Giants coach Pat Shurmur pulled something of a surprise Thursday by keeping Davis Webb on the sideline and starting Kyle Lauletta at quarterback in the preseason finale at MetLife Stadium. No starter played a snap as the Giants lost 17-12 to the Patriots.
“Didn’t see that coming,’’ Webb said of not playing.
Keeping Eli Manning and Webb on the side is an indication that is the pecking order at quarterback as the Giants head into the season.
Lauletta, in the second quarter, connected with Amba Etta-Tawo, a first-year receiver from Syracuse, on a 41-yard catch-and-run touchdown. A rookie from Richmond, Lauletta is not afraid to air it out even though he does not have a howitzer for a right arm. On back-to-back throws in the second quarter, he failed to hit Kalif Raymond streaking down the field, overthrowing the receiver on the first pass and underthrowing him on the second.
Lauletta’s best throw might have been on the run when he scrambled out of trouble to hit tight end Jerell Adams, who dropped the ball.
“I think he fell victim to some drops that would’ve made things look a little better,’’ Shurmur said. “He was aggressive with this throws down the field, which we wanted to see. You can see he has plenty of arm strength, which is good, and I thought he was pretty poised throughout the game.’’
Staying in to open the second half, Lauletta misfired down the field on a pass intended for Roger Lewis and was intercepted for a second time. He finished up completing 8-of-19 passes for 118 yards before he was replaced early in the third quarter by Alex Tanney.
“Just missed a couple by a yard or two,’’ Lauletta said of the misfires to Raymond. “One of those interceptions I had a couple of misses to Kalif Raymond and I wanted to get a throw back to him and the corner kind of bailed on me. I had probably no business throwing that throw.’’
Modal TriggerOdell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard mug for the photographers during Thursday night’s preseason game.
Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard mug for the photographers during Thursday night’s preseason game.Charles Wenzelberg
LB Olivier Vernon walked out of the locker room with no discernible limp. He is dealing with a sprained ankle.
“Doing good, doing good … feeling better,’’ Vernon said.
Rookie LB Lorenzo Carter started with the second-team defense, but the third-round pick from Georgia is no second-teamer. Carter had a third-down sack of Patriots quarterback Danny Etling in the first quarter and clearly has earned playing time once the real season starts.
OT Nick Becton put himself in position to challenge for a roster spot with his solid play in the preseason, but it did not help that he was forced out with an ankle injury.
RB Robert Martin left with an ankle injury. … Josh Mauro started on the defensive line. It was his last game for quite some time, as he is suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances. He is eligible to return following the Sept. 30 game against the Saints.
LB Avery Moss limped off the field in the second quarter with an apparent left knee injury, but was able to return to the game.
Call it the color of money: Odell Beckham Jr. wore shiny gold cleats during pregame warmups a few days after signing a new deal worth up to $95 million.
The previous coaching staff liked CB Donte Deayon, despite his diminutive physique, which is why he was kept around, first on the practice squad, later on the active roster. A hamstring injury limited Deayon’s time on the field in practice and in preseason games, so he needed to come back strong and make a positive impression. He did that Thursday night with a leaping interception in the second quarter and a second interception just before halftime. A big effort before cut-down day.
CB Chris Lewis-Harris was called for a penalty for lowering his head to initiate contact in the first quarter attempting to tackle the Patriots’ Ralph Webb. A few minutes later LB Mark Herzlich was hit with the same penalty when he lowered his head to stop Devin Lucien after a short reception. Early in the second quarter, LB Romeo Okwara was called for the same infraction, as the officials continue to sort out this new rule heading into the regular season.
It has not been the most noticeable summer for third-year receiver Roger Lewis, who needs to prove he can be a force on special teams because there are not many snaps open on offense. Lewis raced down the field to tackle a Patriots punt returner in his tracks for no gain, which is exactly the sort of play Lewis must show he can deliver to stick on the roster.