FOXBORO -- The most consistent aspect of quarterback Ryan Mallett's game may be his inconsistency. New England's backup completed 10 of 16 passes for 117 yards, one touchdown, and one interception Thursday night in a 28-20 preseason victory over the New York Giants.
"I thought we came out and moved the ball well," he said after the game. "We had a few missed opportunities there on the first two third downs that we could have easily completed. But the first two drives I felt good, felt comfortable. We’ve just got to convert on third down."
The third down failures, including an overthrow of Leon Washington on the first drive, surrendered to punts.
Mallett's third series, however, had a different feel to it. His short game was crisp and accurate, and running back George Winn kept the drive from getting stale. On second-and-4, Mallett had receiver Aaron Dobson freed up in a back corner of the end zone. The 6-3 wideout has the ability to go up for jump balls and put himself in position over Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara. But Mallett sailed a duck into Amukamara's arms for an interception.
His next drive, off a 43-yard punt return, consisted of a single 40-yard touchdown pass to Josh Boyce. You know, just to make the game film more interesting.
Mallett finished the third preseason with 42 of 76 passes completed for 447 yards, three touchdowns, and the single pick. His career progress hasn't shown a steady upward trend. Still, the QB remains positive.
"I felt good. I felt in command of the offense," Mallett said of this preseason's showing. "I made a few plays. Missed a few that I should have made, but that just comes with playing more."
If not called into service earlier, he has one more preseason of showcasing before his contract expires in 2014. It's hard to imagine Mallett as Brady's successor at this point -- no matter what he says.
"I feel comfortable with it. If it get called on, I'll be ready."
No doubt, New England would like to see the right kind of consistency before any kind of decision is made.