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NFL Week 6 Thursday Game Preview: Giants (2-3) at Patriots (5-0)

Week 6 of the NFL is sure to thrill with a rematch of Super Bowls XLII and XLVI when the New York Giants visit the unbeaten New England Patriots.  Although the Giants won both Super Bowls in 2008 and 2012, the Patriots hold the all-time series advantage, 6-4, including edging the Giants, 27-26, in their last meeting in 2015.

New England moved to 5-0 in Week 5 after defeating Washington, 33-7, which marks their best start since 2015, and the fourth time the Patriots have started 5-0 under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick (2004, 2007, 2015).

The real story in New England has been the defense, as the team has only given up 34 total points in its first five games of the season.  This is the fewest points allowed in a team’s first five games since the 2005 Indianapolis Colts (29 points) and the fifth-fewest since 1970.

New England’s defense has been led by linebacker Jamie Collins, who is the only player in the league this season with at least four sacks (four) and multiple interceptions (three); safety Devin McCourty, whose four interceptions lead the NFL, and who became the first player in franchise history with an interception in each of his team’s first four games of a season; and rookie defensive lineman Chase Winovich, who is aiming for his third game in a row with a sack and leads all rookies in sacks (four) through Week 5.

Of course, with quarterback Tom Brady at the helm, the Pats offense is always potent. Brady passed for 348 yards with three touchdowns in the win over Washington, while wide receiver Julian Edelman had eight catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.  Brady surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (71,838) for the third-most career passing yards in NFL history, and with only 18 more passing yards, Brady will surpass Peyton Manning (71,940) this Thursday, bringing his ranking to second place on the all-time list.

The New York Giants are looking to make and keep some records of their own.  To date, New York rookie quarterback Daniel Jones is tied for second-most total touchdowns (four passing, two rushing) among rookie quarterbacks.  Jones also became the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns in a single game since 1970.

When asked about the Giants’ offense with Daniel Jones at quarterback, as opposed to Eli Manning, Belichick noted, “Jones is fast, and he’s made plays with his legs outside the pocket. The Tampa game comes to mind right off the bat. He’s got the ability to extend plays and also run for yardage to score or pick up critical first downs.”

Unfortunately, the NFL’s latest Injury Report confirms that running back Saquon Barkley will not play on Thursday night, despite talk of a possible return.  This may provide a slight bit of relief for the Patriots.

When asked about Barkley’s potential return, Belichick stated earlier in the week, “He can do it all. He’s got great power, speed, they use him well in the passing game. He’s very hard, obviously, to tackle in the open field, he’s hard to tackle anywhere. He’s got good vision, good quickness, he can play in space, he’s elusive, he’s got power, he had 2,000 yards from scrimmage last year. That pretty much says it all right there. Plus, we know he can return kickoffs and everything else, so he’s got a ton of skill, as good as any back we’ve seen on film. ”

Barkley, who entered the league in 2018, ranked third among all players with 2,339 scrimmage yards.  In his ten career road games he has eight touchdowns (five rushing, three receiving) and has averaged 114 scrimmage yards.

Also out for the Giants is tight end Evan Engram due to a problematic knee.  Through five weeks of the season, Engram ranks second among tight ends in receiving yards (373) and third in receptions (33).

With these notable offensive absences, New York’s defense will need to make its presence known.  Since entering the league in 2012, cornerback Janoris Jenkins is one of six players with at least twenty (20) interceptions and multiple sacks (two).  Jenkins will need to make more of those types of impactful plays if the Giants hope to slow down New England.

Patriots Waive Watson

The New England Patriots announced earlier in the week that they have released tight end Ben Watson.

Watson, 38, is a veteran of 15 NFL seasons, playing with the New England Patriots (2004-09), Cleveland Browns (2010-12), New Orleans Saints (2013-15, 2018), and the Baltimore Ravens (2016-17).  Watson returned to New England as a free agent on May 10, 2019.

During his NFL career, Watson has played in 195 regular-season games with 135 starts and has 530 receptions for 5,885 yards with 44 touchdowns. He has also played in 12 postseason games with nine starts and totaled 22 receptions for 234 yards and three touchdowns.



RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), TE Evan Engram (knee), RB Wayne Gallman (concussion), WR Sterling Shepard (concussion)

LB Lorenzo Carter (neck)

WR Phillip Dorsett (hamstring)
RB Rex Burkhead (foot), LB Shilique Calhoun (ankle), S Patrick Chung (heel), S Nate Ebner (groin), WR Julian Edelman (chest), WR Josh Gordon (knee)

By Staff of

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NFL Week 6 Thursday Game Preview: Giants (2-3) at Patriots (5-0)


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