After having two straight road games, the New England Patriots will return home to host the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football in Week 6. The Patriots come into this game as heavy favorites — understandably so.
New England has gotten off to a 5-0 start for the first time since the 2015 season. Through the first five weeks, this may be the best defensive group that Bill Belichick has had to work with.
On all three levels of the defense, the Patriots have been nearly impossible to move the ball against. As a unit, New England’s defense has allowed just 239 yards of offense per game (best in the NFL) and 34 total points (best in the NFL).
Among those points, only two of the touchdowns have come against their defense. In addition, Belichick’s defense has yet to surrender a passing touchdown this season.
And of course, on the other side of the ball, Tom Brady is still leading the way on offense at 42-years-old. As for the Giants, they come into this game riddled by injuries on their offense.
In light of that, this game could get out of hand rather quickly if it goes as expected. With that in mind, here are four reasons why the Patriots will defeat the Giants in Week 6.
4. Giants Are Shorthanded on Offense
As the Giants attempt to make a historic upset on Thursday, they will be extremely shorthanded on the offensive side of the ball. Currently, New York is set to square off against the Patriots without Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram.
Additionally, even Barkley’s replacement, Wayne Gallman will be sidelined with a concussion. Therefore, Jon Hilliman and Elijhaa Penny will handle the backfield duties for the Giants on Thursday night.
With all of the injuries, Daniel Jones will have Golden Tate and other depth options to throw to. Jones has shown some promise in his first three starts in the NFL. But it’s going to be a rough outing in Week 6 with all of the injuries that New York is dealing with on offense.
3. The Patriots Have a Capable Rushing Attack
When the game kicks off, the forecast is calling for rain in the Foxborough area. Considering that, both teams are going to need to be able to run the ball effectively in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
As previously mentioned, the Giants will be playing this week without Barkley or Gallman in their backfield. On the other hand, New England appears to be getting Rex Burkhead back from injury in Week 6.
With Burkhead returning, the Patriots will boast a rushing attack that features Sony Michel, James White, and Burkhead. New England should have a ton of success running against a Giants defense that is giving up 130 rushing yards per game this season (23rd in the NFL).
2. Tom Brady Will Pick Apart a Mediocre Giants Secondary
Even with the rain coming down at night, Tom Brady is going to have an opportunity to make big plays down the field. The Patriots will be without Phillip Dorsett but Jakobi Meyers will join Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman at wide receiver on Thursday.
As bad as the Giants have been against the run, they’ve been even worse at stopping the pass. Through five games, New York has surrendered 279.4 passing yards per game this season (28th in the NFL).
Along with the wide receivers, Michel, White, and Burkhead are utilized as pass catchers in the offense. The longtime Patriots quarterback will want to take control of the game early and often against a mediocre Giants secondary.
1. Patriots Are At Home Against a Rookie Quarterback
Dating back to when Bill Belichick took the Patriots job in 2000, New England has fared well against rookie signal-callers at Gillette Stadium. In the Belichick era, the Patriots are an impressive 11-0 when they square off against a rookie quarterback at home.
Additionally, when facing a first-year quarterback at home, New England has outscored their opponents by a score of 369-151. To put the cherry on top, the Patriots have only allowed eight touchdowns and 21 interceptions to the rookie quarterbacks who have started in those 11 contests.
Again, Jones has shown some potential in the Giants offense but this week could be a ‘welcome to the NFL’ moment for him. This year, the Patriots defense has been remarkable, allowing a league-low 6.8 points per game and lead the NFL with 11 interceptions and 24 sacks.