FOXBOROUGH — The Giants pulled out a walkoff victory over the Patriots on Thursday night when Kyle Lauletta hit Alonzo Russell with a 14-yard touchdown pass for a 31-29 victory.
The marathon loss — the game lasted 3 hours 33 minutes — prevented the Patriots from earning their first perfect preseason since 2003.
Aside from the healthy returns of receivers Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and Demaryius Thomas, there wasn’t a whole lot of intrigue but plenty of players did make a push for jobs and playing time. Some observations:
■ Cornerback Keion Crossen bounced back from a rough start (he was burned for 35-yard Russell touchdown early) with an outstanding night. He notched 12 tackles, an interception, and nearly had a second, and broke up five passes, including a 2-point conversion.
The Patriots are deep at the position, but Crossen’s instincts, quickness, and special teams acumen should help him seal a spot.
“The vets just told me to keep my head up,’’ Crossen said, when asked how he stayed focused after the early score. “It’s the nature of our position just to keep battling, to keep fighting. My teammates did a great job of just encouraging me and I just kept fighting and things ended up turning for me.’’
■ James Ferentz went the distance, playing deep into the fourth at center before shifting to left guard. His versatility will help his case. With Andrews out, Ferentz could be in line to be Ted Karras’s backup.
■ Rookie cornerback Joejuan Williams saw extensive time at safety. At 6 feet 3 inches, 212 pounds, Williams is a physical freak and an aggressive menace. He has the makeup to play all over the defense for years to come.
■ The legend of Gunner Olszewski continues to grow.
The rookie, who played corner at Division 2 Bemidji State last season but has been running routes as receiver in camp, returned to his defensive roots. Olszewski subbed in at corner in the fourth quarter after safety Malik Gant was carted off with a leg injury. For good measure, he also returned punts and kickoffs.
Olszewski, who was in coverage on Russell’s winning score, said he took a crash course in the Patriots defense earlier in the week.
“I did a bunch of the defensive meetings and that stuff makes so much sense to me,’’ he said. “I’ve been hearing that stuff my whole life. The offensive playbook is a little foreign to me but . . .”
Olszewski’s had “the best time of my life” this summer and said being able to play offense, defense, and special teams in the same game made him feel young again.
“It was fun,’’ he said. “It was like when you’re growing up playing football, you never come off the field.’’
■ Scooby Wright is less than a week into his Patriot tenure but already has a cult following. Well, among the press corps, anyway. Wright plays with infectious energy and registered a pair of sacks.
■ Three rookies suffered injuries, including fourth-round guard Hjalte Froholt, seventh-round corner Ken Webster, and the undrafted safety Gant. Froholdt left the field in the first half holding his right arm. Gant, who had a sneaky strong summer, needed to be carted off in the second half with an apparent leg injury. Webster was very solid in going most of the way before departing in the final two minutes.