The Patriots wrapped up the preseason Thursday night with a 19-14 loss to the New York Giants in a rematch of Super Bowl XLII. Though they finished 0-4 in exhibition games, last night's loss gave them a chance to get one last look at the fringe players fighting for a spot on the final roster.
“We got a chance to look at a lot of players. I’m anxious to see the film, and see how all that turned out,” head coach Bill Belichicktold the Boston Globe.
Should the Patriots be worried? Belichick has already put the preseason behind him and is gearing up for Week 1.
“That’s what matters. It doesn’t mean the individual performances and group performances and how you execute plays [in the preseason] isn’t important. It is important, and that leads to your execution at a later point in time, but I’d say that’s what you gain from preseason,” Belichick told the MetroWest Daily News.
One of the bright spots Thursday was wide receiver Chad Jackson, who caught a touchdown for the second consecutive game on a pass from rookie Kevin O'Connell.
“It felt real good. We were down. We were trying to make a comeback,” Jackson told the Boston Herald.
O'Connell deserves credit for that play, too, as Belichick pointed out during his post-game interview.
“Kevin did a nice job on that. He got us into a good play. Most importantly he made a good throw and Chad ran a good route. He stacked the corner, and Kevin threw it up there and gave him a chance to get it,” Belichick told the Boston Metro.
As for Matt Gutierrez, Thursday wasn't his best performance, but he still hopes to make the final cut.
“It’s a stressful time for a lot of people. I know I’ve worked hard and done my best,” Gutierrez told the Providence Journal.
Off the field, linebacker Larry Izzoaccepted the team's Ron Burton Community Service Award for his work within the community, which includes the "Larryoke" fund-raiser for military-related charities.
“A lot of people have golf tournaments, but karaoke is a very unique event and I hope to continue to do it,” Izzo told the Attleboro Sun Chronicle.
As part of its 2008 NFL preview, ESPN ranks the league's best fans. Patriots' fans finished eighth among the 32 teams.