Five things to know for Giants-Patriots ‘TNF’ game

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots take on rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and the New York Giants on Thursday in an attempt to go 6-0 on the season.

New England has not really been challenged thus far this season. That’s primarily due to a cake walk of a schedule. This likely won’t change against an injury-plagued Giants team.

Here, we preview this lopsided affair by providing you five things to know for the Giants-Patriots “Thursday Night Football” game.

Daniel Jones without the weapons

Both No. 1 receiver Sterling Shepard and starting tight end Evan Engram have already been ruled out for Thursday. That’s a combined 58 receptions for 640 yards. To make matters worse for New York, star running back Saquon Barkley and top backup Wayne Gallman are also going to miss this game, too.

What does that mean? Bennie Fowler and Darius Slayton will be Jones’ top two targets in this one. They’ve combined for 21 catches in five games. Good luck to Mr. Jones going up against a Patriots defense that’s yielded zero touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions on the season.

Tom Brady’s red-zone jitters

The game’s most successful quarterback has not been himself inside the opponents’ 20-yard line thus far this season. Brady has thrown red-zone interceptions in each of the past two games. That’s what we’d call pretty darn shocking.

This also comes on the heels of Brady tossing 64 touchdowns and just two interceptions in the red zone since the start of the 2016 season. The good news for Tom Terrific? The Giants have yielded a 106.7 opposing quarterback rating through five games.

History points to domination for the Patriots

Pats head coach Bill Belichick is a perfect 12-0 against rookie quarterbacks at Gillette Stadium throughout his career. Last season saw New England dispose of then-rookie Sam Darnold and the Jets 38-3 at home.

Adding more fuel to the fire here is the fact that the Patriots are 6-1 in their history on “Thursday Night Football.” That includes outscoring its past three mid-week opponents at home by a combined 108-30 mark. Good luck, New York.

Patriots absurdly brilliant defense

Not only is New England on pace to yield the fewest points in single-season history, it is absolutely dominating in every possible way on that side of the ball. The numbers are just staggering.

  • Points per game: 6.8 (#1)
  • Yards per game: 239.0 (#1)
  • Passing defense: 161.0 (#1)
  • Rushing defense: 78.0 (#3)
  • Passing touchdowns: 0 (#1)
  • Interceptions: 11 (#1)
  • QB rating: 44.0 (#1)

Daniel Jones is definitely going to have his work cut out for him here. After all, a total of eight different Patriots defenders have recorded double-digit sacks on the season. This unit leads the league in total sacks with an absurd 24 through five games. How fun!

Line: Patriots (-17)

Over/under: 41

First touchdown: Sony Michel (+475)

First touchdown: James White (+850)

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