couple times, the Giants finally passed the Patriots on a Da’Rel Scott reception.

The Tebow show will resume shortly.

Third quarter, 5:12, Patriots 14-13: Tim Tebow got sacked two more times and threw an incompletion. The four sacks on Tebow have probably been 75 percent the offensive line’s fault and 25 percent Tebow.

Tebow’s incompletion came on a play where Aaron Dobson didn’t come back to fight for the ball. That’s been a familiar sight.

Third quarter, 10:00, Patriots 14-13As every Patriots’ beat writer mentioned on Twitter, Adrian Wilson is still playing in the third quarter, which is probably not a good sign for his future.

He has been a starter at strong safety all camp, though.

The Giants are creeping back into this one. They’re down 14-13 after a field goal.

Third quarter, 14:56, Patriots 14-10Tebow started the drive going 2-for-2, then the Giants went 2-for-2 on sacks. The Patriots’ backups forgot to block. Oops.

Third quarter, 14:56, Patriots 14-10: Get your popcorn ready, it’s Tebow time.

End half, Patriots 14-10: The Patriots concluded the first half with a kneel down. We’ll pick this back up in the third quarter.

Second quarter, 1:02, Patriots 14-10: Michael Buchanan continues to have an impressive game. The defensive end batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage during the Giants’ drive that eventually led to a field goal.

Some of these Patriots reserves are showing something in their final preseason game. Possibly enough to get off the roster bubble.

Second quarter, 2:37, Patriots 14-7: It’s been a rough first half for Aaron Dobson, who couldn’t hold on to a Ryan Mallett pass. The ball was tipped in the air and picked off by Mark Herzlich.

This is a sloppy fourth preseason game so far. Buchanan, Bequette and Boyce have starred. Dobson has struggled.

Second quarter, 3:41, Patriots 14-7: A nice completion from Mallett to Boyce was called back on an Aaron Dobson pass interference penalty. Patriots punt.

Leon Washington won’t be making the team based on his ability as a running back. It will have to come as a special teamer.

While I was typing, Michael Buchanan came in with the strip sack, recovered by fellow seventh-rounder Steve Beauharnais.

Patriots ball.

Second quarter, 4:44, Patriots 14-7Marquice finished that drive with a pretty pass breakup, coupled by some pressure from Jake Bequette. Bequette has finally turned the motor over.

Second quarter, 7:19, Patriots 14-7It didn’t take long for the Patriots to score after stopping the Giants. Jake Bequette was the big hero on defense, though Michael Buchanan and Jeff Tarpinian got credited with half a sack each.

Ryan Mallett heaved back and threw a bomb to Josh Boyce, who shook his defender and tracked the ball perfectly for a touchdown. Impressive stuff by Boyce and nice touch from Mallett.

Second quarter, 9:50, 7-7After Kenbrell Thompkins drew his second pass interference penalty, George Winn took in the touchdown from the one-yard line.

Winn is getting an extended look here, as Brandon Bolden is not suited up.

Second quarter, 9:57, Giants 7-0So much for that. Play overturned — incomplete pass.

Second quarter, 9:57, Giants 7-0Ryan Mallett got picked off by Prince Amukamara after a long drive highlighted by runs by George Winn and catches from Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.

Mallett didn’t arc his pass to Dobson high enough, but the second-rounder also didn’t fight for the ball, which is frustrating to see. There are some things a wide receiver can’t control, but fight is one of them.

Still, not a great pass.

End first quarter, Giants 7-0After one quarter, the Giants are leading this one 7-0. Of course, they also came out in their first-team offense and defense, while the only starters playing for the Patriots have been Dan Connolly, Kenbrell Thompkins, Zach Sudfeld and Adrian Wilson.

First quarter, :56, Giants 7-0All three drives have ended on a pass to Logan Ryan. This one was a touchdown, though.

Eli Manning (still in the game!) hit Hakeem Nicks for six. The extra point gives the Giants a 7-0 lead.

