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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 10: Jakobi Meyers #16 of the New England Patriots catches a pass at the 1 yard line against the New York Giants during the second quarter in the game at Gillette Stadium on October 10, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com

If not for COVID, Thursday night would have been the Patriots annual preseason finale against the New York Giants. As was the case with the previous three canceled games, I turned on my Xbox for a virtual substitute.

The (virtual) Patriots’ fourth and final preseason game was far and away their most complete. Newly-anointed starter Cam Newton was on stoppable, going 13-for-16 and completing a 69-yard catch-and-run touchdown to Damiere Byrd.

If this really was the fourth and final preseason game, there would be a lot of ensuing talk about those players on the bubble, and who made the best case for a roster spot. Jakobi Meyers had what would have been in reality a strong showing, catching what ended up being the game-winning touchdown, as well as a third down pass on the Patriots final drive that sealed the game.

Defensively, De’Jon Harris put together a strong performance, with two tackles for a loss. In reality, he could have used such a game as he is in competition for the Patriots final linebacker spot.

As for the kicker battle – the Patriots didn’t get a chance to attempt any field goals in this game, but Nick Folk hit both PATs he attempted, while Justin Rohrwasser knocked through his one chance.

This weekend, the Patriots will have to make roster decisions without the information gained from game action, real or fake (although I’m more than happy to talk about these sims with Bill Belichick if he’s interested). Still it’s fun to imagine what could have been.

Here’s the box score from tonight’s “game”:

FINAL (7:00 quarters)

Patriots: 21

Giants: 16

Passing:

Cam Newton: 13/16, 203 yards, TD

Jarrett Stidham: 7/8, 87 yards, TD

Rushing:

Lamar Miller: 7 carries, 29 yards

Sony Michel: 4 carries, 19 yards

James White: 4 carries, 17 yards, TD

J.J. Taylor: 3 carries, 8 yards

Jarrett Stidham: 1 carry, -1 yard

Receiving:

N’Keal Harry: 4 catches, 45 yards

Damiere Byrd: 3 catches, 91 yards, TD

Julian Edelman: 3 catches, 41 yards

Devin Asiasi: 3 catches, 26 yards

Jakobi Meyers: 2 catches, 27 yards, TD

Jeff Thomas: 1 catch, 31 yards

Gunner Olszewski: 1 catch, 12 yards

Ryan Izzo: 1 catch, 9 yards

J.J. Taylor: 1 catch, 2 yards

Blocking:

Sacks allowed: 0

Pancakes: 0

Tackle Leaders:

Cassh Maluia: 4

Joejuan Williams: 3

Ja’Whaun Bentley: 3

De’Jon Harris: 3

Jonathan Jones: 3

D’Angelo Ross: 3

Terrence Brooks: 3

TFL:

De’Jon Harris: 2

Myles Bryant: 1

D’Angelo Ross: 1

Justin Bethel: 1

Ja’Whaun Bentley: 1

Sacks:

None

INT:

None

Kicking:

Nick Folk: 2/2 PAT

Justin Rohrwasser: 1/1 PAT

Punting:

Jake Bailey: 2 punts, 60 yards

Team Offense:

Total yards: 355

Passing yards: 283

Rushing yards: 72

3rd downs: 5/7 (71%)

TOP: 14:10

Team Defense:

Total yards: 241

Passing yards: 121

Rushing yards: 120

3rd downs: 4/8 (50%)

TOP: 13:50

Scoring:

Q1: James White, 5-yard run (Folk PAT)

Q1: Graham Gano 22-yard Field Goal

Q1: Damiere Byrd 69-yard pass from Cam Newton (Folk PAT)

Q3: Dion Lewis, 5-yard run (2pt conversion failed)

Q4: Jakobi Myeres 5-yard pass from Jarrett Stidham (Rohrwasser PAT)

Q4: C.J. Board 1-yard pass from Colt McCoy (Gano PAT)

Click here for 98.5 The Sports Hub’s complete coverage of the Patriots

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com.