Patriots work out kinks in first half of preseason finale

Patriots work out kinks in first half of preseason finale
September 2, 2011, 1:46 am
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By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Everything comes with a caveat. The New York Giants played four nights ago. They kept most of their key guys out of harm's way. The Patriots rolled out a pile of key guys who had things to prove. But the takeway from the first part ofThursday night's preseason game against the Giantsis that the Patriots can roll out some daunting personnel. For the first time, Albert Haynesworth, Shaun Ellis and Mike Wright were on the field along the Patriots defensive line. The push? Impressive. The amount of carbon dioxide rushing out of Haynesworth's lungs? Astonishing. Even though the big man's chest was heaving after just a few plays, the attention he commands was impressive. Double-teams were the norm for Haynesworth. He did show his power on a couple of plays, anchoring against double teams and then shedding to secure tackles. Wright, who was playing in his first game since the middle of last season, played well and had a nice pursuit tackle at the goal line. Eric Moore, the defensive end who's been playing in a rotation for much of the time on the right side of the defense, had a very good first half. The Patriots got up on the Giants 7-0 after a fumble on New York's first play from scrimmage. The ball was scooped by Patrick Chung (very good first half) and returned to the 1 yard-line where BenJarvus Green-Ellis took it in. Tom Brady went 5 of 9 for 116 yards and was well-protected. He squeezed in a completion to Chad Ochocinco good for 9 yards. Deion Branch was targeted once and the pass fell incomplete. Brandon Tate, who may be playing for ajob, didn't have a catch and only made it out to the 15 on his first kickoff return. Matt Slater continued his solid preseason with a 64-yard catch and run on a scramble play from Brady. That reception set up another Green-Ellis score. Stephen Gostkowski hit a 31-yard field goal to account for the Patriots 17 first-half points. The score remained 17-3 deep into the third. With Sebastian Vollmer not dressed Thursday, rookie Nate Solder got the start at right tackle and then switched to left tackle late in the second after Matt Light sat down. On the injury front, Sammy Morris left with what may have been a concussion. Kyle Arrington appeared to injure his groin on the opening kickoff. Among those not playing Thursday night were Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Leigh Bodden, Stevan Ridley, Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes, Dan Connolly, Mark Anderson and Jermaine Cunningham.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.