Patriots fall to Giants on last-minute field-goal in preseason opener

The Patriots couldn't overcome a slow offensive start in close loss to Giants.

New England's Tre Nixon makes a catch as Giants cornerback Zyon Gilbert defends during the second half. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Graham Gano knocked in the game winning field goal as time expired, but the big picture focus of the Patriots’ 23-21 preseason loss should be on how New England’s offense played.

The Patriots were held to 52 rushing yards on 18 attempts.

Rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe came on strong at the end, finishing at 19-32 passing for 205 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He nearly made up for the slow start, but the Giants were able to march down the field and clinch the game on the final drive.

Kristian Wilkerson caught a team-high eight passes for 99 yards. Tre Nixon averaged 20.3 yards per catch. Tyquan Thornton hauled in his first touchdown catch.


But in the end, the Giants scored a couple points more and walked away with the win.

Here’s what happened:

End of Game

Fourth Quarter

10:15 p.m.: Graham Gano hits game-winning field-goal at the buzzer.

10:03 p.m.: Zappe hit Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a 20-yard touchdown. Patriots lead 21-20.

9:52 p.m.: A 60-yard punt puts the Patriots on their own 31-yard line to start a drive halfway through the 4th quarter.

9:40 p.m.: Another Giants field goal makes puts New York up 20-14.

9:35 p.m.: Zappe throws an interception. Giants get ball in decent field position and with momentum.

Third Quarter

9:27 p.m.: The third quarter ends with the Patriots trailing 17-14. Zappe missed six of his first nine throws, but seems to have found a rhythm finishing the quarter at 13-20 passing.

9:08 p.m.: A 9-play, 55-yard drive culminates in a 2-yard rushing touchdown from Antonio Williams. Score: Giants 17, Patriots 14.

8:56 p.m.: A 32-yard Zappe completion to Nixon gives the Patriots 1st and goal from the 8. Damien Harris gets a five yard gain, then punches it in again for a 3-yard score. Score: Patriots 14, Giants 10.

Second Quarter

8:25 p.m.: Giants run out the clock and take a three-point lead into halftime.


8:21 p.m. Giants score on a Taylor pass to Richie James. Taylor is 12-14 passing for 118 yards and a touchdown now. He’s had some fortunate bounces, but he’s also finding the gaps in the defense. Score: Giants 10, Patriots 7.

8:16 p.m.: Faced with a third down and bad field position, Taylor’s pass bounces off off the hands of one receiver and into the hands of another several yards down the field. A bit of luck prolongs the Giants’ drive.

8:03 p.m.: Taylor gets the Giants to midfield. Giants line up on 4th down as if they’re going to go for it. Patriots stay disciplined and don’t bite. Giants get called for delay of game and punt.

7:52 p.m.: Rookie QB Bailey Zappe takes over for Hoyer. He completes his first pass. Zappe had Wilkerson open on his second pass, but the throw was a little too wide. He’s nearly sacked for a safety on drop back No. 3, but is able to heave the ball out of bounds and avoid an intentional grounding call.

7:47 p.m.: Tyrod Taylor enters the game for the Giants. Patriots’ Terrance Mitchell forces a fumble on Taylor’s first completion. Malcolm Butler recovers the fumble, giving the Patriots the first takeaway of the game.


First Quarter

7:39 p.m.: Hoyer rolls out and hits rookie Tyquan Thornton with a two-yard touchdown pass as the first quarter ends. Nick Folk hits the extra-point. Score: Patriots 7, Giants 3.

7:33 p.m.: Hoyer finds Wilkerson again for a 33-yard completion in front of the Patriots sideline, setting up 1st and goal from the Giants’ 17.

7:29 p.m.: Josh Uche gets a first-down sack, and a pair of incomplete passes forces the Giants to punt. Myles Bryant draws some crowd cheers with a 30-yard punt return. Patriots take over near mid-field.

7:22 p.m.: A 2-yard run from Taylor and an incomplete pass to Tre Nixon aren’t enough for the first down. Patriots punt.

7:21 p.m.: Patriots take over at the 25 after a touchback. Hoyer completes a 9-yard quick slant to Christian Wilkerson. JJ Taylor picks up the first down on the next play. A false start pushes the offense back five yards. Hoyer hits Taylor for a nice 11-yard completion.

7:15 p.m.: The Giants’ opening drive goes 13 plays for 68 yards before stalling in the Patriots red zone. Graham Gano nails a short field goal to open the scoring . Giants lead 3-0.


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