For the first time since 2003, the New England Patriots have finished their preseason without a loss, with a perfect summertime record made official with a 22-20 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night.
And for the Patriots, this win was really on the back of a strong second-half rebound performance from Mac Jones and the Patriot offense, beginning with a key third-down conversion on the way to an Isaiah Zuber touchdown.
It was the only touchdown throw of the evening from Jones, who finished 10-for-14 with 156 yards passing, but Jones did lead another scoring drive down the field, which was capped by a nine-yard rush from Rhamondre Stevenson.
The score was Stevenson’s fifth in three games this preseason, and Stevenson finished the night with 23 yards on five carries, along with another 17 yards through the air on two receptions. J.J. Taylor was once again the Patriots’ lead back on the ground, too, with 76 yards on nine carries. Taylor also added over 50 yards in the return game as well.
And with this being the preseason finale, starting quarterback Cam Newton played just two series before he was given the rest of the night off, and finished with 10 yards on a 2-for-5 passing effort with an interception on a solid throw to Jakobi Meyers that bobbled around and ended up in the hands of the Giants’ Blake Martinez.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots’ most impressive stop of the evening came in the first half, with a D’Angelo Ross interception in the endzone after the Patriots had stopped the Giants on the one-yard line on the previous play.
The Patriot defense also had to come through with one final stop, too, as the team denied veteran backup quarterback Mike Glennon and the Giants the two-point conversion that would’ve tied the game after Glennon hooked up with Damion Willis on a 43-yard bomb with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Now comes the hard part for Bill Belichick and the Patriots: Trimming this roster down to its final 53. The Patriots will have less than two full days to make those cuts, too, as the final 53-man roster will not be due until 4 p.m. on Aug. 31.
After that, the Patriots will begin their preparation for their first game of the season, set for Sunday, Sept. 12 against the Dolphins.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.