Mallett, Tebow get time at QB in preseason finale
Thursday night’s preseason game between the New England Patriots and visiting New York Giants was the final audition for those on the bubble.
The man generating the most interest was quarterback Tim Tebow, who entered the game to open the second half after Tom Brady’s top backup, Ryan Mallett, played the entire first half.
Mallet would finish the game 10-for-16 for 117 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but Tebow went 6-for-11 for 91 yards and two TDs, which would lift the Patriots to a 28-20 win and a 3-1 preseason record.
Tebow also threw an interception.
Few Patriots starters saw playing time in the game as coach Bill Belichick appeared more interested in making evaluations on the second- and third-stringers.
Tebow’s first possession featured a nice play-action pass where he showed good ability to hide the ball and complete a soft touch pass, but the drive bogged down after Tebow was sacked twice.
Tebow’s athletic ability and knack for escaping trouble in the pocket seemed to be missing as Tebow was sacked twice on the next possession as well.
Players who stated strong cases for themselves included veteran running back Leon Washington, who turned in a 43-yard punt return. He remains a roster maybe at a deep position, as does rookie George Winn (10 carries, 45 yards, touchdown). Winn should at least earn a practice squad slot.
Rookie wide receiver Josh Boyce also made a nice play on a 40-yard touchdown from Mallett, who placed the ball perfectly.
On defense, rookie defensive end Michael Buchanan showed up with several strong pass-rush moves from the right side.