Patriots vs Giants: Preseason Week 4 Aftermath

QUARTERBACK
Brian Hoyer entered the game in the middle of the fourth quarter. Hoyer appeared accurate, completing seven of his first nine passes for 65 yards; during an attempted rollout pass, Hoyer held onto the ball too long and eventually ran into a sack rather than throwing the ball away. Later in the game he fumbled while being hit from behind and threw a boneheaded interception with twenty seconds remaining to seal the loss.

RUNNING BACK
Jeff Demps ran very effectively, showcasing his elite speed in order to beat the Giants to the corner. Brian Hoyer connected with Demps on a wheel route for a 23-yard gain on third down. He went down with a leg injury late in the game, hopefully it is a minor injury. Eric Kettani got some reps at running back in the fourth quarter and contributed as a receiver and blocker, although likely not enough to land him a spot on the final roster.

WIDE RECEIVER
Jesse Holley blocked effectively on Jeff Demps’ first-down run in the middle of the third quarter; Hoyer’s first pass for Holley was complete at the top of the fourth. Holley made an amazing one-handed catch while falling out of bounds deep downfield but officials ruled that his second foot landed out of bounds. Jeremy Ebert was back to field a punt from Steve Weatherford in the fourth quarter; he also made a nice catch on a pass from Brian Hoyer during the game’s final drive. . A pass intended for Kerry Taylor was almost intercepted, but Taylor made a nice catch in traffic on a 15-yard throw afterwards.

TIGHT END
Alex Silvestro appeared to be a reliable option as a receiver but did not challenge the Giants with his athleticism and is still developing as a blocker; later he stripped Marcus Thomas of the ball on a fumble return, although Thomas was able to regain control. Look for the Patriots to try and store Silvestro on the practice squad.

OFFENSIVE LINE
Left guard Derek Dennis allowed a sack on a linebacker rush by Greg Jones. Dustin Waldron was called for a false start. Darrion Weems allowed Adewale Ojomo to beat him to the edge on a play which resulted in a strip sack of Brian Hoyer.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Jermaine Cunningham blew past Matt McCants with a rip move on a third down passing play in the red zone; Cunningham’s rush drew a holding call. On the following play, Cunningham rushed effectively from the opposite side. Cunningham later sacked David Carr for a nine-yard loss. Defensive tackle Marcus Harrison was flagged for jumping offsides. Justin Francis used his power to chase David Carr out of the pocket and eventually chased down Jerrel Jernigan to make the tackle; Francis pressured and tackled Carr on New York’s next pass attempt. The Patriots rushed Justin Francis out of a two-point stance and were rewarded with a sack, although Francis relied far more on his power than his burst.

LINEBACKER
Niko Koutouvides began the second quarter with three consecutive tackles. Jeff Tarpinian took on a block well and made a tackle on third down but allowed a first-down conversion first; Tarpinian looked like a sure tackler throughout the rest of the third quarter, especially when he blew up Da’Rel Scott way in the backfield. Mike Rivera managed to build off of his first-half performance by making a couple of tackles on the second half’s first drive. All three players increased their chances of being involved with the Patriots in some capacity; at this point Rivera looks like a practice squad option, while at least one of the other two linebackers who played extensively (Koutouvides and Tarpinian) should be on the final roster.

DEFENSIVE BACK
Ras-I Dowling allowed a nine-yard completion from Derek Carr to Ramses Barden on the initial drive of the third quarter as well as a third-down completion in the red zone; however, the latter play was called back. Alfonzo Dennard was in coverage at right cornerback and managed to prevent a pass thrown towards Ramses Barden; Dennard later stripped the ball from Andre Brown on a run towards the right side of the defense and made some tackles in coverage as well; it would be surprising if the Patriots left Dennard off of the final roster at this point. Nate Ebner seemed to be around the ball often on the defensive side.

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Tags: Aftermath, Game Recap, Giants, Jeff Demps, Jermaine Cunningham, Ryan Mallett

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