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Patriots Drop Preseason Finale to the Giants 17-9, Quick Observations

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
September 1, 2016 at 10:04 pm ET

Patriots Drop Preseason Finale to the Giants 17-9, Quick Observations(PHOTO: Jim O'Connor - USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 3 minutes

Mingo Looks to be a Difference Maker on Defense

In a strange ending to a strange summer saw Tom Brady play the entire first half for the Patriots as they dropped their final preseason game 17-9 to the New York Giants. Brady and the Patriots got off to a slow start offensively once again but he finished strong and thankfully came away unscathed. Now he begins a four-week hiatus before we’ll see him again Week 5 in Cleveland.

Brady finished 16 of 26 for 166 yards with a TD and an interception.

Not everyone did, however, Tyler Gaffney, Devin Lucien, and Keshawn Martin all left with injuries. Gaffney looked like he rolled his ankle after picking up some nice yardage on a run. Lucien took a nasty hit in the back as he was going to the ground. Nate Solder looked to tweak his hamstring early in the game. He got some treatment and appears ok, but that will bear watching in the coming days.

Mingo Impresses in his first action: But the story of this game was Barkevious Mingo. The uber-athletic player was all over the field, showing tremendous explosion off the snap. The Patriots moved him around a lot showing different looks and he played most of the game as the coaches were trying to get him as acclimated as much as possible in a short window.

Mingo forced a fumble and had a strip sack negated by a penalty. He was making plays in the backfield, setting the edge well for a guy who is built like he is. Mingo IS a linebacker with the Patriots and the possibilities are endless for this guy when he’s teamed with the likes of Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower. He flew thru the A-gap and flattened Ryan Nassib on one play.

He’s going to be an intriguing piece of the puzzle once this defense gets up to 100 percent strength. And yes…he was playing like a guy who was delighted to be out of Cleveland tonight.

Foster Shows Impressive Burst: Rookie running back D.J. Foster saw a ton of reps early tonight with Tom Brady and the top offensive unit and for the most part was very good. He has excellent hands and speed and he put those to the test when he blew by his coverage on a perfectly executed wheel route that went for 30 yards.

He mixed in a couple of nice runs on the night and on a screen from Brady, jumped up and made a really nice one-handed grab to snatch the ball out of the air. But he then made a rookie mistake and didn’t protect it, allowing the Giants to force a fumble inside the red zone which took away points.

But did he do enough to make the roster? With nine catches on 10 targets for 110 yards and 22 more yards on the ground, I’d say yes he’ll be there.

The Patriots defense looked really fast and was playing outstanding tonight. They were getting very good pressure on the QB, had solid coverage and were keeping the Giants at bay. Nassib and the Giants wide receivers kept testing the Patriots corners deep down the right side but the secondary was doing a good job of sticking with their assignments.

They ended up getting burned on a 59-yard scoring play when Nassib hit Tavares King on a short slant where he juked rookie Cyrus Jones at the line. Safety Vinnie Sunseri was late coming over to help and King blew past him in an impressive play.

Aaron Dobson had a big play with a nice adjustment on a deep ball by Brady that he was able to haul in for a 38-yard gain. He ran a route on the team’s first drive where he appeared to stop short. The Giants defender, Trevin Wade appeared to arrive a split second before the ball did. There was no flag and Wade wrestled the ball away for an interception, one of three Patriots turnovers in the half.

Charles Johnson also had another nice night. He’s showing a very quick explosion off the snap and has been disrupting plays all over the field. He was a constant thorn in the Giants side with several QB pressures. He and Geneo Grissom combined for a sack in the second half. He helped his chances of making the roster with his performance.

So the Patriots finish the preseason at 3-1, and now they have to cut the roster down to 53 men by Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. Then on Sunday, they’ll start to fill their practice squad. That’s when the preparation for the Arizona Cardinals begins and they live without Brady on the roster for the next 37 days.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

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About Steve Balestrieri

A former US Army Special Forces NCO and Officer, Steve has been following the Patriots since their days at Fenway Park. Steve has worked in the film industry and wrote as an Military Editor at SpecialOperations.com, 1945.com as a reporter for the Millbury Daily Voice, Millbury-Sutton Chronicle, and the Grafton News. He's also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


Tags: 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Aaron Dobson Anthony Johnson Bill Belichick D.J. Foster Danny Amendola Dion Lewis Dont'a Hightower Geneo Grissom Jabaal Sheard Jimmy Garoppolo Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady Tyler Gaffney

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