The New England Patriots remain undefeated on the year after their home victory over the depleted New York Giants on Thursday Night Football.
The New England Patriots improved to 6-0 after their 35-14 win at home versus the New York Giants. The Giants performed admirably for a team playing without several key offensive starters, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to take down the defending world champions.
This game was much closer than the final score indicates. Sure, a win is a win in the National Football League. However, the Patriots were far from perfect in this one, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
New England’s offense looked out of sync on numerous occasions Thursday night. Injuries are beginning to affect the way they operate. It will be interesting to see how many of their banged-up offensive players will be able to play in Week 7 versus the Jets.
It was more of the same for the Patriots on defense. They continue to overwhelm opposing offenses at all three levels. Obviously, the Giants offense was not at full strength. Still, this was another dominant performance from the New England defense.
The Patriots performed well enough in all three phases to beat the Giants. They are off to a great start thus far in 2019. That said, there are definitely areas that they need to improve upon as the season progresses.
Here are the top takeaways from Week 6:
This was the second game in a row that Edelman eclipsed 100 receiving yards. He finished the game with nine catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. He capped off his night with a 36-yard diving catch on a stop-and-go that set up the Patriots for what would end up being a dagger touchdown run.
Edelman’s fellow receiver Josh Gordon left the game in the second quarter after injuring himself while attempting to make a tackle during a Giants fumble recovery. Edelman still hasn’t fully recovered from his rib injury suffered back in Week 3, considering the fact he is sporting a flak jacket under his pads. New England must find a way to feed Jules the ball while not overloading him with targets now that they are extremely thin at receiver.
Bolden has now scored a touchdown in three straight games. Although most people assumed he returned to New England mainly to play on special teams, the eighth-year pro has found a role as a contributor on offense. He scored the Patriots’ first offensive touchdown of the night on a 1-yard run, while also accounting for 45 yards from scrimmage versus the Giants. Bolden left his mark on special teams as well. He blocked a punt that was recovered by rookie Chase Winovich for New England’s first touchdown of the game. Bolden has been extremely productive with his limited touches and playing time.
The All-Pro continues to prove why he is the best cornerback in football. While he wasn’t necessarily bad a week ago versus the Washington Redskins, he didn’t have his best game. He bounced back in a big way against the Giants though.
Gilmore got off to a hot start by defecting a Daniel Jones pass into the air that directly resulted in a John Simon interception. It was very similar to the play he made versus the Dolphins in Week 2. He also reeled in an interception of his own on the Giants’ opening drive of the second half. The pick came during a drive in which New York had moved the ball into New England territory and was threatening to score, but Gilmore put an end to that with his second interception of the 2019 season.
The Giants were without their starting tight end, starting receiver, and their top two running backs Thursday night. Most people expected the Patriots defense to dominate this matchup, and they did exactly that. They forced the Giants to turn the ball over four times. The unit also scored their third touchdown of the year when Jamie Collins forced a fumble and Kyle Van Noy recovered the ball and dove into the end zone for a scoop-and-score. This defense has been phenomenal even when you factor in that they are going up against inferior opponents.
Nugent made all five of his extra point attempts versus the Giants. However, he missed a 40 yard field goal in the third quarter when he doinked it off the left upright.
The most concerning thing about New England’s struggles in the kicking game is that it is beginning to affect the way they operate on offense. Bill Belichick is now opting to go for it on fourth down when the Patriots are in field goal range, likely due to the fact that they do not trust Nugent to make field goals that are above average difficulty.
Furthermore, the Patriots haven’t been very successful on fourth down thus far in 2019. It appears that their kicking issues will persist for the remainder of the season.
Thursday Night Football games are notoriously hated by NFL players and coaches alike because they often lead to injuries. This Week 6 matchup was no exception. New England was already dealing with injuries prior to the game, and they finished it without several players on both sides of the ball.
Patrick Chung, Josh Gordon, Matt LaCosse, J.C. Jackson, Jakob Johnson, and Dont’a Hightower all suffered injuries in this game. Although the losses of Chung, Jackson, and Hightower didn’t affect the defense too much, the injuries on the other side of the ball limited what New England could do offensively; they were particularly thin at tight end and receiver. Luckily for them, they have a long week to recover before their Week 7 game against the Jets on Monday Night Football.
If you look at the box score, Brady had a solid game… but the stats don’t tell the whole story. Brady did not have one of his better games versus the Giants. He was responsible for two turnovers: the first of which was a terribly inaccurate throw to Edelman down the seam that was picked off by Janoris Jenkins, and the second was a fumble that was recovered and returned for a New York touchdown.
Brady didn’t receive a ton of help from his offensive line, and he was also playing with limited weapons in the passing game. Still, this is the GOAT we are talking about, and we’ve seen him do more with less in the past.