After suffering through a slew of late training camp injuries, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin questioned whether or not to play his starters in Thursday's preseason finale against the New England Patriots. He opted to do so, and in addition to losing the game, he also lost running back Andre Brown to a fractured left leg.
Brown went down late in the first quarter with what looked like a minor ankle injury, and even managed to walk himself into the locker-room. But after x-rays were taken, it was revealed that he had suffered a left leg fracture for the second year in a row — an injury that may, again, end his season.
In addition to Brown, safety Tyler Sash left the game with a concussion, wide receiver Marcus Harris left with a shoulder injury and tight end Adrien Robinson also left with a foot injury. Of the three, only Harris returned to the field.
Despite it being overshadowed by injuries — as it usually is — there was an actual football game played on Thursday night. And for the first time all preseason, the Giants were able to score inside the redzone. The first came off of an Eli Manning pass to Hakeem Nicks, while the second would come on a one-yard Da'Rel Scott plunge.
Still, there was legitimate concern with the starting offense. It wasn't until their final series of the game (and preseason) that they appeared to be in sync at all. Prior to that, Manning was clearly on a different page than his wide receivers. Luckily, the reshuffled offensive line — led by rookie Justin Pugh — allowed him enough time to eventually get comfortable and make things work.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Giants played relatively well from start to finish. The defensive line produced consistent pressure, while some of the linebackers really showed great strides. There were some minor issues in the secondary, especially for rookie safety Cooper Taylor who was playing in his first NFL game, but that can be chalked up to lack of experience.
When all was said and done, the Patriots walked away with a 28-20 win, leaving the Giants at 1-3 to end the preseason.
Random preseason stat: In four games, Steve Weatherford punted the ball 24 times.
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