Giants Take a Gift Victory
New York Edges New England to Clinch Spotless Preseason
East Rutherford, n.j. — No one wanted overtime in the preseason finale.
Josh Brown kicked a 37-yard field goal with 38 seconds to play and the New York Giants capped their first undefeated preseason since 2006 with a 16-13 victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday night.
The win was a gift from Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who went for a first down with a fourth-and-1 from his 39 with less than three minutes to play and the score tied.
Patriots rookie Jimmy Garoppolo threw his pass between two receivers and the Giants (5-0) ran off six plays to set up Brown’s third field goal.
The Patriots (2-2) started just two regulars and trotted on Tom Brady to hold on the first of Stephen Gostkowski’s two field goals. Other than that, he stayed on the bench for the defending AFC East champions.
New England opens the season a week from Sunday at Miami.
The Giants, who have missed the playoffs the past two seasons, play at Detroit in a Monday night game Sept. 8.
The final preseason game was left in the hands of backups for the most part. New England used two regulars, guard Josh Kline and safety Duron Harmon, while Giants starters played two series.
All the scoring came with reserves on the field and the Patriots were more impressive, with Garoppolo leading scoring drives of 82, 61 and 59 yards. He capped the first one with a 33-yard pass to Aaron Dobson early in the second quarter for a 7-3 lead. Gostkowski had field goals of 37 and 21, with the later giving New England a 13-10 lead late in the third quarter.
Brown, who beat out first-year kicker Brandon McManus earlier this week, tied the game in the fourth quarter with a 45-yarder. He had put New York ahead 3-0 following an interception by Zack Bowman in the second quarter. Peyton Hillis, who missed three weeks with an ankle injury, scored on a 1-yard run to put the Giants ahead 10-7 late in the half.
The Giants’ new West Coast offense came into the fifth preseason game struggling, and it didn’t show much in generating one first down against Patriots scrubs. Their final play summed up the preseason, despite the unbeaten record. On a third-and-2 from the Giants 28, Eli Manning hit tight end Kellen Davis for no gain.
A second-round pick out of Eastern Illinois, Garoppolo showed poise in his first start, completing 22 of 42 for 284 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Manning (1 of 4 for 0 yards), Ryan Nassib (6 of 14 for 107 yards) and Curtis Painter (3 of 5 for 32 yards) could not match those statistics combined.