FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Jared Lorenzen made his final bid for
the No. 3 quarterback spot on the New York Giants. Then Jesse
Palmer made his.
Now coach Tom Coughlin must make his decision.
With few starters playing in the Giants' 27-3 exhibition win
over the New England Patriots on Thursday night, the spotlight was
on the competition for backup jobs and it shone brightest on New
"There will be some discussions about a lot of positions,"
Coughlin said. "And that will certainly be one of them."
Most regulars, especially for New England, sat out the game to
avoid injury and give coaches a chance to watch players still
fighting for roster spots.
New York (3-1) got its first touchdown in two games, having
managed only five field goals by Jay Feely in a 15-14 win over the
New York Jets. New England (2-2) played much poorer defense than it
did in last Friday's 27-3 win at Green Bay, but will have its
starters back when it opens the season next Thursday night at home
"We had a chance to look at a lot of our younger players,"
said Patriots coach Bill Belichick, facing the NFL deadline
Saturday to reduce his roster to 53 players. "We are in a much
shorter window now than you would be if you opened a week from
New England's Tom Brady and New York's Eli Manning, who missed
his second straight game with a sprained right elbow but is
expected to be ready for the season opener Sept. 11 against
Arizona, both sat out. That gave the No. 2 quarterbacks -- former
Boston College players Doug Flutie of the Patriots and Tim
Hasselbeck of the Giants -- a chance to start and each played four
series. The Giants scored on two of theirs on Feely's field goals
of 47 and 48 yards that gave them a 6-0 halftime lead
Matt Cassell, who has clinched the third-string job for New
England, played the rest of the game, while Lorenzen played the
final series of the first half and the third quarter before Palmer
took over early in the fourth quarter.
Lorenzen went 5-for-13 for 54 yards and a 26-yard scoring pass
to Jamaar Taylor for a 13-3 lead. But on their next series,
Lorenzen threw an interception to Randall Gay, who had been beaten
on Taylor's touchdown.
"There will be very little sleep, if any at all" until
Coughlin reduces his roster, Lorenzen said. "Hopefully, I showed a
lot, because I love the organization."
Palmer entered with 13:24 left in the game and completed his
only pass, a 46-yarder to Taylor to the 1. Brandon Jacobs' 1-yard
run and Feely's extra point made it 27-3 with 11:56 to go.
"I was able to make a play," Palmer said. "The only thing you
can control is what you do when you get an opportunity to play."
Coughlin wouldn't tip his hand about how he's leaning.
Lorenzen "had good poise. He ran his team well," the coach
said. And Palmer "had a real nice (throw) off of play action."
Cassell led a 17-yard drive on the opening series of the first
half, ending in Adam Vinatieri's 30-yard field goal. But one play
after Gay's interception, Cassell's pass was picked off by T.J.
Hollowell, who returned it 22 yards. Feely's extra point made it
"We are better than we were," Belichick said. "We still have
a long way to go."
New York got one important player back. Mark Jones, sidelined
with an injured arch in his foot, shored up the team's poor punt
Neither Hasselbeck nor Flutie did much. Hasselbeck completed 5
of 9 passes for 60 yards and was sacked three times. Flutie went
8-for-13 for 69 yards with one sack and an interception in the end
zone by Shaun Williams.
"You've got to avoid making the negative plays," Flutie said.
"It just shows there's still more to work on."
Corey Dillon, New England's top running back, didn't play. New
York starter Tiki Barber played the first two series and gained 23
yards on two carries.<
^Notes: Patriots WR Andre' Davis and S James Sanders left the game
in the second quarter with leg injuries. ... Three Giants running
backs had nine carries each, with Derrick Ward and Jacobs gaining
40 yards each and Mike Cloud gaining 23. ... Gay was the only one
of New England's usual 22 starters on offense and defense to play.
... Jones returned six punts for 63 yards and said, "If I didn't
play tonight, I think they would have found somebody else" to
handle that job.
The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a five-year contract extension with wide receiver Julio Jones. Sources say he will receive $71.25 million total, with $47.5 million guaranteed.
Randall Cobb, who fell hard on his right shoulder on the third play in Saturday's 39-26 preseason loss to the Eagles, avoided major injury but will have additional tests done Sunday.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he was left like everyone else -- scratching his head over how Robert Griffin III went from being cleared one day to out the next with concussion symptoms.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant will go into the regular season without having taken a snap in the preseason.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton left Saturday's 21-10 preseason win over the Bears as a precaution with a neck injury that appeared to happen on his first and only series of the night.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith and Washington Redskins cornerback Chris Culliver were ejected with less than a minute left in the first quarter of Saturday night's preseason game.