New York Giants @ New England Patriots
Friday, 01:20 BST
Live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event
Daniel Jones vs the Patriots defence
This game was set up to be one final battle between Eli Manning and Tom Brady, but that all changed when Manning was benched for rookie Daniel Jones. The sixth overall pick came in and won his first two games in impressive fashion. However, he had a bit of a fall from grace against the Vikings where his inexperience showed up and he really struggled all game. Going up against the dominant Patriots defence is a tough proposition for the 22-year-old.
The New England defence has been nothing short of incredible so far. They are giving up under seven points per game and lead the league in a number of defensive stats, but most importantly for this match up – interceptions. They have 11 already and Jamie Collins, Devin McCourty and the rest of the defence will believe they can pick Jones off a few times here. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones has thrown three interception worthy passes in each of his last two games. The Patriots already have two pick sixes this season and look a decent bet to add to that tally here.
Evan Engram has been Daniel Jones go to man this season but it is rookie Darius Slayton that is perhaps the most intriguing name of any of the Giants pass catchers. He has gone over 60 yards in two of his three games as a professional and has had plays of 35 and 46 yards in those. The Giants could well need some big plays on Thursday and Slayton could be the player to get them.
Tough task for Hilliman
The Giants look set to be without Saquon Barkley again. The star running back is dealing with a high ankle sprain and while he has returned to practice, he isn’t expected to suit up in Foxborough. To make things worse for the Giants, back up Wayne Gallman left Sunday’s game with a concussion and will not play. That leaves undrafted rookie Jon Hilliman as the lead back. In the limited snaps that he has played he has not done much to show that he will be able to break this Patriots defence.
Patriots making history
The Patriots defence has been dominant, but the offence hasn’t been bad. There have been times where they haven’t looked quite at their best – Sunday’s first half for one – but they are still part of the historic numbers New England are putting up. Along with under seven points per game the defence is giving up, Bill Belichick’s team are scoring over 30 points per game. This is only the third time this has happened in history and the last team to do so were the Buffalo All-Americans in 1921.
Big nights for Patriots stars
Tom Brady has gone over 300 yards passing in three of his five starts this season and this week could well be another. The Giants have some talent on defence, but it is not adding up to much. They sit 30th in total defence and have barely been able to stop anybody either through the air or on the ground. The Pats are likely to be without Philip Dorsett so Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman could be in for a heavy workload. Both of them should take advantage of a porous New York defence.
Sony Michel struggled through the first four weeks but the second year running back showed some of the form we saw in last season’s playoff run with 91 yards and a touchdown on the ground against the Redskins. If the Patriots get up big early in this one, we could see a lot of Michel and he could be set for a big day against a defence that is giving up 130 yards rushing a week this season.
It is hard to look past the Patriots in this one, even with the big spread. On a short week, on the road and with an already struggling defence it is hard to believe that the Giants will be able to handle Brady and co. The Patriots could cover those 16.5 points by half time and then just turn to the running game to seal the win.
Source: US Sports