2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Patriots beat Giants 28-20 in exhibition finale

By HOWARD ULMAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:17

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tim Tebow's preseason work is done. Now comes the waiting game.

Finishing with a flourish, the player getting so much attention trying just to hang on as a third-string quarterback says he won't fret about whether the Patriots will keep him. All teams must cut their rosters to the regular-season limit of 53 players by Saturday.

``You're just trying to execute every play and improve from weeks past,'' Tebow said after New England's 28-20 win over the New York Giants on Thursday night.

He completed 6 of 11 passes for 91 yards, two touchdowns and one interception with four sacks while playing the entire second half. Both scores went to rookie free agent Quentin Sims in the fourth quarter, a 52-yarder that gave the Patriots the lead and a 9-yard fade to the right corner of the end zone with 6 seconds remaining.

That was Tebow's last play of the game and, perhaps, of his Patriots career that started when he signed as a free agent June 11.

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Here are five things we know from the exhibition season about the Patriots:

QUARTERBACK QUESTION: Coach Bill Belichick has kept just two quarterbacks in three of the past four seasons. So with Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett in front of him, Tebow may be in jeopardy of being let go by his third team in 17 months. ``Whoever we keep will be because of the value they bring to the team,'' Belichick said.

CATCHING ON: The three rookie receivers the Patriots are counting on continue to have their ups and downs. Second-round draft pick Aaron Dobson tipped a ball that was intercepted, fourth-rounder Josh Boyce caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Mallett and free agent Kenbrell Thompkins caught two of the four passes thrown to him.

TO YOUR HEALTH: The Patriots survived the exhibition season relatively unscathed. Starting cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was sidelined for much of training camp and tight end Rob Gronkowski missed all four games following back surgery. But Dennard may be ready for the opener and Gronkowski could be back early in the season.

AVOIDING DISTRACTIONS: Belichick addressed the arrest of former Patriot Aaron Hernandez on a murder charge the day before training camp and players went about their business with an apparent minimum of distractions. Even the arrival of Tebow, focus of a media frenzy with the New York Jets, was met with much less fanfare.

IMPROVED DEFENSE: The signing of tackle Tommy Kelly and safety Adrian Wilson provides veteran talent to a defense that was vulnerable to big plays and finished in the middle of the pack in the NFL last year.

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Here are five things we know about the Giants:

REPLACING RUNNERS: David Wilson took over as the starting running back when Ahmad Bradshaw was allowed to leave and sign with the Indianapolis Colts. Now the Giants may have to look for another backup after Andre Brown broke his left leg against the Patriots. But Brown says he won't need surgery and hopes to stay on the active roster.

REGULAR RECEIVERS: Hakeem Nicks caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning on Thursday night. Victor Cruz, who missed the last two exhibition games and most of the previous one with a left heel injury, expects to play in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 8.

SUPER BOWL MEMORIES: The Giants went 1-3 in the exhibition season after going 9-7 last year when they failed to defend their Super Bowl championship. But defensive end Justin Tuck anticipates better days. ``Playing back to two years ago is all that I'm concerned about,'' he said. ``We obviously know what it takes to get to the top of the mountain.''

SUB SAFETY: The Giants secondary suffered a blow in the third exhibition game when strong safety Stevie Brown tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ending his season. Ryan Mundy started in his place Thursday and Antrel Rolle returned as starting free safety after missing time with a sprained ankle.

PROTECTING ELI: Injuries have caused coach Tom Coughlin to shake up his offensive line. James Brewer got his first start at left guard Thursday. Whatever alignment is used in the opener must protect Manning. He threw two scoring passes in the exhibition season and the offense totaled just four touchdowns in four games.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

DeMarco MurrayDec 20 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) reportedly plans on playing this week despite a broken bone in his hand.

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