Owen Pochman kicked himself into contention at one of the few spots where the New England Patriots don't need help.
The rookie made four field goals Friday night as the Patriots shut down the New York Giants 14-0 in both teams' exhibition opener.
The Giants, producing less than they did in their 34-7 Super Bowl loss to Baltimore in which they gained 152 yards, crossed midfield only once.
They managed just 92 yards and didn't get past the Patriots 44-yard line as neither team scored a touchdown. That put Pochman, the leading kicker in Brigham Young history, in control.
He kicked one field goal in each quarter and missed a 43-yarder with nine seconds left in the first half. He credited the Patriots' oldest player, 39-year-old punter-holder Lee Johnson, for his success.
"He was able to keep me focused," said Pochman, a seventh-round draft choice. "I was able to focus on what I was doing instead of getting caught up on what was going on around me."
He has a long way to go to beat out Adam Vinatieri, the Patriots' kicker the past five seasons, but coach Bill Belichick likes the competition on a team that finished last in the AFC East last season with a 5-11 record.
"We do have good competition at a lot of positions and I'm sure that contributes a little bit to the urgency and the concentration," Belichick said.
The Patriots are searching for starters at running back, tight end, wide receiver and offensive line. On defense, several line positions are unsettled.
"Any time you don't score a touchdown you don't feel great," Patriots backup quarterback Damon Huard said, "but we moved the ball."
The Patriots gained 338 yards against the team that had the NFL's fifth-best defense last year, although substitutes saw most of the action.
"I have confidence the team can perform," Giants defensive end Michael Strahan said, but "I want to win every game. I told the guys that this is the start of our season."
Last year, New York was 0-4 in exhibition games then went 12-4, the best record in the NFC.
"I think we're headed in the right direction," Giants quarterback Kerry Collins said. "We're in a period of learning and we'll get more comfortable as the preseason goes on."
Collins completed three of eight passes for 18 yards and an interception in four series before being replaced by Jason Garrett.
"I don't think it takes a brain surgeon or a scholar to figure out that we were not in rhythm," Giants fullback Greg Comella said.
Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe played two series, going 3-of-4 for 37 yards. He was sacked twice before being replaced by Huard, who went 9-for-12 for 85 yards.
Pochman's field goals traveled 53, 23, 25 and 20 yards. The Patriots' other points came when Matt Chatham tackled Omar Bacon for a safety in the fourth quarter.
New England played without wide receiver Terry Glenn, who has stayed out of camp without permission since Aug. 3 when the NFL suspended him for the first four regular-season games for violating its substance abuse policy.