The Patriots improved to 6-0 by defeating the Giants 35-14. It took all three phases of the game to put points on the board while the Patriots were dealing with several injuries that impacted the offense, not to mention the wind. Here’s what we can take away from tonight’s win.
1. Brandon Bolden - Once again, Bolden came up big on special teams for the Patriots. He notched his second blocked punt of the season. It was a six yard block recovered by Chase Winovich who returned it for a touchdown. Later in the game, Bolden found his way into the end zone on a one yard rush. The Patriots have struggled in the red zone for much of the 2019 season. Bolden’s reliability has clearly been something Tom Brady has relied on as this Patriots offense continues to struggle. Tonight marked Bolden’s third touchdown in three consecutive games.
2. Jakobi Meyers - If Brady keeps looking for number 16, the Patriots just might find themselves another receiver. Meyers got extended action due to an inactive Phillip Dorsett. He made the most of his opportunities and caught all four balls Brady threw his way. The rookie particularly stood out in the second quarter when he made a very impressive catch down the left sideline for 23 yards. Brady didn’t look Meyers’ way much in the second half, but tonight’s game was certainly another step in the right direction for the rookie.
3. Stephon Gilmore - Giants fans dubbed their rookie quarterback “Danny Dimes” after his Giants debut. Well, Danny couldn’t even throw a penny when Stephon Gilmore was in coverage. The cornerback had his best game of the 2019 season. In the first quarter, Gilmore tipped Jones’ pass into the hands of John Simon for the Patriots first interception of the night. In the third quarter, Gilmore had an interception of his own. It came at a crucial time as the Giants opened the second half with an offensive drive that got them deep into Patriots territory. Gilmore put a stop to the drive when he intercepted Jones at the Patriots 18 yard line. Gilmore was the anchor of the Patriots defense and was excellent in coverage all night.
1. Offensive line - After a rough performance last week against the Redskins, the Patriots offensive line struggled to bounce back. The offensive line has been one of the main reasons the Patriots have struggled to run the ball this season. Tonight was no different. Newhouse continues to struggle filling the void at left tackle but the blame can’t all be put on him. Week after week, the offensive line looks overmatched. The line let up three sacks on the night.
2. Injuries - The Patriots have 11 days to prepare for their next game against the New York Jets, and they will certainly need it after the injuries they sustained. Patrick Chung, who was dealing with a heel injury last week, injured his chest early on in the game. He did not return. Similarly, Josh Gordon suffered a knee injury and did not return although he did ride the exercise bike for much of the game. Jakob Johnson and Dont’a Hightower sustained shoulder injuries. J.C. Jackson and Matt LaCosse also suffered knee injuries. Jackson did not return while LaCosse did but only briefly.
3. Tom Brady - The quarterback reached a milestone, moving into second all-time for passing yards in NFL history, however tonight, he struggled. He threw an interception in the first quarter when he had Edelman wide open down field. Later in the first half, he nearly threw another interception. To be fair, the offense had limited weapons to work due to injuries as well as Phillip Dorsett’s and Rex Burkhead’s inactive statuses. We also can’t discount the affect the wind might have had. A couple passes looked like major league sliders.