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Game Notes: Patriots vs. Giants

SOLID PRESEASONThe Patriots finished the 2009 preseason with a 3-1 record - their best preseason mark since 2004, when they finished 4-0. New England also finished the preseason with a 3-1 mark in 2001 and 2002.

PUTTING UP POINTS
The Patriots scored 38 points against the Giants, rallying to a 38-27 win following deficits of 21-0 in the first quarter and 27-24 in the fourth quarter. New England's 38-point outburst tied the fifth-highest preseason point total in the team's 223-game preseason history dating back to 1960. In those 223 games, the Patriots have only score more than tonight's 38 points on four occasions - Aug. 26, 2006 (41-0 over Arizona), Sept. 4, 1982 (41-27 over Green Bay), Sept. 4, 1977 (45-7 over Washington) and Aug. 5, 1960 (43-6 over Denver).

GREEN-ELLIS SHINESBenJarvus Green-Ellis finished the 2009 preseason with a team-high three touchdowns and also paced the club with 249 rushing yards on 49 carries (5.1 avg.). Against the Giants, Green-Ellis piled up 125 yards on 29 attempts (4.3 avg.) and scored three rushing touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter to help the Patriots rally for the win. In Patriots regular-season annals, three rushing touchdowns is the club's single-game record, achieved five times (most recently by Corey Dillon against Detroit on Dec. 3, 2006).

HOYER HAS EFFICIENT NIGHT
Rookie quarterback Brian Hoyer started and played the entire game against the Giants, helping to lead the Patriots to a 38-27 win while completing 18-of-25 passes (72 percent) for 242 yards and a touchdown, compiling a 115.8 passer rating. Hoyer helped to rally the Patriots from a 21-0 first-quarter deficit and a 27-24 fourth-quarter deficit, directing touchdown drives of 80 yards and 64 yards in the final stanza.

LONG BALL SETS UP SCORESBrian Hoyer connected on two long passes to set up Patriots scores. Hoyer and WR Greg Lewis connected on a 32-yard completion in the second quarter, giving the Patriots a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line and setting up BenJarvus Green-Ellis's 1-yard touchdown to cut the Giants' lead to 24-14. Sam Aiken and Hoyer connected on a 48-yard pass play in the fourth quarter to help set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Green-Ellis in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots a 31-27 lead.

INTERCEPTION RETURN FOR TOUCHDOWN FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEKThe Patriots returned an interception for a touchdown for the second straight week. S Brandon McGowan intercepted a pass from Giants QB Andre Woodson in the second quarter and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. Last week at Washington, CB Jonathan Wilhite picked off a QB Colt Brennan pass in the third quarter and raced 99 yards untouched for a touchdown. McGowan has registered two interceptions during his four NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears. Both interceptions were in 2007. Prior to this preseason, the last time the Patriots had an interception return for a touchdown in preseason play was in 2000, when Willie McGinest returned a pick for a score.

MONDAY NIGHT OPENER IS 11 DAYS AWAY
The Patriots open the 2009 regular season against the Buffalo Bills on Monday, Sept. 14 -- 11 days from today. The 11 days between the Patriots' preseason finale and regular season opener tie the third longest gap in team history between the end of the preseason and the beginning of the regular season. The only years in which the Patriots have had more time between the preseason finale and the regular season opener were 1975 (14 days) and 1960 (12 days). The Patriots also had 11 days between the end of the preseason and the beginning of the regular season in 2002 and 2003.

GOSTKOWSKI PERFECT FOR THE PRESEASONStephen Gostkowski was perfect in the 2009 preseason, connecting on all seven of his field goal tries. The 2008 Pro Bowler made a 46-yard field goal in the third quarter to tie the game, 24-24. He has now connected on 13 straight preseason field goal attempts, dating back to the 2007 preseason finale.

NUNN SETS UP SCORE WITH LONG RETURN
Rookie WR Terrence Nunn's 49-yard kickoff return in the second quarter was the longest return for the Patriots in the 2009 preseason, besting a 35-yard return by RB Laurence Maroney last week at Washington. Nunn's kickoff return set up the Patriots at the Giants' 33-yard line, kick starting a 4-play drive that ended in the Patriots' first offensive touchdown of the night.

CLOSING OUT PRESEASON AGAINST GIANTS FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT SEASON
Tonight's game marked the fifth straight season that the Patriots and Giants closed out the preseason against each other. With their victory tonight, the Patriots improved to 2-3 in those games.

TOM BRADY'S FINAL PRESEASON STATS
Tom Brady finished the 2009 preseason with a team-high 106.0 passer rating, completing 26-of-42 passes for 307 yards, a team-high four touchdown passes and one interception.

2009 PRESEASON OFFENSIVE STATISTICAL LEADERS
Rushing - BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 49 rushes, 249 yards (5.1 avg.) and three rushing touchdowns
Receiving - Randy Moss, 9 receptions, 144 yards (16.0 avg.) and two receiving touchdowns
Passing - Brian Hoyer, 44 attempts, 29 completions, 354 yards. Tom Brady, four passing touchdowns, 106.0 passer rating

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