Instant analysis of Patriots’ 23-21 preseason home loss to Giants

·2 min read

The New England Patriots might not have a true offensive coordinator, but they certainly have a true gunslinger in Bailey Zappe, who nearly engineered a comeback victory in Thursday’s preseason loss to the New York Giants.

With less than five minutes left in the game and the Patriots down by six, the rookie quarterback stood in the line of fire from incoming blitzers and heaved up a soft touchdown pass to receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

It was one of many throws Zappe put in the air with full faith in his receivers to go up and get it. There wasn’t an iota of hesitance shown by the fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, the defense wilted in the end by giving up a 69-yard drive that ended with a 24-yard field goal kick by Graham Gano that iced the game.

There were definitely some positives to take away for the Patriots, including the linebacker speed they were able to show off on defense. Mack Wilson, who came to the team in a trade with the Cleveland Browns for Chase Winovich, was constantly flying around the field and putting himself in position to make plays.

Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings found their way into the offensive backfield often as well. Granted, it would be nice to see the team actually finish with more sacks, even though they were able to generate a lot of pressure early. Uche came away with the lone sack on the night.

The Patriots’ young receivers also stepped up in the game. Rookie wideout Tyquan Thornton flashed some of that ridiculous speed we’ve seen in training camp, and Tre Nixon had a strong second half after dropping a wide open pass in the first half that would have led to a third-down conversion.

But this was Kristian Wilkerson’s game.

The third-year receiver was arguably the team’s best offensive performer on a night where he hauled in eight receptions for 99 yards.

The good news is the Patriots won’t have long to reflect on the loss. It’s on to the Carolina Panthers next week for a couple of planned joint practices and the second preseason game on August 19.

Related

Greg Jennings unsure Mac Jones can overcome what Tom Brady overcame

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire