Patriots-Giants preview: 3 keys to the game, fun facts, prediction

Ryan Hannable
October 10, 2019 - 8:19 am
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Looking at the schedule before the season, Thursday's Patriots-Giants game at Gillette Stadium had some intrigue.

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Obviously, there's the Patriots' history with the Giants, but then potentially seeing rookie Daniel Jones, second-year star Saquon Barkley and perhaps a competitive game with the Giants looking to turn things around. Well, fans will only get one of those things -- Jones.

Barkley is still out with an ankle injury and so are virtually the rest of the Giants' starters due to injury, which will make things incredibly tough on Jones.

The Patriots are one of two undefeated teams left in the league, but the only 5-0 team, while the Giants are 2-3 and are coming off a blow out loss to the Vikings.

Giants vs. Patriots
Thurs., Oct. 10, 2019 
8:20 p.m., FOX
Patriots -17, over/under 41

3 keys to the game

Establish the run

The Patriots did great job on the ground during the second half of Sunday's win over the Redskins and given the weather forecast (rain and wind), they seem best off to go with the same game plan Thursday night. The team is also banged up at wide receiver -- Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) already ruled out, while Julian Edelman (chest) and Josh Gordon (knee) are questionable. Ideally, these players will not be asked to do much in the contest and then they can use their extra time off to get healthy. Sony Michel had his best game of the season last week -- 91 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries -- and he will look to build on that against a Giants defense, which is in the bottom third of the league in terms of stopping the run, allowing 130 yards per game.

Take care of the football

It seems very, very hard for the Patriots to lose this game, but the only way where it could happen is if the Patriots lose it themselves. Given the rain and wind, ball security will be even more important. Tom Brady has thrown two red zone interceptions the last two games and that is a trend he really wants to end, and not do it the rest of the season for that matter. The only chance the Giants have of winning is if the Patriots offense turns the ball over multiple times and they can somehow score a few times against the Patriots defense.

Keep rolling on defense

The defense continues to be outstanding, allowing only 239 yards of offense per game and 6.8 points, both best in the NFL. The unit did have a mental lapse early in the game last week against Washington, allowing a 65-yard touchdown run, but settled down after that. If the defense stays focused all game long, Jones and the Giants offense could be in for a very tough night.

Fun facts

1. With a win, the Patriots will win their 16th straight game at Gillette Stadium, which will tie for the third-longest streak in franchise history. Their franchise record is 20 straight home wins (2008-11).  

2. Brady needs four completions to pass Peyton Manning (6,125) for third-most all-time.

3. As a starter at home, Brady is 75-2 against opponents with a losing record, and a perfect 61-0 against AFC teams.

4. Since 2014, the Patriots are 21-2 in the month of October.

5. Since 2001, the Patriots are 51-1 with a 100-yard rusher.

Prediction

Patriots 23, Giants 6

This could be one of the uglier games of the year with the number of players banged up, but also the weather. The Giants are really going to have a hard time moving the ball against the Patriots defense and we don't see them even getting to 10 points. It won't be much better for the Patriots given their injuries and state of the offense, but it certainly will be enough to come away with a win and improve to 6-0.

Related: Phillip Dorsett out, 6 other Patriots questionable vs. Giants