Patriots: 3 things we learned Wednesday night against the Giants

Brandon Bolden runs the ball Wednesday night in New Jersey.

Three things we learned in the Patriots 6-3 loss to the Giants in what was the final preseason game for both teams:
 
Patriots ready for regular season

Many thought the starters would see at least some action Wednesday night, especially on offense considering their struggles in the first three preseason games. That was not the case as Sebastian Vollmer was the only projected starter on offense or defense to play. Vollmer only played the first two offense series’ and came out midway through the third. It was Vollmer’s first action this preseason, which was most likely just to get him acclimated to game action and ready to start the season. Bill Belichick not playing his starters shows he is looking ahead to the regular season and is content with where each unit is at.
 

Cunningham makes case to earn roster spot
Going into the game defense end Jermaine Cunningham was a player looked at being on the bubble of making the final 53-man roster, which needs to be finalized by Friday night. The 2010 second round pick certainly gave Belichick plenty to think about, as he was arguably the most impressive defensive player on the field playing the entire game. Cunningham finished with three tackles, two first half sacks and was in the backfield on many occasions. Cunningham has shown signs of being a factor this preseason as he had three quarterback hits against the Eagles, including the one that knocked Michael Vick out of the game. This will be his third year with the team, and if he does not make an impact this year it’s hard to imagine he ever will.

 
Quarterback competition
With Tom Brady sitting out, second-year quarterback Ryan Mallett got the start and played the entire first half. Mallett wasn’t very impressive, but to his defense he was the victim of several drops from his receivers. Mallett finished 8-15 for 40 yards, but also had several miscommunications with his running backs and receivers. Brian Hoyer played the second half and fared a little better than Mallett, aside from his interception on his last throw of the game, which looked to be a wrong route ran by receiver Jesse Holley. Hoyer finished 9-15 for 96 yards. Following the game Belichick would not comment on which player would be the teams’ backup this season.



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