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Patriots may have found their latest undrafted gem in CB J.C. Jackson

Bill kostroun/Associated Press

Patriots defensive back J.C. Jackson (34) hauled in this interception in the second half.

By Globe Staff 

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Patriots upended the Giants, 17-12, Thursday night in the NFL’s version of the “Who’s Who?” trivia game, a.k.a. the fourth and final exhibition contest.

In a game where jobs were won and lost, the Patriots may have found their latest undrafted rookie gem in cornerback J.C. Jackson.

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The former Maryland standout via Florida intercepted a couple of Kyle Lauletta passes, the second of which sparked New England’s first touchdown.

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Following the second pick that ended New York’s initial drive of the second half, Danny Etling led the Patriots on a six-play, 58-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard TD pass to Ralph Webb.

Jackson left late in the third quarter and was treated for dehydration after his legs cramped up at the end of a series.

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

J.C. Jackson was carted off because of dehydration in the second half.

Etling had a uneven first career start (including a pair or interceptions and pair of ill-advised head-first dives) but had a couple of standout moments.

His first set up Webb’s touchdown when he hit K.J. Maye for a 45-yard gain to the Giants’ 1-yard line.

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Etling’s second was the play of the night and it came after the Patriots’ defense stopped the Giants on a fourth-and-6 at the New England 14.

In the shotgun with two backs flanking him, Etling faked an inside handoff — and boy was it a good fake. The entire Giants defense bit and Etling took off around the right end and ran untouched 86 yards into the end zone and through the Holland Tunnel to Manhattan.

OK, not quite to New York, but he could have.

Etling was mobbed by his teammates in the end zone and had an even bigger group hug waiting for him on the sideline.


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.