First quarter, 6:46: The Patriots’ second drive ended with a whimper after a Ryan Mallett pass clanged off Kenbrell Thompkins’ outstretched hands. It was tough, but catchable.

Still tie game.

First quarter, 9:02: Logan Ryan comes up with the big third-down play again. He’s had a strong end to the summer. That might have played into the decision to cut Ras-I Dowling. Marquice Cole also had a nice tackle on David Wilson behind the line. Fourth and fifth cornerbacks are stepping up early.

First quarter, 10:47: Mallett’s lack of touch rears its ugly head again. He had a wide-open Leon Washington on a wheel route and just overthrew him.

We got a George Winn sighting at running back, so there’s that. Dan Connolly was in at right guard and Marcus Cannon was playing right tackle. Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce, Aaron Dobson and Zach Sudfeld were also on the field.

First quarter, 13:27: The Giants came out with their first team offense, while the Patriots sent out the second teamers and Adrian Wilson. Logan Ryan continues to show improvement as he made a nice play on third down.

First quarter, 15:00: We’re just about ready to get started here. The Patriots won the toss and deferred. That’s after two games of winning the toss and receiving.

We’re back to the norm, folks.

7:31 p.m.: The just-announced starters for the Patriots include Marquice Cole, Logan Ryan, Adrian Wilson, Duron Harmon, Dane Fletcher and Jamie Collins. Won’t be a lot of starters out there, it seems.

7:16 p.m.: This is a terrible picture, but Tiger Woods is on the sideline talking to Robert Kraft. [tweet align=center]

6:45 p.m.: Even though Tom Brady is reportedly not playing tonight, he is on the field throwing passes to Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman.

Ryan Mallett and Tim Tebow are throwing to Josh Boyce and Johnathan Haggerty.

5:25 p.m.: We just got down to hazy Gillette Stadium. The Giants’ players are warming up on the field right now.

One player we won’t see on the field come game time is Tom Brady. According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Brady and “many key starters” will be sitting.

The Patriots also worked out six players today, including two quarterbacks. The brought in quarterbacks Clay Belton of Findlay and Nathan Stanley of Southeastern Louisiana, guard Chandler Burden of Kentucky, wide receiver Jerrell Jackson of Missouri, running back Robbie Rouse of Fresno State and guard Desmond Wynn of Rutgers.

8 a.m. ET: In just two days, the Patriots will cut their roster down to 53, meaning 22 players will have to find a new team, take a spot on the practice squad or be out of football altogether.

Tim Tebow, LeGarrette Blount and Daniel Fells are all on the roster bubble and don’t have practice squad eligibility, so if their time in New England is over on Aug. 31, they’ll have to find a new home to continue their NFL careers. Their last chance to shine will be tonight against the Giants.

The Patriots will likely have most of their roster decisions made by the time the game starts at 7:30 p.m., but some last-minute heroics certainly can’t hurt for players on the bubble. There are still battles for roster spots and starting spots at all positions, though some, like wide receiver, defensive tackle and linebacker, seem to be all but sewed up.

The only player not spotted at practice on Tuesday was Rob Gronkowski. Jermaine Cunningham was in uniform but spent the first portion of the session on the side practice field with trainers, so it’s doubtful we see the defensive end, who has missed almost all of the summer with an undisclosed injury.

That also means we’ll likely see Alfonzo Dennard and Marcus Cannon for the first time this preseason. Both players participated in training camp practice early in the summer but have been out for weeks with injuries.

Dennard could still be fighting with Kyle Arrington for the starting spot at cornerback across from Aqib Talib, while Cannon is battling with Dan Connolly for the starting spot at right guard. There were high hopes for Dennard and Cannon entering the summer. Dennard had a solid rookie season starting across from Talib. Cannon looked great early in training camp before going down with injuries.

It will be interesting to see both players go against the Giants, to see if they’ll be able to knock off the rust and impress. Jake Bequette, Michael Hoomanawanui, Tavon Wilson and Joe Vellano could also be fighting for roster spots.

Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here.

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