Week 6 Thursday Night Recap
On a windy night in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the New York Giants, led by rookie quarterback Daniel Jone, faced the undefeated New England Patriots. The Giants came into the game without many weapons for Jones to use with starters Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Wayne Gallman Jr. all out with injuries. It was already an uphill battle for Jones, even if he had all his starters in place, as Patriots coach Bill Belichick was 11-0 against rookie quarterbacks at Gillette Stadium. Turnovers and general sloppy play by the Giants against an opportunistic Patriots defense led to another win that dropped the Giants to 2-4 and bumps the Patriots to 6-0.
Patriots Defense Has Historic Start
The New England Patriots now have one of the most suffocating defenses in the NFL. Coach Bill Belichick has put together a solid defensive group with names that might not be recognized in households around the country. They forced three interceptions and a fumble against a Giants offense that spent most of the game unable to generate any momentum. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore allowed just one catch out of six targets, including a perfectly-placed swat to knock the ball out of the hands of wide receiver Darius Slayton on what would have been a big completion. The argument could be made that the Patriots defense has not had a significant test yet. Out of the Steelers, Dolphins, Jets, Bills, and Redskins, only the Bills have a winning record this season and they performed poorly against the Patriots defense. The Patriots won’t face a top-tier offense until late November, so it is more than likely their defense continues on their dominant run.
Daniel Jones Still Needs Some Work
Any time the Giants play the Patriots, there will always be subtle or not-so-subtle reminders of quarterback Eli Manning’s success against the Patriots. Certain miracle passes that turn into miracle catches that turn into Super Bowl upsets are often mentioned. This game was different, as rookie Daniel Jones had his first regular season meeting with the Patriots and to say he had a bad game would be an understatement. Whether it was due to his missing starters, the nerves of playing as a rookie, or simply being terrified of Bill Belichick’s scowl, Jones struggled to find consistency throughout the game. He threw three interceptions, with his first being thrown behind the intended receiver, his second being deflected as he was hit, and his third being a bad read of coverage and throwing it practically into the hands of cornerback Stephon Gilmore. His receivers didn’t help him as they couldn’t find separation from coverage and resulted in 49% of his passes being thrown with less than a yard between receiver and defender.