NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 1 Game Recap: New York Giants 23, New England Patriots 21

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots safety Jalen Elliott (36) tackles New York Giants running back Antonio Williams (21) during the second half of a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

In a rematch of Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, the New York Giants once again came out victorious. This one had a little bit less at stake, though.

In the end, the New York Giants eked out a 23-21 win over the New England Patriots to kick off the preseason.

Editor’s note: All grades in this article are subject to review. All PFF player grades will be finalized by 12 pm ET tomorrow.

NEW YORK GIANTS

QUARTERBACK: Daniel Jones

Passing depth PFF Grade Comp/Att Yards
Short (0-9 yards) 61.6 5/7 52
Intermediate (10-19 yards) 70.7 1/1 17
Deep (20+ plus yards) 42.6 0/2 0

Jones got two drives on the day and led the Giants to a field goal on one of them.

Tyrod Taylor looked comfortable on his extended run. He looks like Jones' clear-cut backup.

RUNNING BACK

Player Attempts Rushing yards Yards after contact per attempt Missed tackles forced
Antonio Williams 9 61 4.6 3
Gary Brightwell 7 40 3.1 2
Saquon Barkley 4 12 2.0 1

Antonio Williams couldn't have done too much more on his nine carries. In fact, he gained more yards than all the Patriots backs combined.

RECEIVERS

Player Rec./tgts. Yards YPRR Passer rating generated
Collin Johnson 7/8 83 3.07 109.9
Richie James Jr. 3/4 44 2.2 150.0
Kenny Golladay 1/3 6 .6 42.4

We barely got to see the Giants' listed starters. Kenny Golladay (16), Wan’Dale Robinson (13) and Kadarius Toney (0) played a total of 29 snaps.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Player Pass-blocking snaps Sacks allowed Total pressures allowed
Ben Bredeson 38 0 0
Joshua Ezeudu 27 0 0
Evan Neal 12 0 1

Andrew Thomas picked up where he left off last season and didn’t allow a pressure on seven pass-blocking snaps.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Player pass-rush snaps Total pressures Pressure rate
Quincy Roche 15 2 13.3%
Kayvon Thibodeaux 7 0 0%
Elerson Smith 11 1 9.1%

There wasn't much in the way of splash plays to speak of from top-10 pick Kayvon Thibodeaux, who was blanked on his 12 snaps.

LINEBACKER

Player Run-defense

snaps

Run stops Run stop rate
Austin Calitro 11 1 9.1%
Micah McFadden 10 1 10%
Darrian Beavers 7 0 0%

The Giants could use one of their two late-round picks to step up and challenge their incumbent starters, but we didn’t see much of that Thursday night.

SECONDARY

Player Rec./tgts. Yards
allowed
Touchdowns allowed
Cordale Flott 1/3 2 0
Darnay Holmes 1/2 4 0
Aaron Robinson 3/5 44 1

Still only 20 years old, Cordale Flott looked the part in his welcome to the NFL.

With a healthy amount of competition at corner, Aaron Robinson is going to have to step it up in the coming weeks.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUARTERBACK: Bailey Zappe

Passing depth PFF Grade Comp/Att Yards
Short (0-9 yards) 47.1 10/15 73
Intermediate (10-19 yards) 79.6 3/4 38
Deep (20+ plus yards) 51.1 3/8 88

They didn’t give Zappe too much help schematically or in the run game. He was asked to drop back and pass without the advent of play action for much of the game.

RUNNING BACK

Player Attempts Rushing yards Yards after contact per attempt Missed tackles forced
Kevin Harris 6 9 1.8 0
Pierre Strong Jr. 6 25 2.0 0
J.J. Taylor 5 16 2.8 1

The Patriots split carries in the preseason just as well as they do in the regular season. We didn’t get to see enough of anyone to get a good idea.

RECEIVERS

Player Rec./tgts. Yards YPRR Passer rating generated
Kristian Wilkerson 8/12 99 3.09 92.0
Lil’Jordan Humphrey 6/8 62 2.0 136.5
Tre Nixon 4/8 81 2.31 85.9

DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor all had the night off.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Player Pass-blocking snaps Sacks allowed Total pressures allowed
Justin Herron 30 0 1
Yodny Cajuste 25 0 1
Cole Strange 8 0 0

While he may not have allowed a pressure, Cole Strange was far from perfect in pass protection. He still had two losses on the day that didn’t result in a pressure.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Player pass-rush snaps Total pressures Pressure rate
Sam Roberts 35 3 8.6%
Anfernee Jennings 21 3 14.3%
Josh Uche 17 3 17.6%

After a promising rookie year in 2020, Josh Uche looked back like that player rushing the passer Thursday night.

LINEBACKER

Player Rec./tgts. allowed Yards
allowed
Touchdowns allowed
Cameron McGrone 4/4 33 0
Harvey Langi 2/2 19 0
Mack Wilson 4/4 41 0

The Patriots desperately need someone to step up at the linebacker position. Cameron McGrone was hoped to be that guy, but he was a non-factor on his 58 snaps.

SECONDARY

Player Rec./tgts. Yards
allowed
Touchdowns allowed
Jalen Elliott 4/6 32 0
Jack Jones 1/3 6 0
Shaun Wade 3/8 30 0

Jack Jones had a nice NFL debut. The fourth-rounder got a ton of run, with 63 snaps on the day. His six yards allowed came on 39 coverage snaps.

 

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