With Tommy Kelly out of the building, it’s a big night for young defensive tackles to make their case both to stick around and to get big reps. Seaver Siliga, Joe Vellano, Chris Jones and Jerel Worthy will be in the spotlight. Meanwhile, rookie first-rounder Dominique Easley is getting incrementally closer to a return. On the outside, you have to figure Jake Bequette is playing his final game for the team after three seasons of making little roster headway. In direct competition with Bequette is Michael Buchanan, a second-year guy who’s got that good length. At the linebacker level, I’m still not a big Steve Beauharnais guy – seems a bit plodding – but he made a strong case last week for sticking. Darius Fleming, to me, would be a real success story if he makes the team coming off two ACLs to the same knee in the past two years. In the secondary, Nate Ebner and Tavon Wilson appear to be in some competition for the final safety spot. Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon seem to be ahead of them. Brandon Browner has played sparingly in the preseason, probably because of his looming suspension, but he could get more reps tonight if the Darrelle Revis, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Alfonzo Dennard rotation gets shuffled.
The Patriots held out Patrick Chung, Darrelle Revis, Kyle Arrington, Devin McCourty, Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork, Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones. Donta Hightower, Dominique Easley, Chris Jones and Seaver Siliga weren’t in uniform. The guys who did play held down the Giants offense which looks horrific. Jake Bequette made a couple of plays and Logan Ryan had a nice pass breakup on the sideline. Tavon Wilson had a nice stop on a third-down pass reception. The two downers were injuries suffered by Michael Buchanan (ankle) and John Morris (knee).