EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After 18 punts and three field goals, the Patriots preseason has come to an unremarkable end, with roster cuts looming over the team and the NFL later this week.
The Patriots lost to the Giants Wednesday night, 6-3, at MetLife Stadium, finishing the preseason 1-3.
Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes booted two field goals while the Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski had another as both teams struggled on offense.
The Patriots elected to rest their star players, giving the start at quarterback to Ryan Mallett who finished 8 of 15 for 40 yards. The Patriots mustered only 12 first downs.
Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko got plenty of practice. He had nine punts in the game, six of them pinned within the 20-yard line. His counterpart, the Giants' Steve Weatherford, also had nine punts The Giants offense managed 13 first downs.
Running back Brandon Bolden, who is battling for a roster spot, led the Patriots with 15 carries for 59 yards. Rookie running back Jeff Demps had six carries for 15 yards and three catches for 31 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Jermaine Cunningham accounted for two of the Patriots' four sacks on the night. Rookie free agent Justin Francis had one and Trevor Scott had the other.
The Patriots will have to trim their roster to 53 players on Friday.
1:03 4th quarter: Giants 6, Patriots 3 -- Lawrence Tynes kicked his second field goal of the night, a 32-yarder, as the Giants captured the lead following the game's first turnover.
2:25 4th quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- A huge turnover here in the Patriots red zone. Giants defensive lineman Adewale Ojomo had a strip-sack fumble on Brian Hoyer and in the scramble to get the ball the Giants' Marcus Thomas recovered at the New England 17. This game seems a field goal away from ending the preseason.
2:50 4th quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- The Patriots got a quarterback pressure and then a sack on David Carr, then broke up a screen to force the Giants into their ninth punt.
6:05 4th quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- Bill Belichick challenged a Jesse Holley catch that was called out of bounds but it was upheld. The Patriots punted for the ninth time of the night. Zoltan Mesko is getting plenty of practice.
6:48 4th quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard forced a fumble by Giants running back Andre Brown as the Patriots got the Giants to punt for the eighth time tonight.
8:30 4th quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- New Patriots receiver Kerry Taylor had a nice grab for 15 yards from Brian Hoyer that he had to go up and get. Hoyer was unfortunately taken down for a 7-yard sack later on in the drive as the offense stalled again.
13:38 4th quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- After considering a 54-yard field goal, the Giants went ahead and decided to punt. Steve Weatherford has seven punts on the night for the Giants. Yeah, it's been one of those kind of games.
End of the 3d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- Giants backup QB David Carr escaped some pressure from defensive lineman Justin Francis and connected with Jerrel Jernigan for a 25-yard gain. It was one of the few moments that Patriots coach Bill Belichick became animated on the sideline, given the lack of plays by both teams. The game continues with the Giants driving toward the Patriots end zone.
5:11 3d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- Brian Hoyer and Jeff Demps have taken over for the Patriots offense in the second quarter. Hoyer connected with Demps out of the backfield and it's apparent that the Patriots want to get him in open space to utilize his speed. Hoyer took a 4-yard sack, though, and the team was forced to punt on the drive.
7:30 3d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 3 -- The Giants evened the score with a 34-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes following a 13-play, 64-yard drive. It was the Giants' lengthiest drive of the evening.
On defense, Patriots linebacker Mike Rivera made a couple of nice tackles, shedding blockers to do so. Niko Koutouvides appeared to injure his wrist on the drive. He left for the locker room.
15:00 3d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 0 -- Third quarter is underway with the Giants receiving to start.
End of the 2d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 0 -- Trevor Scott got a shoe-string sack on Giants QB David Carr and the Patriots were able to get through the first half without giving up any points and only four first downs.
Through the first half, the Patriots have fared only slightly better on offense with seven first downs.
Ryan Mallett is 8 of 15 for 40 yards and running back Brandon Bolden has 15 carries for 59 yards. Bolden also has three catches for 16 yards.
0:37 2d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 0 -- Ryan Mallett was sacked for a 6-yard loss with the Giants' Matt Broha making the hit. Mallett had a chance to extend the drive before the end of the half, but he couldn't connect with Jesse Holley on a deep pass over the middle and again on a slant at the first down marker.
3:19 2d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 0 -- The Giants offense is miserable with David Carr at the helm. Saddle up folks. This is going to be a long game. Another three-and-out.
4:44 2d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 0 -- In quick fashion, the Patriots gave the Giants the ball right back, going three-and-out with Ryan Mallett failing to connect with receiver Jesse Holley twice in the series.
6:08 2d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 0 -- After a lengthy delay thanks to the referees trying to figure out a penalty against the Giants for a special teams violation (illegal shift and then a face mask), Brandon Bolden muffed the punt, only to be saved by Jeff Demps. The same guy he's battling with for a roster spot. Oh the irony.
8:27 2d quarter: Patriots 3, Giants 0 -- Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 20-yard field goal after a 12-play, 51-yard drive.
Brandon Bolden got three straight touches in the red zone, but was unable to punch in a touchdown. Former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich stuffed Bolden on third-and-goal at the 2-yard line.
13:20 2d quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- Patriots safety Nate Ebner got a hand on an Eli Manning pass -- almost picking it off -- as the Patriots held the Giants to yet another three-and-out.
So far, the Patriots' backup defense looks pretty good.
14:45 2d quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- Ryan Mallett was sacked on third down, forcing another three-and-out for the Patriots. It's getting repetitive for both offenses.
End of the first quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- Only two first downs in the first quarter for the Patriots.
1:07 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- Eli Manning underthrew a pass to Victor Cruz on third down -- a possible touchdown play -- and the Giants went three-and-out again. The Patriots backups are battling right now with the Giants first team.
2:47 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- The Patriots managed their first two first downs before a false start on tackle Marcus Cannon stalled the offense.
Running back Brandon Bolden put together a couple of nice runs, including a 15-yarder that tight end Daniel Fells helped spring. It's our first glimpse of Fells in game action after he was sidelined for most of training camp.
6:15 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- Jermaine Cunningham got leverage on Giants right guard Mitch Petrus and sacked Eli Manning for a 14-yard loss.
It was an impressive play for Cunningham, who has normally worked exclusively on the edge for the Patriots (at least in game situations) but found himself going up against an interior lineman. The Giants were forced to punt afterward.
9:29 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- A couple of passes to nowhere by Ryan Mallett and the Patriots find themselves with another three-and-out.
11:26 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- Niko Koutouvides was in on a nice stop in the backfield to force a three-and-out for the Giants. He's fighting for a spot on this team and that was a definite positive.
13:46 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- The Patriots went three-and-out with Ryan Mallett almost throwing an interception to Giants LB Jacquain Williams.
15:42 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- The Patriots won the toss and elected to receive with Jeff Demps back to return. Ryan Mallett gets the start at QB with Brandon Bolden starting at RB.
15:00 1st quarter: Patriots 0, Giants 0 -- The game is about to get started and it's almost assured that Tom Brady will not be playing. Instead, there will be heavy helpings of Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett at QB. The Globe's Greg Bedard is reporting that Hoyer will get the start. We'll find out soon enough.
Stay tuned throughout the game right here. We'll keep you updated throughout.