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Game Preview: Patriots host Giants in final preseason game

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-1) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS (1-2)
Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium (66,829)

After two weeks on the road, the New England Patriots return to the confines of Gillette Stadium to close out the 2015 preseason against the New York Giants. The Patriots and Giants will meet in the preseason finale for the 11th conseuctive season.

The clubs have been frequent preseason opponents recently, squaring off in the preseason openers for three straight years from 2001-03 and resuming the series in 2005 when they started to meet in the preseason finale.

The Patriots have faced the Giants more than any other team in the preseason with 24 matchups. Philadelphia is second with 22 preseason games.

The teams played three times during the 2007 and 2011 seasons, with meetings in the preseason, the regular season and in the Super Bowl. The Patriots and Giants are guarantees to face each other two times this year, with the preseason game this week and in the regular season on Nov. 15 in a matchup at MetLife Stadium.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by the Patriots Preseason Television Network and can be seen in every New England state, as well as Alaska and Hawaii. The preseason network's flagship station is WBZ-TV CBS in Boston. WBZ-TV's Dan Roche provides play-by-play and is joined by former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria in the broadcast booth. Former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham will provide sideline analysis along with WBZ-TV's Steve Burton. Patriots Football Weekly's beat writers Paul Perillo and Andy Hart will also provide insight and analysis.

PATRIOTS PRESEASON TELEVISION NETWORK

Massachusetts
Boston, Mass. WBZ-TV Ch. 4
Springfield, Mass. WWLP-TV Ch. 22

Connecticut
Hartford, Conn. WTNH-TV Ch. 8

Maine
Portland, Maine WMTW-TV Ch. 8
Bangor, Maine WVII-TV Ch. 7

New Hampshire
Manchester, N.H. WMUR-TV Ch. 9

Rhode Island
Providence, R.I. WPRI-TV Ch. 12

Vermont
Burlington, Vt. WCAX-TV Ch. 3

Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska KYUR-TV Ch. 13
Fairbanks, Alaska KATN-TV Ch. 2
Juneau, Alaska KJUD-TV Ch. 8

Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii KFVE-TV Ch. 5

RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 39 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and the New York Giants will meet for the 25th time in the preseason and for the 11th straight year in the preseason finale.

The clubs have been frequent preseason opponents recently, squaring off in the preseason openers for three straight years from 2001-03 and resuming the series in 2005 when they met in the preseason finale.

The Patriots have faced the Giants more than any other team in the preseason with 24 matchups. Philadelphia is second with 22 preseason games.

The teams played three times during the 2007 and 2011 seasons, with meetings in the preseason, the regular season and in the Super Bowl. The Patriots and Giants are guaranteed to face each other twice this year, with the preseason game this week and in the regular season on Nov. 15 in a matchup at MetLife Stadium.

Overall, the Giants hold a 15-9 advantage in the preseason series. The Patriots claim a 5-4 edge in regular-season play.

NEW ENGLAND TIES
In the decades leading up to the founding of the American Football League in 1960, many football fans in New England followed the Giants, a franchise founded in 1925. New England-based NFL outfits such as the Providence Steam Roller (1925-31), the Boston Redskins (1932-36) and the Boston Yanks (1944-48) folded or moved away, leaving the Giants as the closest NFL team to New England until the Patriots franchise inaugurated play in the 1960 season.

The New England Patriots visit the New York Giants in a preseason game on Thursday, August 28, 2014.

MEMORABLE MATCHUPS
Aug. 15, 1971 - The Patriots defeated the Giants 20-14 in the opening preseason game at Foxboro Stadium.

Dec. 21, 1996 - The Patriots rallied from a 22-3 fourth-quarter deficit to clinch a first-round playoff bye with a 23-22 win at Giants Stadium.

Aug. 10, 2001 - New England began its first Super Bowl championship season with a 14-0 preseason shutout of the defending NFC champion Giants.

Dec. 29, 2007 - The Patriots defeat the Giants by a thrilling, 38-35, score to cap off the first 16-0 regular season in NFL history.

Feb. 3, 2008 - The Patriots faced the Giants in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Ariz. The Giants 17-14 win snapped the Patriots perfect season.

Feb. 5, 2012 - The Patriots faced the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Ind. The Giants took a 21-17 lead when they scored with 57 seconds left in the game and held the Patriots on a final drive to secure the win.

CONNECTIONS

NEW ENGLAND TIES

Giants President and Chief Executive Officer John K. Mara received a B.S. degree in marketing from Boston College, where he graduated with cum laude honors in 1976.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was head coach of Boston College from 1991-93, following a previous stint as quarterbacks coach from 1981-83.

Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was born in Whitinsville, Mass and attended Grafton HS, where he is a member of the school's athletic Hall of Fame. After high school, Spagnuolo played wide receiver at Springfield (Mass.) College and was named Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1982. Spagnuolo began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Massachusetts following graduation. He returned to the New England area in 1987 and spent three seasons as defensive backs coach at Connecticut followed by two years as defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach. Spagnuolo also spent one season (1993) as defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Maine.

Giants WR Victor Cruz played in 31 games with 22 starts at Massachusetts, where he was a two-time first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection and finished his career with 131 receptions for 1,958 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Giants LS Zak DeOssie attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., where he served as team captain as a senior and was an All-New England Prep Team selection. DeOssie played his college football at Brown, where he started 29 of 36 games and earned first-team All-Ivy League honors as a senior in 2006. His father, Steve, played linebacker for the Patriots from 1994-95, appearing in 32 games.

Giants LB Mark Herzlich attended Boston College, where he was a firstteam All-American and ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.

Giants RB Andre Williams attended Boston College, where he recorded school records for rushing attempts (355) and rushing yards (2,177) as a senior in 2013 and earned the Doak Walker Award given annually to the nation's premier running back.

Giants WR Derrick Johnson played in 14 games in two seasons at Maine. Johnson's final season (2011) was cut short when he suffered a season- ending injury after starting the first three games.

Giants CB Chandler Fenner played in 44 games with 22 starts at Holy Cross, and totaled 158 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 18 passes defensed and four forced fumbles.

Giants T Emmett Cleary played in 48 games with 29 starts in four years at Boston College. Cleary started every game in his final two seasons, playing right tackle as a junior and left tackle his senior year.

Giants TE Will Tye played at Salisbury (Conn.) HS, where he posted 587 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns as a senior.

Giants WR Julian Talley played in 45 games at Massachusetts, where he caught 162 passes for 2,090 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Giants TE Jerome Cunningham attended Southern Connecticut State from 2009-12. In his four years, he caught 61 passes for 690 yards and seven touchdowns.

Giants WR Geremy Davis played for Connecticut from 2011-14. He totaled 165 receptions and 2,292 receiving yards, both Huskie FBS-era records, and finished his collegiate career top six in each category in program history.

Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo served as offensive line/tight ends coach at Fairfield (Conn.) University in 2002.

Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn served as the defensive coordinator for Boston College in 1995 before moving on to become defensive coordinator at Holy Cross from 1996-98.

Giants wide receivers coach Sean Ryan was a graduate assistant for Boston College from 2001-02 and also served as the recruiting coordinator, running backs coach and head coach of the junior varsity at Harvard in 2006.

Giants offensive assistant Ryan Roeder was wide receivers coach at the University of Rhode Island in 2009. He previously served as running backs coach at Holy Cross in 2004.

Giants secondary coach Peter Giunta is a native of Salem, Mass., and a graduate of Northeastern University, where he was a defensive back and running back from 1974-77. He launched his coaching career as an assistant at Swampscott HS from 1978-80 before moving on to coach at Brown University in various roles from 1984-87.

Giants OL Will Beatty played in 39 games with 35 starts at Connecticut, where he was a first-team All-Big East selection as a senior in 2008.

NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY TIES

Patriots Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Kraft graduated from Columbia University in 1963 with a degree in history and economics and was inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012. - Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was a standout offensive lineman at R.P.I., where he helped the Engineers capture three ECAC National Championships. After graduating in 1996, Patricia began his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant. - Patriots linebackers coach Patrick Graham began his coaching career in 2002 as a graduate assistant at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y. - Patriots safeties coach Brian Flores attended Poly Prep HS in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he played running back and linebacker. - Patriots coaching assistant Steve Belichick attended Rutgers, where he walked onto the football team as a long snapper.

Patriots S Devin McCourty attended Saint Joseph's HS in Montvale, N.J., where he was an all-league first-team defensive back his final two seasons. McCourty went on to play college football at Rutgers, where he started 39 of 52 games at cornerback and was an Academic All-Big East selection in 2006 and 2007. - Patriots LB Jonathan Freeny was a four-year letterman (2007-10) and a twoyear starter at Rutgers, where he played in 46 games with 13 starts.

Patriots DB Logan Ryan attended Eastern HS in Voorhees, N.J. before playing college football at Rutgers, where he started 27 of 37 games at cornerback and was a first-team All-American selection as a senior by Pro Football Weekly.

Patriots DL Dominique Easley attended Curtis HS in Staten Island, N.Y. and was named Most Valuable Player at the 2010 Under Armour All-American Game.

Patriots S Duron Harmon started 27 of 50 games at Rutgers, earning first-team All-Big East honors as a junior and senior. - Patriots RB Dion Lewis attended Blair Academy HS in Blairstown, N.J., where he helped his team capture two Mid-Atlantic Championships as well as a New Jersey Prep state title.

