The Patriots’ season continues in turmoil, as rookie kicker Chad Ryland missed a 35-yard, game-tying field goal and New England fell to the New York Giants, 10-7, on Sunday.
Head coach Bill Belichick dealt with quarterback troubles all game long, as he started the game with Mac Jones under center before more turnovers from the first-round pick led to yet another benching in favor of Bailey Zappe.
In a game filled with punts and miscues, the Patriots finally got the offensive drive they needed at the end of the game, as they made their way to the Giants’ 17-yard line with six seconds left to play.
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With the Giants having a 10-7 lead, Ryland came in to tie the game and send it to overtime. But when he stepped into the kick, it was completely off line from the start. Ryland snap-hooked it wide left and the Giants were elated on the sideline, as they came away with back-to-back victories in a season that has also been turbulent.
The Giants, after defeating the Washington Commanders last week, are now 4-8, while the Patriots move to 2-9.
Belichick was noncommittal on a starting quarterback throughout the week, telling Jones and Zappe to both be ready on Sunday. His decision was to go with Jones, who came into this game with an even 10 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He’s had terrible turnovers in his third season, and that trend continued on Sunday.
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After back-to-back punts for the Patriots to start the game, Jones overthrew his target, Demario Douglas, for Giants rookie corner Deonte Banks to snatch the interception just before stepping out of bounds.
Then, Jones’ biggest fault that led to his benching came on the Patriots’ best drive of the afternoon that chewed tons of second-quarter clock. New England found themselves on the Giants’ 23-yard line when Jones dropped back on 3rd-and-4.
He looked for Douglas again, but it was a horrendous throw that Bobby Okereke picked off and returned 55 yards. If it wasn’t for a tackle from behind, the first points of the game would’ve been a pick-six.
That led Tommy DeVito, the Giants’ fan-favorite quarterback, to finally get some points on the board. He slung one to receiver Isaiah Hodgins, who put a nifty move on his defender and sprinted into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown.
When the second half began, Jones stood on the Patriots’ sideline with his helmet on and looking quite disappointed as Zappe led the way for their first drive. And it was a success, going 60 yards on 11 plays and ending with Rhamondre Stevenson scoring a seven-yard touchdown with an outstretched arm to cross the goal line.
With this game tied, and both offenses struggling mightily to get things going, the next score seemingly felt like it would be the difference maker.
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Once again, it was a Patriots turnover that the Giants cashed in on.
Zappe was picked off by Xavier McKinney early in the fourth quarter, and immediately put the Giants in field goal range. After seven plays got only eight yards, the Giants settled for the field goal, where Randy Bullock buried it from 42 yards out.
In the end, it was the difference-making score, but it could’ve been vastly different if Ryland had nailed what should’ve been an easy field goal.
Looking at the box score, DeVito was efficient, going 17-of-25 for 191 yards with his touchdown pass and no interceptions. Meanwhile, the Patriots’ quarterbacks threw three interceptions with no touchdowns.
Many of DeVito’s yards came from rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt, who had five catches for 109 yards, which included a 41-yarder.
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Stevenson had a good game for the Patriots on the ground, going for 98 yards on 21 carries with his score.