Thomas Scores Two Touchdowns For Patriots, Giants Rally To Win Preseason Finale
By KEN POWTAK
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Rookie Jarrett Stidham bolstered his bid to be Tom Brady's backup by throwing two touchdown passes for New England before the New York Giants scored on the final play for a 31-29 victory over the Patriots on Thursday night.
Stidham, a fourth-round pick from Auburn, threw both of his TDs to Demaryius Thomas, for 35 and 3 yards. He played the entire night and saw most of the preseason game action in a competition with Brian Hoyer if New England (3-1) decides to keep only two QBs. He went 18 of 28 for 225 yards against the Giants and also rushed for 50 yards.
Receiver Josh Gordon played for New England, along with Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman, before Edelman left on the first drive following an injury scare to the same hand that caused him to miss the first three preseason games.
Sidelined with a broken left thumb until Thursday, Edelman caught a 20-yard pass on the first series and got up looking at the same hand. He was met on the sideline by a trainer and stayed there chatting with Brady. He remained on the sideline the rest of the game.
Daniel Jones, the sixth overall pick by the Giants (4-0), started and was 4 of 4 for 47 yards before Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta played the rest of the game. Both Tanney and Lauletta threw a TD pass as the Giants rallied from a 29-10 deficit. Tanney was also intercepted twice.
Lauletta drove the Giants down to the Patriots 14 before throwing a TD pass to Alonzo Russell on the final play to win it. The Giants players ran onto the field to celebrate.
Jones finished a strong preseason for the Giants, going 29 of 34 with 416 yards and two touchdowns. Coach Pat Shurmur and co-owner John Mara both said he'd back up veteran Eli Manning.
The oft-suspended Gordon had two catches for 30 yards in six targets in his first game action after being reinstated by the league on Aug. 16. While with Cleveland, he was suspended the first two games of 2013 for violating the league's substance abuse policy and again in 2015, missing two full seasons.
Acquired from the Browns last September, he had 40 receptions for 720 yards and three TDs before he stepped away on Dec. 20 to concentrate on his mental health. He was later suspended indefinitely by the league.
Thomas made seven catches for 87 yards.
Giants: Open the regular season at Dallas on Sept. 8.
Patriots: The defending champs will unveil their sixth championship banner since 2001 before their prime-time opener against Pittsburgh at home Sept. 8.
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