FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Rookie Da’Rel Scott ran a fake punt 65 yards for a touchdown and Derrick Martin returned a fumble 11 yards for a score as the New York Giants rallied for 15 points in the fourth quarter and beat the New England Patriots 18-17 on Thursday night in the preseason finale for both teams.
It was largely a battle of reserves as the Giants rested their starters and New England’s first string played just long enough to take a 17-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
The Giants were back on the field just a few days after losing to the Jets on Monday night and coach Tom Coughlin took no chances with quarterback Eli Manning and the rest of his starters.
David Carr, battling Sage Rosenfels for the backup job behind Manning, completed 13 of 21 passes for 116 yards with an interception. He fumbled at the New England 1-yard line, ending an 83-yard drive, as the Giants (2-2) turned the ball over three times.
Tom Brady passed for 116 yards in the first quarter and BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored twice on 1-yard runs for the Patriots (2-2).
Carr was replaced in the fourth quarter by fourth-stringer Ryan Perrilloux, who ended up giving the Giants their first lead on a 2-point conversion pass to Jerrel Jernigan after Martin’s touchdown return with 9:40 left. That avoided any threat of overtime and extending the preseason.
The Patriots took advantage of New York blunders early, forcing a turnover on the first play from scrimmage and scored a touchdown on the next and led 10-3 before the quarter was over. New England added a quick touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, and that was it for the starters with New England leading 17-3.
Brady completed 5 of 9 before giving way to backup Brian Hoyer in the second quarter.
It was a stalemate from there until the Giants’ reserves outplayed New England’s in the fourth quarter.
Scott scored New York’s first touchdown when the Giants caught the Patriots completely offguard with a fake punt.
Scott, a running back out of Maryland, took the snap and was around the right side before the Patriots realized what was happening. He made a quick cut across the middle then sprinted for the end zone, getting the Giants within 17-10 with 14:50 left.
The Giants scored again when Brian Jackson forced the ball out of Richard Medlin’s hands and Martin ran around a pile of players, grabbed the ball and trotted into the end zone.
The Giants were going backward from the start, drawing a penalty for an illegal wedge on the opening kickoff that forced them to start the first drive at their own 5-yard line. Carr completed a short pass to Domenik Hixon, who fumbled when he took a hard hit from Rob Ninkovich. Patrick Chung scooped it up and returned it 18 yards to the 1.
The Patriots had to wait a few minutes for a video review, which upheld the fumble call, before Green-Ellis scored just 20 seconds into the game.
Carr’s second pass was a floater that was picked off by Devin McCourty, who returned it 18 yards to the 33. That set up Stephen Gostkowski’s 31-yard field goal with 10:14 still left in the first quarter.
Aaron Ross’ 48-yard field goal with 2:46 left in the first half got New York within 10-3.
Ross missed from 49 yards with 18 seconds left in the half, then was wide left from 48 yards in the third quarter.
Notes: Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth made his Patriots debut, finishing with two solo tackles and assisting on another while playing just the first quarter. … Chad Ochocinco had one catch for 9 yards for New England. … The Patriots recognized the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center before the game with military and police units bearing flags on the field. Former Patriots guard Joe Andruzzi, his three firefighter brothers and his father, a former police officer in New York City, served as honorary game captains.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)