By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants came into their matchup against the New England Patriots as a 16.5 point underdog and they didn’t disappoint the odd makers, losing 35-14. It took awhile for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense to get going against a Giants defense that gave a valiant effort; but in end the Patriot’s were too much to handle. Brady (31/41 for 334 yards and 1 interception) surpassed Peyton Manning on his first completion to take over sole possession of 2nd place on the all-time passing yards in NFL history; with only Drew Brees standing between him and #1. On the flip side, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was under extreme pressure throughout the game and showed a lot of poise and toughness despite having his worse game (15/31 for 161 yards/ 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions) as an NFL quarterback. The game was actually closer than the final score as the Giants were only down 21-14 with just under 10 minutes in the 4th quarter; and then the wheels fell off.
Top 5 Reasons Why the Giants lost
- Patriots offensive efficiency: The Patriots struggled early on in this game, mostly because the Giants defense arguably played their best football of the season in the 1st half. However; as the game moved on it was the Patriots offense that prevailed and wore down a courageous Giants defense.
- Patriots defensive precision: The Patriots defense is playing it’s best ball over the first 6 games and they always seem to be in the perfect position to make plays and rarely do you see them have any missed coverage assignments. It didn’t hurt that the Giants offense was under-man without the services of their best three offensive weapons in Barkley, Engram and Shepard. Regardless; Patriots defense took care of business like all great teams do.
- Time of Possession: It wasn’t even close as the Patriots held onto the ball on offense for 39:36 to the Giants 20:24. This dominance was the main reason why the Giants defense faulted halfway through the 4th quarter as they simply ran out of gas.
- 3rd Down Efficiency: Patriots have done very well through the first 6 games in converted 3rd downs and last night was no exception. The Patriots had a 46% ratio; compared to the Giants 20%.
- Turnovers: This was a big concern coming into the game as the Giants needed to minimize the damage and play error free football if they had any chance of winning. Unfortunately; the Giants committed 4 turnovers and also a blocked punt; which resulted in touchdown; along with a fumble recovery for a touchdown for the Patriots.
Hero: For the second week in a row, I’m nominating two players for this honor in Tom Brady and Julian Edelman (9/113). Once Brady got on track, he zero in on Edelman for most of the second half and the Giants secondary had no answers to defend him.
Goat: This was a tough call, but I’m going to go with Head Coach Pat Shurmur here based on his inability to manage the game. One example was late in the 4th quarter (under 5 minutes) with the Giants trailing 28-14 and facing a 4th and 2 at mid field. Shurmur elects to punt. This made no sense as it was a two-possession game for the Giants, so why punt.
Final Thoughts:The Patriots won nearly every offensive and defensive category on the stat sheet and the score should have been a lot worse. I will say that in defense to the Giants not winning any challenges was baffling. On two plays, the replay clearly showed the defender grabbing the receivers arm way before the ball arrived. Not sure if the Giants had won these challenges that it would have matter in the outcome; but nonetheless the interpretation of the new rule needs to be clearer or re-define as it’s giving defenses the freedom to hold without consequences. Next up for the Giants will be the Arizona Cardinals (1-3-1) at home next Sunday. Perhaps some home cooking and playing a team who is struggling as well might get the Giants back on track.