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PreSeason Preview: Giants vs. Pats

New York Giants at New England Patriots

Thursday 7:30 ET

Reports out of New England are saying the Pats are siding with rookie QB Brian Hoyer as the third-string option and putting their faith in Andrew Walter as the second option.

With Tom Brady nursing a sore throwing shoulder following Friday’s preseason tilt, those two backups will get all the snaps against the New York Giants this Thursday.

Neither of those QBs played in the team’s 27-24 win over the Washington Redskins last week. Hoyer tossed up 112 yards on 11-of-19 passing versus the Cincinnati Bengals two weeks ago. Walter hasn’t taken snaps since the preseason opener when he totaled 62 yards on 5-for-9 passing. New England’s offense has averaged just under 186 yards passing and totaled four touchdowns and three interceptions.

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Second-string tight end Chris Baker has two of those scores. He’s moved himself up the depth chart since joining the team as a free agent. Trying to do the same is veteran receiver Joey Galloway. He caught four balls for 30 yards last Friday and is starting to catch on to the offense.

While the passing game is coming together for the Patriots, the rushing attack is still a work in progress. Oft-injured running back Laurence Maroney has yet to find his form of 2007. He’s been out-shined by veterans Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris this preseason but was effective in the pass last week, catching three balls for 30 yards. However, with injuries to Morris and Kevin Faulk, Maroney could get more touches Thursday.

The Patriots’ defense bid goodbye to the heart and soul of their Super Bowl teams. Linebacker Tedy Bruschi officially retired from football Monday, leaving the door open for a talented linebacker corps to carry on his legacy. Stepping into Bruschi’s spot on the depth chart are Gary Guyton and Paris Lenon. Either one will line up next to standout Jerod Mayo.

The Giants are also juggling their defensive depth chart after Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora went off the deep end. He missed practice Monday after a reported disagreement with new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan and will likely face a fine or suspension for leaving without talking to head coach Tom Coughlin.

New York did, however, get linebacker Antonio Pierce back at practice after he missed the last two games with a foot injury. The injury report has been busy this summer with DE Chris Canty, G David Diehl, S Kenny Phillips, and CB Aaron Ross all expected to miss Thursday’s preseason finale.

Another injured Giants player likely to miss this week’s game is receiver David Tyree. This recent ailment could have Tyree going from Super Bowl hero to roster cut. The team’s desperate search for a go-to receiver is likely to end with rookie Hakeem Nicks. He’s been a stud this preseason, catching eight balls for over 200 yards and two scores. However, most of those numbers came from his 144-yard and two-TD performance against the Jets last week.

Backup quarterback David Carr, who will get the majority of snaps Thursday, was impressive in his recent outing. Carr, who was struggling this preseason in both games and practice, totaled 181 yards on 12-of-17 passing with two touchdowns versus the Jets. Behind Carr, running back Danny Ware rushed for 43 yards on nine carries. He’s nursing sore ribs, which kept him out of practice this week, but he told reporters he was feeling better and is expected to play Thursday. If healthy, Ware should carry his share of the workload with starter Brandon Jacobs dealing with a forearm injury.

Oddsmakers have set the Patriots as 3-point home underdogs, while the total is listed at 36.

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Comments

Comments

  1. There was an interesting turn of events this week with Giants DE Osi Umenyiora walking out of practice. I doubt it will lead to any long term effects, but it will give the announcers something to talk about in a completely meaningless game.

    Both these teams thoughts have already turned to opening day, as there aren’t any question marks that are going to be answered in this game.

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