3 up, 3 down for Patriots

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- At an initial glance, a look at three players whose performance was "up" in the preseason finale against the Giants, and three at the opposite end of the spectrum:


Jermaine Cunningham -- Defensive end looks like the best player on the field, totaling two first-half sacks and drawing a third-quarter holding penalty. Nice pass-rush moves off the edge.

Zoltan Mesko -- Punter's strong leg and plus-50 work are on display as he could be on the cusp of entering the NFL's elite at the position.

Tavon Wilson/Nate Ebner -- Rookie safety duo starts as both also play in the dime. Ebner continues to make an impression, with a pass breakup and later a special-teams tackle.


Derek Dennis -- Rookie left guard battles hard, even playing through injury, but has trouble at times, such as a third-quarter miscue that leads to a sack of quarterback Brian Hoyer.

Ryan Mallett -- Quarterback doesn't have many open windows to throw the ball, but struggles with his accuracy and decision-making.

Darrion Weems -- Backup left tackle is beaten around the edge for a fourth-quarter strip-sack, which sets up the Giants' winning field goal.

National Football League -- Surprising that such a successful, big business would expose itself to the embarrassment of replacement officials. Rewind the tape to the second-quarter explanation of two penalties on the Giants. Both coaches seemed agitated at various times. It's not the officials' fault; many are just overmatched.