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Giants-Patriots: Was Kyle Lauletta’s night better than the stats indicated?

Pat Shurmur seemed to think so, but the rookie quarterback wasn’t making excuses

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Giants
Kyle Lauletta
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprise start Thursday vs. the New England Patriots, rookie Kyle Lauletta went a pedestrian 8-of-19 for 118 yards with a touchdown pass and two interceptions for the New York Giants as they lost 17-12.

Giants coach Pat Shurmur thought Lauletta, the team’s fourth-round pick, played better in his most extended action of the preseason than the final stats indicated.

“I think he fell victim to some drops that would’ve made things look a little better. That one scramble where I think he hit (Jerell) Adams (a ball that was dropped), that keeps a drive alive,” Shurmur said. “He was aggressive with his throws down the field, which we wanted to see. You can see he has plenty of arm strength, which is good, and I thought he was pretty poised throughout the game.”

Lauletta was hard on himself

“There were a couple of near misses,” he said. “A couple of deep balls were just a little bit off today. I think if I had made a couple of those throws, everything would have been different, we might have even won the game. I’m disappointed, but I know what I have to do moving forward.”

Both interceptions came on deep balls intended for Kalif Raymond. Cornerback J.C. Jackson had both interceptions, reaching out for one and taking inside position from Raymond to get the other one.

After the game, Shurmur sounded as if he felt Raymond could have done a better job preventing at least one of the interceptions.

“When you’re in pro football and you’re throwing the ball around, you need to catch it, especially in those third down situations or when we take a shot on the deep ball, if the ball gets laid inside a little bit, the ball’s got to get defended,” he said.

Lauletta, though, was taking the blame himself.

“When it left my hand, I honestly thought it was a touchdown, but it kind of hung up in the air,” Lauletta said. “I should have put it two more yards out there and he probably walks in.”

Lauletta also indicated that perhaps he should have checked the ball down on one of the two interceptions.

Confident he can do the job

If all goes according to plan for the Giants this will be the last time we see Lauletta in a game until the 2019 preseason. Eli Manning is entrenched as the starter and Davis Webb has ascended to the No. 2 role. That will likely leave Lauletta in street clothes on game days. His preseason line ends up 17-of-35 (48.6 percent) for 194 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

He knows the situation, but he is also confident he can handle the responsibility of playing if the situation arises.

“Absolutely, absolutely. As much as we’re in the room studying, and Eli is the guy, but me and Davis or Alex, we’re all hearing the same things that he’s hearing and we’re preparing the same way. We might not get as many reps, but look, this is the NFL and when you go out there, there’s no excuses. You study, you rep the routes and the throws as much as you can, and when your number is called, you have to execute it,” he said.

“So Davis is confident, I’m confident, Alex goes out there and plays extremely well. That’s what we do, so I’m confident, and if I were ever called to come into a game, I would have all the confidence in the world. With this coaching staff and this group of guys around me, (there is) no fear or nothing like that. Just go out and play and help my team win. Tonight, we fell a little bit short, and partly because of me, so it hurts a little bit, but we’ll just learn from it and it will carry into the regular season.”

Poll

What did you think of Kyle Lauletta’s performance on Thursday?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Terrible. What did the Giants draft him for?
    (133 votes)
  • 85%
    He did OK. The receivers let him down some.
    (1322 votes)
  • 6%
    He was tremendous. He should be No. 2.
    (94 votes)
1549 votes total Vote Now