The final preseason game for the New York Giants came and went on Thursday night and just like they had done in their two previous Super Bowl meetings, they were victorious as they knocked off the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium.
Bill Belichick decided to rest his starters and let his backups play against the Giants and give some of them chances to win jobs on the team before Saturday's deadline to get the rosters down to 53 players, which meant Tom Brady did not play and instead, his backup Jimmy Garoppolo made the start; going 21-for-40 with 266 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Eli Manning played in just one series for the Giants, going 1-for-4 with no yards; Manning not playing that much was all part of Tom Coughlin's plan to give the starters a series before resting them before the start of the regular season.
The Giants were the first team to get on the scoreboard as Josh Brown's 24-yard field goal gave the Giants an early 3-0 lead with 14:48 left in the second quarter.
On the next drive, Garoppolo answered and got the Patriots on the board with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Dobson that put the Patriots up 7-3 with 11:06 left.
With 3:31 left in the half, the Giants capped off a 14-play, 80-yard drive when Peyton Hillis plunged into the end zone from one-yard out and put the Giants up 10-7. Stephen Gostkowski's 37-yard field goal with 13 seconds left before halftime tied the game at 13-13.
In the third quarter, Gostkowski's 21-yard field goal allowed the Patriots to re-take the lead at 13-10 with 3:13 left in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, it was Brown who showed why he was the one who won the kicking job over Brandon McManus, as he first kicked a 45-yard field goal to tie the game at 13-13 with 8:57 left in the fourth quarter.
Then it was Brown, showing his clutch gene, as he made the game-winning field goal from 37 yards away with 38 seconds left to give the Giants a 16-13 lead and a lead that they would hold on for the rest of the game.
Two players that might have helped their causes are Larry Donnell, who had four catches for 60 yards; Donnell is looking to win the starting tight end job and Kendall Gaskins, who had eight carries for 41 yards and is trying to beat out Michael Cox for a backup running back job.
Following the win, the Giants went 5-0 in the preseason and Coughlin can only hope that this will carry into the regular season and into their Week 1 showdown on Monday Night Football with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
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