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Tom Brady plays entire first half in preseason finale

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If Tom Brady wanted to play more this preseason, he got his wish on Thursday night.

Brady played the entire first half of the the Patriots' preseason finale against the New York Giants, a typically snoozy affair where the starters usually play little if at all. This game was different. New England played starters on both sides of the ball for much of the first quarter and Brady stayed in with the backups for another quarter. The two-time MVP completed 16 of 26 passes for 166 yards, one touchdown, and an interception in an uneven performance.

Asked why he decided to play Brady so long, Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not disappoint.

"You can't take insurance out on players," he said. "You play football, you play football. I don't know how you get better playing football without playing football. You can stand around and talk about it all day, but I don't think that really makes you a better player. At some point you have to get out there and play."

Brady took a few hits that likely caused much of New England to scream at their television and struggled with his timing on some plays to Julian Edelman and Martellus Bennett. Still, Brady completed a few nice throws downfield and had the Patriots in position for another touchdown before running back D.J. Foster fumbled in the red zone. New England only scored seven points on Brady's 39 snaps over six drives.

Perhaps the most concerning part of the game for the Patriots offense came when left tackle Nate Solder left the game. He was tended to on the sideline by trainers and did not return. Patriots reserve running back Tyler Gaffney and wide receiver Keshawn Martin were also shaken up in the second half.

This will be the last we see of Brady for a while, unless you are watching Michigan football home games. He will be eligible to return from his four-game suspension in Week 5 against the Browns. By then, Jimmy Garoppolo will either be a king of New England or the subject of lots of angry Boston sports radio caller rants.

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