The Patriots lost three games against the New York Giants last year, none of them more disappointing than the Superbowl loss. There was no revenge tonight, as the Patriots lost 6-3 in a game marred by poor line play and questionable refereeing.
Here are our notes on how the Patriots played.
-Tavon Wilson saw time at the “money” position (6th defensive back taking over for the mike linebacker). I think that will be a great fit as Wilson looked comfortable in the box and covering the middle of the field.
-Jeff Tarpinian, Niko Koutovides and Mike Rivera all made some plays in the first half. It will be very interesting to see which of these three backup linebackers make the team. My guess right now is Koutovides.
-Jeff Demps was active in the return game. He didn’t have a lot of blocking, but consistently made good decisions and got what he could out of each play.
-Ron Brace continues to look impressive. I’d be shocked if he didn’t make the team. If he continues his solid play, he will be an effective backup to Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love.
-Brandon Bolden had an up and down first half. He badly misjudged a punt which was recovered by Demps, but had a couple of good runs. He is firmly on the roster bubble.
-Alex Silvestro continues to surprise me. He made a nice catch and was not a liability in blocking. I wouldn’t be shocked if he somehow found his way onto the 53-man roster.
-Nate Ebner continues to make plays on the ball. He is learning on the job and doesn’t look out of place. He made some plays on special teams as well, to nobody’s surprise.
-Alfonzo Dennard showed some skills in press coverage, making it tough on the Giants receiver to get a clean release.
-Jermaine Cunningham had a few impressive plays, splitting defenders to get one sack and showing a spin move to notch another. I’d take Cunningham over a fourth tight end or fifth running back.
-Sergio Brown made two very nice plays on kick coverage. If he makes the team though, I’ll be very surprised.
-I didn’t focus much on the offensive line, but I know that a lot of different Patriots saw time at center. I think I counted at least four. Look for Mike Loyko’s film room article tomorrow for more on the line.
Check out notes from the second half on page two.