Tom Brady plays a half in Patriots' preseason finale

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass as New York Giants strong safety Nat Berhe (29) and Jermelle Cudjo (76) rush during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in East Rutherford. Brady was intercepted on the play. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey — With his "Deflategate" suspension days away, Tom Brady played the first half in the New England Patriots' preseason finale against the New York Giants.

Brady completed 16 of 26 passes for 166 yards, a touchdown and an interception as New England took a 6-3 halftime lead. He was sharpest on his fourth series, leading the Patriots team on a nine-play, 77-yard drive. The two-time NFL MVP hit 6 of 7 passes and scrambled for 10 yards on the march, which ended with a 7-yard TD toss to a wide-open Keshawn Martin.

The 39-year-old Brady had New England at the Giants 19 on the next series after a 38-yard pass to Aaron Dobson. However, running back D.J. Foster fumbled a screen pass two plays later, ending the drive. Brady took a knee on the final play of the half.

Brady begins a four-game suspension Saturday for his role in the use of deflated footballs in the 2014 AFC championship game. The three-time Super Bowl MVP won't be eligible to rejoin the active roster until Oct. 3, leaving the team in the hands of Jimmy Garoppolo.

Brady's absence will mark the first regular-season games he's missed since 2008, when he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the season opener.

Brady is not allowed to have contact with the Patriots or utilize team facilities during his suspension. The 17-year veteran will be allowed to work with his close friend, personal trainer and health guru Alex Guerrero. They are partners in a sports therapy center near Gillette Stadium.

___

Online:

AP NFL websites: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower in Foxborough, Mass. contributed to this report.

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