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Giants-Patriots ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review: Which bubble players earned jobs?

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It’s time for our traditional game review

NFL: AUG 29 Preseason - Giants at Patriots
Kyle Lauletta
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Which New York Giants made solid final impressions in Thursday’s preseason finale with roster cuts looming? Which did not? Let’s review the 31-29 victory over the New England Patriots in our traditional “Kudos & Wet Willies” style.


Kudos to ...

Daniel Jones — The rookie went 4-of-4 for 47 yards in his only series on Thursday. Jones finished the preseason 29-of-34 (85.3 percent) for 416 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’ll work.

Kyle Lauletta — It’s apparent that the second-year quarterback is a much better player than he was a season ago. He went 22-of-40 for 247 yards with two touchdowns Thursday night, threw passes on the Giants’ final 20 plays, and led a game-winning drive in the final two minutes. If the Giants cut him, it will be stunning if one of the league’s other 31 teams doesn’t snap him up.

Alonzo Russell — What an effort from Russell Thursday night! Ninety plays (77 on offense, 13 on special teams). He was quite obviously exhausted as the game neared its conclusion, but still came up with the game-winning catch. If any single player truly “earned” a spot on the 53-man roster this summer, Russell would be the guy.

B.J. Goodson — Buried all summer with the third team, the former starting linebacker played like a guy sending an “I can play the game” message to the Giants and the other 31 teams on Thursday. He had six tackles, a sack and a quarterback hit in 36 snaps.

Brian Mihalik — Quite honestly, I’m not sure how well or how poorly the right tackle played on Thursday. He played all 90 offensive snaps, though, which is really impressive in a preseason game.

Paul Perkins — Fighting an uphill battle to convince a regime that didn’t draft him that he deserves a roster spot, Perkins carried 11 times for 54 yards.

Jake Ceresna — The former Cortland State and CFL player isn’t going to make the 53-man roster, but he built a case for a practice squad spot with two sacks and two quarterback hits on Thursday.

Wet Willies to ...

Alex Tanney — Four-of-12 with a touchdown and two picks. Tanney threw a great ball on his first pass, a 35-yard touchdown to Alonzo Russell. After that? Not so good. And, not a good final impression to leave two days before roster cuts.

Preseason injuries — Several Giants may have lost chances to make the roster to injuries on Thursday. Scott Simonson and T.J. Jones got carted off. Nate Stupar got concussed. Brittan Golden, Keion Adams and Ronald Zamort all left with injuries. Somebody had to play in the game, but you always hope guys win or lose their roster spots based on performance, not simply on lack of availability.

Reggie White Jr. — When you’re a long shot to make the roster, you can’t drop perfectly thrown touchdown passes that hit you in the numbers. That’s what the undrafted free agent from Monmouth did vs. the Patriots.

Defensive Pass Interference Rules — After watching Pat Shurmur lose a challenge on a play where a New England cornerback clearly held Russell’s jersey and impeded his ability to try and catch a pass, then Henre’ Toliver get called for a 35-yard pass interference where he was guilty only of playing picture perfect pass defense I have no clue what defensive pass interference is. Neither do NFL officials. That’s going to be a mess this season.