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Giants 17, Patriots 9: “Kudos & Wet Willies” review

Who played well, who didn’t in preseason finale

NFL: Preaseason-New England Patriots at New York Giants
Tavarres King en route to a 59-yard touchdown on Thursday.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason is over for the New York Giants. The business of trimming the roster to 53 players awaits, followed by a Week 1 meeting with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. Let’s review Thursday’s 17-9 victory over the New England Patriots in our traditional “Kudos & Wet Willies” style.

Kudos to ...

Tavarres King — I have no idea how the Giants can keep the 26-year-old journeyman wide receiver off the 53-man roster. He followed a up a two-touchdown night against the New York Jets with four catches Thursday for 80 yards, including a 59-yard catch-and-run touchdown on a slant pass from Ryan Nassib.

Orleans Darkwa — A nice night for Darkwa as he finally got a full-fledged opportunity at running back. Darkwa had nine carries for 37 yards (4.1 yards per carry). His longest carry was only 7 yards, but the impressive thing was Darkwa consistently ran through arm tackles and pushed piles backwards. He also made a touchdown-saving tackle on a punt return.

Romeo Okwara — Okwara got himself a sack of Tom Brady on Thursday night, and took to Twitter to celebrate it.

More importantly, Okwara probably solidifed a spot on the 53-man roster with another impressive showing.

Jermelle Cudjo — Made a solid bid for the fourth defensive tackle spot. Sliced his way into the backfield twice for tackles for loss. Last spot could be between Cudjo and Montori Hughes, and Cudjo left a terrific final impression.

Bobby Rainey — I don’t know how the veteran running back/return man makes the roster, but he certainly has stated his case. Rainey ran seven times for a team-high 38 yards (5.4 yards per carry), caught three passes for 37 yards, had a 13-yard punt return and a 32-yard kickoff return.

Trevin Wade — Maybe, just maybe, the Giants didn’t need to go out and sign Leon Hall after all. Wade was spectacular Thursday with an interception of Tom Brady, tow passes defensed and a tackle for loss.

Roger Lewis — King has gotten all the attention over the past couple of weeks, but this undrafted free agent rookie from Bowling Green has also been making a solid case for a roster spot. Lewis had three catches for 30 yards Thursday night, including a 17-yard scoring grab. If the Giants cut him and try to get him thru waivers and to the practice squad, he might not make it.

Andrew Adams — Continued his bid for a roster spot with three tackles and a forced fumble. The undrafted free agent from Connecticut has shown a nose for the ball throughout the preseason, and could have forced his way on to the team.

Kerry Wynn — Maybe Stephen White will be right about Wynn. The third-year defensive end forced a fumble Thursday with a tremendous hustle play, chasing down a screen pass from across the field and knocking the ball away from D.J. Foster.

Wet Willies to ...

First-team offensive line — Nine plays, one yard. That was the production of the Giants’ offense with the first-team offensive line (with Brett Jones at center instead of Weston Richburg) in the game. I’m sure they were in the game to get something productive accomplished, and that didn’t happen. On the first drive, left tackle Ereck Flowers got turned around on a run play, leading to a 4-yard Rashad Jennings loss, and broke down in pass protection when Nassib was sacked, forcing a punt.

Kwillies to ...

Paul Perkins — The rookie running back had three catches for 29 yards, and he had a nice blitz pickup in pass protection. He had a fumble, a drop and carried just twice for 1 yard, however. A mixed bag, sort of like his entire preseason. Perkins fumbled twice in four preseason games, and coach Ben McAdoo wasn’t happy about it.

“That can’t happen. Can’t happen. You’ve got to maintain the ball. The game is about the ball. You’ve got to take care of The Duke,” McAdoo said.

So, when the real games start and Perkins isn’t playing, remember this.

Ryan Nassib — Some good, some bad for Nassib in more than three quarters of work. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 210 yards. The touchdown to King was a well-timed and well-thrown slant. Nassib, though, also threw an ill-advised interception into coverage at the goal line that cost the Giants a scoring opportunity. He also continued to throw the ball much better inside the hash marks than outside. The Giants took a number of deep shots. One to King turned into an interception, and long balls for Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis were all off target.