Takeaways from the New York Giants/New England Patriots preseason finale

The New York Giants preseason concluded on Sunday night with a 22-20 loss to the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium.

After sitting most of his starters in the first two preseason games, head coach Joe Judge played his starters for the entire first half.

As the case is with all games, there are some positive and some negative takeaways from the Giants preseason finale.

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Daniel Jones performance was overshadowed by his end zone interception

For the most part, Daniel Jones played well completing 17 out of 22 passes for 135 yards and threw a touchdown to Kaden Smith at the end of the first half.

But he did throw a crucial interception in the end zone in the second quarter. These are the kind of mistakes that Jones should not be making in his third season. Ball security continues to be Jones’s biggest issue, and it’s something he must improve on when the regular season begins.

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New York Giants offensive line continues to be a concern

The offensive line and in particular left tackle Andrew Thomas struggled mightily. Jones was sacked twice in the first quarter and pressured often.

The Giants also seem uncertain on who their starting right tackle will be. Nate Solder started the game but was then replaced by Matt Peart on the third possession of the game. Solder would return in the second quarter and the lined performed better.

Considering the Giants will face two terrific pass rushers in Von Miller and Bradley Chubb in Week 1, you have to be concerned how the line will fare against the Broncos front seven. Expect for the Giants to acquire an offensive lineman on the waiver wire once teams make their final cuts on Tuesday.

New York’s first team defense was terrific

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Giants
Aug 29, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants inside linebacker Blake Martinez (54) steals the ball from New England Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater (18) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The first team Giants defense showed why they have one of the best defenses in the league. They kept the Patriots offense out of the end zone in the first half and held Cam Newton to complete two out of five passes for 10 yards. Then late in the first quarter, Blake Martinez made the play of the game when he wrestled the ball away from Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Myers for an interception.

The coverage from the secondary was outstanding as Patriots receivers were unable to create separation. The defense looks to be in mid-season form.

Evan Engram leaves the game with a calf injury

Injuries are always unfortunate especially when it happens in the preseason. The injury bug hit the Giants in the second quarter as tight end Evan Engram left the game in the second quarter with a calf injury. Engram was having a terrific training camp, and the Giants can ill-afford to be without their best tight end.

Calf injuries can be tricky to recover from and at this moment Engram’s status for Week 1 is unclear.

New York Giants making a late case to make the roster

There were a few players that were on the roster bubble that made some plays on Sunday night that helped their chances of making the roster.

  • Cornerback Sam Beal was second on the team in tackles with six, including a tackle on a two-point conversion attempt. The Giants are very deep in the secondary, but Beal has been impressive late in camp, and could find his way on the 53-man roster.
  • Tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart caught three passes for 30 yards and was in with the first-team offense in their goal-line offense. Depending on the severity of Evan Engram’s calf injury, Griffin-Stewart may earn the final tight end spot on the roster.

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