FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- We may have seen the real Landon Collins for the first time on Thursday night. The one who is supposed to come in and level people at the line of scrimmage. He did just that against the Patriots twice in the first half of the Giants' 12-9 victory and finished with four combined tackles.

"It felt good," the rookie safety said. "I'm known for being a big hitter and that's what I wanted to showcase tonight. Once I got the opportunity, I wanted to shut them down."

He impressed his veteran teammates, especially his newest one.

"I saw a few plays he made, I looked at Brandon [Meriweather] and said, 'He can play,' " fellow safety Stevie Brown said. "I was definitely impressed. He's a big, solid player."

Collins missed one preseason game with a knee injury and played sparingly last week against the Jets. This game, though, he got a full allotment of snaps with the starters.

"Getting the experience I got today and the previous games, it helped me out a lot," he said. "It was something I definitely needed, the pace of the game, getting acclimated to it, getting through all of that."

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And now he gets to go into an actual game week for the first time in his career and try to hit that just as hard as he did the Patriots' ballcarriers.

"We're going to prepare as a team to get our mind right and get ready for that game," he said of the opener against Dallas. "We're ready to get the season started and start pushing for that Super Bowl."