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Giant Takeaways: Preseason Week 4 vs. Patriots

The New York Giants fell to the New England Patriots by the score of 17-12 at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night. Many starters did not play in the final game of the preseason, which gave fans a look at those players competing for a 53-man roster spot.

As always, here are the key takeaways from the game.

Deayon Dominates

The Giants have been gushing about the skills of cornerback Donte Deayon throughout the summer. Everyone tuning into the game got a good look of said abilities, as he hauled in two interceptions on the night. His first was the most impressive, as he intercepted a Danny Etling pass, diving on the sidelines for the pick.

When not intercepting passes, he was breaking them up. Deayon had four passes defensed, essentially knocking away everything in his direction.

Thursday all but proved Deayon will make the opening day roster.

Iffy Night for Lauletta

Davis Webb didn’t play against New England, which essentially solidified he will be Eli Manning’s primary backup this season. That doesn’t come as a surprise, as Webb bounced back in a huge way in his last two preseason games, following a dreadful first game against the Cleveland Browns.

Lauletta did get the start against the Patriots, and it was a night to forget. The rookie’s passes were not on target, specifically two deep passes to wide receiver Kalif Raymond. Underthrown and overthrown. There were some shining moments, but it seems he will be the third-string quarterback for the Giants this year.

His lone touchdown came on a screen pass to wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, who took it to the house on an impressive 41-yard catch-and-run score.

The rookie finished his night completing 8-of-19 passes for 118 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Ray-Ray Armstrong Rolls

This has been a summer to remember for Ray-Ray Armstrong. He has been one of the most consistent, gritty players on the Giants defense. That was on full display against New England, as he recorded four total tackles and hit the quarterback once. He looked strong in coverage, which is something the linebacker corps desperately needs.

The strong preseason will pay off in the form of a 53-man roster spot.

Helmet Rule Runs Wild

The ongoing controversy throughout this preseason has been the helmet rule. During Week 3, there appeared to be a slow period in flags thrown on that new ruling. However, it  made it’s grand return in the Meadowlands.

New York was charged with the “leading with the helmet” penalty three times on the night, coming from Romeo Okwara, Mark Herzlich, and Chris Lewis-Harris. So that was a total of 45 yards lost on one rule. It was also Herzlich’s second violation of the new sanction.

If anything was obvious, it’s there’s still an adjustment period to avoid being penalized, and it will likely continue at the start of the regular season.

Bettcher’s Blood Boils

Earlier on in the game, defensive coordinator James Bettcher was all smiles on the sidelines. He loved what he saw from the defense.

That was until “that play” happened late in the fourth quarter. Patriots quarterback Danny Etling faked a hand off to running back Ralph Webb on a naked bootleg. The end result saw Etling run uncontested along the right sidelines for an 86-yard rushing touchdown.

The camera cut to Bettcher, who was fuming on the sidelines, showing he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Make no mistake about it this upcoming season, if there is miscommunication at any point this season from the defensive squad, he will let the team know about it.

Carter Earns Starters Stripes

Many have called general manager Dave Gettleman’s selection of Lorenzo Carter a “potential steal of the draft.” Carter saw plenty of snaps against the Patriots, as the entire starting defense got the night off.

The rookie was able to get through the offensive line, and more importantly, get to the quarterback. Carter finished the game with one tackle, one quarterback hit, and one sack.

Carter could be the secret weapon on the Giants defense this upcoming season.

Simmons vs. Pressley a Tough Choice

As everyone and their grandmother knows, Saquon Barkley is going to be the bell-cow in the rushing attack. Wayne Gallman showed throughout the preseason that he’s going to be the primary backup for the team. Jonathan Stewart will make the regular season roster, more in part to his hefty contract as opposed to his preseason play.

That leaves one spot available in the rushing game, and both Jalen Simmons and Jhurell Pressley shined. It was a game of “anything you can do, I can do better,” between both backs. While Simmons rushed for 41 yards on 11 carries (most on the team), Pressley made up for it in yards per carry (5.7). Not to mention, Pressley had the longest run of the night (19).

Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman will have a difficult choice to make come Saturday.

Preseason’s Over!

After the final seconds clicked off the clock between the Patriots and Giants, it also signaled the end of the preseason. Now, the Giants will have until 4:00 p.m. EST to make their final roster cuts. From there, they will prepare for the first game of the season on Sept. 9, as they face off against Tom Coughlin and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Get your popcorn ready, because meaningful football is just around the corner.

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General Editor and New York Giants Lead Writer.
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