FORMER PATRIOTS

Giants assistant special teams coach Larry Izzo played in 127 games at linebacker for the Patriots from 2001-08 and served as a special teams captain in all eight of his seasons in New England. Izzo won three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2002 and 2004. He and his wife, Mara, have a son, Boston.

Giants assistant strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul served in the same capacity for the Patriots from 2000-04, earning three Super Bowl rings as a member of the coaching staff.

Giants RB Shane Vereen was selected by the Patriots in the second round (56th overall) of the 2011 NFL draft. Vereen played in 42 games for the Patriots from 2011-14 and helped the Patriots to a Super Bowl last season, posting career highs in rushing yards (391) and receiving yards (447).

Giants S Brandon Meriweather was selected by the Patriots in the first round (24th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft and spent four seasons with the Patriots (2007-10) and played in all 64 games with 40 starts. In 2009, Meriweather started all 16 games and registered a career-high five interceptions.

Giants TE Daniel Fells played in 13 games with four starts for the Patriots in 2012.

Giants LB Jonathan Casillas was acquired by the Patriots in a midseason trade in 2014 and aided New England to its fourth Super Bowl Championship.

FORMER GIANTS

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick served in various roles on the Giants' coaching staff from 1979-90: special teams (1979-80), special teams/linebackers (1981-82), linebackers (1983-84), defensive coordinator (1985-88) and defensive coordinator/secondary (1989-90). He helped the Giants capture Super Bowl titles in 1986 and 1990.

Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo served as assistant offensive line/quality control for the Giants in 2004 and then as assistant offensive line coach from 2005-08.

FORMER NFL TEAMMATES

Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo served three seasons as head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2009-11). His roster included Patriots WR Danny Amendola (2009-12), CB Bradley Fletcher (2009-12) and TE Michael Hoomanawanui (2010-11) and his coaching staff included Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels who served as Spagnuolo's offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2011 and Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly, who worked in the same capacity with the Rams from 2009-11. Also on the team at the time was Giants DE George Selvie (2010), S Josh Gordy (2011) and TE Daniel Fells (2008-10).

Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll called offensive plays for Giants QB Ricky Stanzi in 2012 when he was serving as offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Patriots CB Roberts McClain and Giants LB Job Beason were defensive teammates with the Carolina Panthers in 2010.

Patriots DT Alan Branch and Giants CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were defensive teammates with the Arizona Cardinals from 2008-10.

Patriots DT Sealver Siliga and Giants S Robert Ayers were defensive teammates with the Denver Broncos in 2012.

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell and Giants G Geoff Schwartz were offensive teammates with the Carolina Panthers in 2010.

Patriots CB Robert McClain and Giants DE George Selvie were defensive teammates with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011.

Patriots TE Scott Chandler and Giants WR Dwayne Harris were offensive teammates with the Cowboys in 2010.

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount and Giants WR Parker Preston were offensive teammates with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2010-12.

FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES

Patriots C Bryan Stork (2011-13) and G Tre' Jackson (2011-14) played in the trenches with Giants G Bobby Hart (2011-14) at Florida State. The three helped the Seminoles to a BCS National Championship in 2013.

During his final season as offensive coordinator at Syracuse (1974), Giants head coach Tom Coughlin worked with Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears, when Fears tutored the team's wide receivers.

Patriots WR Brandon LaFell and Giants WR Rueben Randle were offensive teammates at LSU in 2009.

Patriots LB Jerod Mayo and Giants S Robert Ayers were defensive teammates at Tennessee from 2005-07.

Patriots LB Darius Flemming and Giants S Bennett Jackson were defensive teammates at Notre Dame from 2010-11.

Patriots RB Dion Lewis and Giants FB Henry Hynoski were offensive teammates at Pittsburgh from 2009-10.

Giants performance manager/strength and conditioning assistant Joe Danos worked with Patriots WR Brandon LaFell for two seasons (2005-06) when he served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach as Louisiana State.

Giants performance manager/strength and conditioning assistant Joe Danos worked with Patriots OL Bryan Stork and G Tre' Jackson at FSU from 2011-12.

Patriots DB Nate Ebner and Giants DT Jonathan Hankins were defensive teammates at Ohio State from 2010-11.

Patriots DL Joe Vellano and Giants LB Cole Farrand were defensive teammates at Maryland from 2011-12.

Patriots DE Chandler Jones and Giants DT Jay Bromley were defensive teammates at Syracuse from 2010-11.

Patriots DL Xzavier Dickson and Giants S Landon Collins were defensive teammates at Alabama, where they helped the Crimson Tide capture a BCS National Championship in 2012.

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