By MICHAEL LETENDRE
With a chance to make one last impression for the New England Patriots, Plainville’s own Niko Koutouvides had an excellent showing against the defending Super Bowl champions – the New York Giants – on Wednesday, Aug. 29.
In fact, Niko had a pretty big game.
Starting at linebacker, he made one of the first tackles on the day for New England and carried that momentum for most of the remaining evening.
If Koutouvides was a player on the bubble (meaning the possibility of him getting cut), his outstanding game against New York certainly worked in his favor for a looming roster spot.
Let’s take a quick look at the Patriots final game of the season:
Preseason – Game 4, New England at New York Giants (from Wednesday, Aug. 29)
Location: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Final Score: New York Giants 6, New England Patriots 3. New England fell to 1-3 in the preseason while the Giants finished up 2-2.
Game statistics: Niko went for eight big tackles, five of the solo variety. Once again, he was all over the field and he had more tackles than the leading defensive player for New York had.
The big plays: Koutouvides had two assisted tackles for New England in two of the first three New York plays but it was on the Giants first third-and-one play where Niko made the first big stop of the game. His assisted tackled forced New York to punt and that helped set the tone of the contest.
Additional News and Notes: Last season, Niko didn’t play a whole lot in the preseason. This year, it was a different story.
Koutouvides getting cut this season would a major surprise as he is a key special team’s performer but can and will also fill in as a backup linebacker.
He’s been in the system for over half of last season now for New England coach Bill Belichick.
Plus, the fact of the matter is that New England reloaded with defense in mind.
That’s how the draft went and with this refocus and retooling, players like Niko will stick on this team.
This Weekend: By the time you read this, the preseason will be over and the Patriots are gearing up for its regular season opener. On Sept. 9, New England will travel to Tennessee for a 1 pm showdown against the Titans. The game will be carried by our friends on CBS.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE