Patriots Vs. Giants Score: New York kicks off New England with dominating play

Season games mean more than the final score. For most fans and members of the media, the preseason is a way to gain knowledge about teams and players before the regular season begins. Fans of both the Giants and Patriots learned things about their teams Thursday night, aside from the Giants’ 23-21 win.

The Giants dominated the first half statistically. New York gained three times as many yards while taking a 10-7 lead. The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter before New York extended its lead to 20-14 five minutes into the fourth quarter. Rookie quarterback Bailey Chappey threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Lil Jordan Humphrey to give New England the lead with 4:51 left. However, the Giants mounted a late game drive and won the game on Graham Cano’s 24-yard field goal as time expired.

Here are the highlights from Thursday night’s game.

Zappe solid in NFL debut

With Mack Jones sidelined, the Patriots’ fourth-round pick got a heavy workload Thursday night. The former Western Kentucky quarterback went 19 of 32 for 205 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The highlight was his touchdown pass to Humphrey, who led New England with 62 yards on six receptions.

The Giants’ O-line shines

Although they allowed a few shots on Daniel Jones (more on that later), the Giants’ offensive line was exceptional in blocking the run. The Patriots had 52 yards on 18 carries and 177 yards on 33 carries. New York was led on the ground by Antonio Williams, who rushed for 61 yards and a score on nine carries.

Thornton scores first NFL TD

Tyquan Thornton’s first NFL reception resulted in a touchdown as New England’s second-round pick managed to break free in the back of the end zone before hauling down Brian Hoyer’s pass. Expected to bring an element of speed to the Patriots’ receiving corps, Thornton caught 10 touchdown passes in his final season at Baylor. He averaged 15.7 yards per catch throughout his time with the Bears.

Butler returned

Malcolm Butler became a household name following his game-winning pick in Super Bowl XLIX. Butler’s penchant for making big plans came true again Thursday night. Patriots’ new no. 4 (Butler switched from his old No. 21) Terence Mitchell picked off a forced fumble by Giants wideout Colin Johnson on New York’s third possession. Butler played his first game in nearly two years after retiring before the start of the 2021 season.

Barkley had a solid preseason debut

The Giants ran back Saquon Barkley on one possession. He had four carries for 13 yards and caught an 8-yard pass on third down to help the Giants move the chains. After injuries plagued him the previous two seasons, Barkley hopes to return to form this season.

Jones is feeling the heat

Jones was solid in both of his series. The Giants quarterback went 6 for 10 for 69 yards while leading New York to a field goal on the game’s opening drive. Johnson, his preferred target, caught both of his targets 30 yards from Jones. Johnson finished the game with seven catches for 82 yards.

Jones didn’t give up on the game, though. On his final drive, he picked up a sack by Josh Uche before being hit on his final drive attempt. The former first-round pick was sacked 105 times in his first three seasons, but only 22 times in 11 games in 2021.

Patriots play-calling

Now that Josh McDaniels is in Las Vegas, who will call the plays in New England is a question mark. As Matt Patricia and Joe Judge took turns calling the plays on Thursday night, it appeared the Patriots didn’t know the answer. Patricia appeared to call plays during Hoyer’s first half possessions, while Judge called plays for Zappe.

Tre Nixon makes a presence felt

New England’s young receiver caught passes of 36- and 32-yards on the Patriots’ go-ahead drive to open the second half. A seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Nixon caught 11 touchdowns and averaged 15.6 yards per catch in his two active seasons at UCF.

New England suffered several O-line injuries

The injury bug hit the Patriots offense Thursday night. Justin Heron, Yodney Cajuste and Bill Murray all left the game with injuries. Despite those injuries, the Patriots’ patchwork offensive line helped New England take a 21-20 lead late in the game.

Taylor got more

Tyrod Taylor was sharp in his first regular season game with the Giants. The 12-year veteran and former Pro Bowler started the game going 12 for 14 for 118 yards and a touchdown to Richie James, which gave the Giants a 10-7 lead late in the first half. The 33-year-old seems more than capable of leading the Giants’ offense if called upon to do so.

Are you kidding?

Taunting (like sportsmanship) penalties have been a hot-button issue over the past few weeks as the NFL cracks down on taunting. Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson was assessed a head-scratching ridiculous penalty late in the first quarter. The penalty helped set up the Patriots’ first touchdown.

next

The Giants host the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 20, while the Patriots face Baker Mayfield and the Panthers on Aug. 19.

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