The New England Patriots will play host to the New York Giants this Sunday in an important matchup for both teams. The Giants are riding a two game winning streak coming into this game while New England is reeling from its second loss of the season. Both teams have a lot riding on this game.
For the Patriots, second place in the AFC East this late in the season is almost uncharted territory. At 5-2, the season is not by any means lost, but it will be interesting to see how the Patriots wold respond if they lose this game. The Bills and Jets are looking to upend the Patriots, so a win against the Giants will be foremost on the minds of Patriots players.
As for the Giants, they will be looking to prove that they can beat a good team on the road. While they have won their last two games against AFC East teams Buffalo and Miami, the wins haven't been convincing. In winning by a combined six points, the Giants showed they need to learn to put teams away.
Tom Brady is going to be the big key for the Patriots this week needing another Allpro performance once again. While this isn't overly surprising, he has become the sole focus of the team this year. The running game is almost non-existent and the defense has been giving up points like crazy. In fact, the Patriots defense is 31st in the NFL in points given up.
The reliance on a good game from Brady was shown last week against the Steelers. Brady was held to a season low 198 yards passing and only had one play of 20 yards or more. That has to change if New England is looking to win this game.
Speaking of the New England defense, their secondary is paper thin when it comes to depth. Starting corner Ras-I Dowling was put on IR last week and another corner, Leigh Bodden, was released. This means that the Patriots will be starting former practice squad players and depth players on Sunday. That cannot be a good thing for the Patriots.
As for the Giants, they are solid on offense. Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks lead a potent core of receivers for New York. If Manning is given time, he will have many options in terms of people to throw to. Manning has shown this year that he will carve up opposing defenses if given the time to do so.
Ahmad Bradshaw will be counted on to have a good game this Sunday. He scored three touchdowns against Buffalo, and played effectively against Miami, but he is pretty much the only explosive back on the roster. His backup, Brandon Jacobs, has been in a funk lately. Not only that, but Jacobs seemingly wants out of New York and seems distracted on the field.
The Giants defense has one of the best pass rushes in the NFL. Led by players such as Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants have a knack for getting to the quarterback. They have also shown the ability to get to Brady and force him into mistakes. If Brady is rattled, it will be another way in which the Giants can gain an upper hand.
The winner of this game will have a leg up toward making the playoffs. The Giants can keep their two game lead in the NFC East and the Patriots can possibly retake first place from the upstart Buffalo Bills with a win Sunday. While this game should be a good one, the opening NFL odds have the Giants as a 9 point underdog for the game Sunday.
|NFL OFFENSIVE RANKINGS||TOTAL||Passing||Rushing|
|NEW YORK GIANTS||11||373.1||4||287.6||30||85.6|
|NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||3||437.1||2||324.7||18||112.4|
|NFL DEFENSIVE RANKINGS||TOTAL||Passing||Rushing|
|NEW YORK GIANTS||16||355.3||13||225.1||28||130.1|
|NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||32||424.1||32||323.1||9||101.0|