Patriots vs. Giants: 7 players who stood out, for better or worse

Tim Tebow in action against the Giants Thursday. Credit: Getty Images
Tim Tebow in action against the Giants Thursday. Credit: Getty Images

The next round of cuts is coming for the New England Patriots. The team has to get down to a 53-man roster by Saturday in anticipation of the following Sunday’s opener at Buffalo. With that in mind, here is a look at those players who stood out, good or bad, in Thursday’s 28-20 win over the New York Giants in the preseason finale.

1. Ryan Mallett/Tim Tebow – Without Tom Brady playing a snap, the performances of these two were central. While Mallett’s roster spot is not in question like the holy one behind him, how he plays is worth noting in case a blitzing safety takes out Brady midway through the first quarter in Buffalo.

The third-year University of Arkansas product had some moments (his arm strength is not in question, as exhibited by a handful of throws), but he remains uncertain in other areas. His lack of touch in an attempt on Aaron Dobson in the end zone early in the second resulted in what looked like a bad interception. Even though it was overturned, the lack of execution was notable on Mallett’s part.

Moments later Mallett threw a picture-perfect touchdown pass to Josh Boyce, exhibiting the maddening inconsistency that would become even more maddening if this had been a regular season game and not the back end of a preseason slate.

As for Tebow, what could be his last game in a Patriots uniform also was up and down. There was a 52-yard TD pass to Quentin Sims, followed by an underthrown interception on a deep ball on the following possession. Tebow capped his second-half performance on another connection with Sims in the closing seconds. That made his line look a bit better, but it remains to be seen if there is room for a third quarterback, who was also sacked four times.

Mallett was 10-for-16 for 117 yards. Tebow was 5-for-10 for 82 yards.

2. Leon Washington – The backfield is in solid standing with the Ridleys and Vereens of the world. There is wiggle room beyond them, and Washington would be a nice veteran piece. It was somewhat of a mixed bag as Washington coughed up a fumble, had just one catch and had three rushes for nine yards, but he also contributed some nice punt returns. That has been a big part of Washington’s game over the years and the Pats could always use a boost in that department, which has lacked at times in years past and no longer has Wes Welker to help out in the punt return game.

3. Josh Boyce – Speed kills. It certainly did on the 40-yard TD strike from Mallett to Boyce early in the second quarter. The rookie from Texas Christian put on a nice little double move to get some separation. Boyce also had an end-around that displayed his jets. He figures to offer a nice deep threat, change-of-pace guy for Brady.

4. Adrian Wilson – Much has been made of the veteran safety’s chances of making, or not making, the team. And much was made Thursday of Wilson’s heavy dose of action with second- and third-string players, often a sign that he is on the outside looking in.

5. Dan Connolly and Marcus Cannon – The previously injured offensive linemen had been limited during the preseason but got in some solid reps Thursday. Connolly played the first quarter and is good to go at right guard. Cannon lasted into the second and will provide depth to a now-healthy line that may just be the team’s biggest strength.

6. Zoltan Mesko – Fighting to hold off Ryan Allen for the punting job, Mesko had a solid night. He averaged 43.2 yards on five punts, one of which went for 57 yards. Hang time was solid for Mesko, who figures to have the inside track in this specialty race.

7. Jake Bequette/Michael Buchanan – The fight for backup spots along the defensive line had a pair of standouts in Bequette and Buchanan. The former had some solid moments in the first half and Buchanan came on in a big way as the game wore on. He had 1.5 sacks and a strip of Giants quarterback David Carr.

Buchanan may have played his way onto this team with his performance. Bequette’s status may be more up in the air, but he did not hurt his cause.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.