Over the past decade, the matchups between the Patriots and Giants (2-3) have been must-watch football, due to the intensity at which these games have been played. Despite the dominance of the Pats during the Brady-Belichick era, the Giants have constantly been a thorn in their side, as evidenced by their ability to knock off New England in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. Thankfully for Patriots’ fans, their eternal tormenter Eli Manning will not be starting for the Giants, as his ineffective start to the season paved the way for rookie phenom Daniel Jones to take over the starting job.
Here are some things to consider entering this matchup on Thursday Night Football.
1. Can TB and the offense maintain their momentum?
The Patriots’ offense rebounded spectacularly against the hapless Redskins defense in Week 5, with Sony Michel and the revitalized rushing attack fueling a second half explosion that put the game away. Tom Brady and the offense should have another successful outing against a struggling Giants’ defense that gave up almost 500 yards of total offense to the Vikings in Week 5.
I think that the key to victory for the Pats will be to establish the rushing game, which will allow their banged up receiving corps to get some rest throughout the game . In addition, with the forecast calling for rain and wind in Foxborough, rushing the ball with ferocious intent may allow the Pats to wear down New York’s defense.
As always, any sort of offensive success will be predicated on the offensive line’s ability to protect Brady and provide ample running room for Michel.
2. Are all the signs pointing towards another defensive masterpiece?
Although Daniel Jones has had a good start to his NFL career, he faces a tall task against the Pats’ defense, which leads the NFL in several categories. Even more concerning for Jones is the fact that he will be missing several of his key position players, including Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram.
Bill Belichick and Jerod Mayo may opt to dial up the pressure on Jones, who has been sloppy with the football at times. Having an effective pass rush, coupled with a wet environment, could lead to fumbles if the Patriots are aggressive enough.
If the Patriots continue to play their brand of defense, they should be able to shut down New York’s offense.
- Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) – Out
- Rex Burkhead (foot) – Out
- Shilique Calhoun (ankle) – Questionable
- Patrick Chung (heel) – Questionable
- Nate Ebner (groin) – Questionable
- Julian Edelman (chest) – Questionable
- Josh Gordon (knee) – Questionable
- Saquon Barkley (ankle) – Out
- Wayne Gallman (concussion) – Out
- Sterling Shepard (concussion) – Out
- Evan Engram (knee) – Out
- Lorenzo Carter (neck) – Questionable
1. Can TB12 knock off Peyton Manning?
As of right now, Tom Brady has 71,923 career passing yards, which is the third-most by any quarterback. Brady needs a mere 18 yards to pass Peyton Manning (71,940 yards) and move into second place behind Drew Brees, who has 78,845 yards.
2. Color Rush!
Tonight’s game is the first of three games where the Pats will be wearing their fabulous Color Rush uniforms. Hopefully, they’ll be able to improve to 5-0 while wearing their alternates.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Giants 13
Here are my picks for the rest of the NFL’s Week 6 contests
Last week: 7-7
Panthers vs Buccaneers: Panthers
Redskins at Dolphins: Redskins
Saints at Jaguars: Jaguars
Bengals at Ravens: Ravens
Seahawks at Browns: Seahawks
Eagles at Vikings: Eagles
Texans at Chiefs: Chiefs
Falcons at Cardinals: Falcons
49ers at Rams: Rams
Titans at Broncos: Titans
Cowboys at Jets: Cowboys
Steelers at Chargers: Chargers
Lions at Packers: Packers