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Pats-Giants hots-and-nots, and game notes. - The Sun Chronicle : Markfarinella

Pats-Giants hots-and-nots, and game notes.

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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 11:52 pm

Here are my print-edition hots-and-nots from Wednesday's 6-3 loss by the Patriots to the Giants in the preseason finale at MetLife Stadium, followed by the game notes provided by the Patriots' media relations staff:



JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM: A first-quarter sack of Eli Manning for 14 yards to force a punt, and a sack of David Carr to end the first half.

ZOLTAN MESKO: Nine punts for a 46.8-yard average, 45.9-yard net. The latter figure won the punting battle of the night.

MIKE RIVERA: A game-high 12 tackles for the first-year linebacker out of Kansas.

NIKO KOUTOUVIDES: Eight tackles, second on the team, and a lot of work with the defensive signal-calling that might come in handy in a pinch,



BRIAN HOYER: Although he had more yardage (9-15, 96 yards) than Ryan Mallett, his fumble set up the Giants’ winning field goal. Otherwise …

TOUGH TO TELL: No need to attack people that shouldn’t have been playing in the first place. This was strictly a junior varsity game for the Patriots.



BRANDON BOLDEN: Tough to get a read on what he’s contributing. He carried 15 times for 59 yards, caught three passes for 16 yards, and had a 29-yard kickoff return. Is it enough to win a job?

RYAN MALLETT: He played mostly against the Giants’ first string, completing eight of 15 throws for just 40 yards. He was sacked twice. There is progress, but he’s not ready to be No. 2.



4: Different centers the Patriots tried in the first half -- Ryan Wendell, Dan Koppen, Dan Connolly and Donald Thomas.

8: Number of times Jesse Holley was targeted with passes. He caught two.

11: Mike Rivera’s solo tackles.

12: First-half punts.

51.0: Brian Hoyer’s passer rating.

59.0: Ryan Mallett’s passer rating.

79: Game-time temperature at MetLife Stadium.

75,530: Announced paid attendance. Hey, they bought the tickets. What they decided to do with them was their own business.



NIKO KOUTOUVIDES: He took a trip to the locker room midway through the third quarter, no reason announced.

JEFF DEMPS: I learned after the print deadline that he suffered an ankle injury late in the game.



If there were more than 20,000 fans in the stands of this 80,000-seat stadium at kickoff, they were disguised quite well. The fourth preseason game is apparently not a big draw in the New Jersey Meadowlands.


 Game notes:

*Sebastian Vollmer made his 2012 preseason debut and was in the starting lineup at right tackle. Vollmer dressed for the Tampa Bay game but did not start.

 *QB Ryan Mallett made his second start of the preseason. He started in the Monday Night Football game against Philadelphia on Aug. 20 at Gillette Stadium. Mallett played through the first half before being relieved by Brian Hoyer. Mallett finished the game 8-of-15 for 40 yards.

 *Hoyer finished 9-of15 for 96 yards.

 The Patriots and Giants closed out the preseason for the eighth straight year. The Patriots lost to the Giants 6-3 and are now 2-6 in those games.

 *Of the seven 2012 draft picks, four were in the starting lineup against the Giants. Second-round pick Tavon Wilson started at safety, sixth-round pick Nate Ebner started at safety, seventh-round pick Alfonzo Dennard started at cornerback and seventh-round pick Jeremy Ebert started at wide receiver.

 *First round draft picks DL Chandler Jones and LB Dont’a Hightower did not start against the Giants after starting the first three preseason games.

 *DL Jermaine Cunningham had two sacks in the game. He registered a 14-yard sack of QB Eli Manning in the first quarter and a 7-yard sack of David Carr in the second quarter. Cunningham also had three hits on the quarterback and finished the preseason with six hits on the quarterback.

 *Rookie free agent RB Brandon Bolden started at running back and finished with 15 carries for 59 yards for a 3.9-yard average.

 *Both teams punted the ball nine times.

 *First-year LB Mike Rivera led the team with 12 total tackles, including 11 solo tackles. 

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