With the New England Patriots off and running to the tune of a 5-0 start, this season has signaled a return to an older style of play from about 15 years ago — one that resulted in the Patriots capturing three Super Bowl titles.
Over the first month of the season, the Patriots have played suffocating defense, overwhelming opposing quarterbacks with a quick and strong pass rush while stacking the secondary with mixed coverage schemes. Now, the Patriots bring that defensive pedigree to Thursday Night Football in a matchup with the undermanned New York Giants.
The Patriots varying of looks defensively was apparent again last week against Washington and veteran quarterback Colt McCoy. Though he had a startling lack of weapons, McCoy was unable to read the coverage employed by the Patriots, including throwing an interception right over the middle on a check-down and fumbling twice under pressure.
With rookie quarterback Daniel Jones at the helm on Thursday for New York, it might lead to some confusion given a lack of viable targets on offense. Though Jones is much better at reading defenses, he will be without four of his main weapons this week — Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard have all been ruled out.
The task may become a little more difficult for New England to determine the direction of the Giants offense without the main targets in the game. The Patriots have dealt with this circumstance already this season and should be ready with Bill Belichick devising a game-plan.
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New York Giants vs New England Patriots
Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 8:20 p.m.
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Ma.
Coverage: Fox; NFL Network
*All odds and betting info courtesy of OddsShark and originally posted by BetOnline
Spread: New England (-16.5 at -115)
Over/Under: 41 (O: -115; U: -105)
New York Giants
Although four players will be missing on Thursday, the Giants will be bolstered with receiver Golden Tate back in the lineup. Tate has torched the Patriots in three prior meetings, averaging 71 yards per game in his career against New England.
At quarterback, rookie Daniel Jones has won over the starting job beating out Eli Manning this season. The rookie out of Duke, who was booed upon being drafted, has won over the Giants fanbase with his high level of talent. He hasn’t gotten the protection he needs, getting sacked nine times in just four games. But as a starter, he has gone 2-1 so far and seems to have the Giants trending positively.
The Giants have always given the Patriots a tough game, mainly because of a strong defensive showing. That might change this season, however. The Giants’ defense has given up a ton of yards and is near the bottom of the league allowing 25 points per game.
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New England Patriots
Speaking of defense, the Patriots are on historic pace through five games this season. New England has allowed just 6.8 points per game this season and just two offensive touchdowns. Sure, the Jets scored 14 points in a loss to the Patriots back in Week 3, but none of those points came on offense.
New England also has a league-leading 12 takeaways on the defensive side of the ball, including 11 interceptions. Getting to the quarterback has been easy too, with Jamie Collins (4.5) and Chase Winovich (4.0) leading the way so far. Seven other players have also recorded at least one sack.
Offensively, Tom Brady continues to move the offense effectively while the running game has started to catch fire in recent weeks. Sony Michel’s resurgence has coincided with the return of tight end Matt LaCosse along with a larger involvement from both Ryan Izzo and Jakob Johnson.
The biggest issue for New England has been injuries on the offensive line. While it has so far held serve, the o-line hasn’t been as strong as it was last season for Brady, though the QB insists he isn’t concerned.
Understandably, the game would be a little different with both teams being healthy. But alas, such is life on Thursday Night Football.
Overall this season, New England has been trending under, with four of its five games finishing under the total. As for the spread, the Patriots are 10-0 straight up in their last 10 games while the Giants are 2-4 against the spread.
Pick: The Patriots cakewalk continues after overcoming another slow start. The Giants try, but fail, to find the endzone but aren’t completely shut out. Take New England with the spread and with the over by a score of 38-6.