The New England Patriots sit at 2-8, almost entirely eliminated from the playoffs, and are really fighting for pride at this point. As Thanksgiving approaches, the Patriots get ready to visit the New York Giants who are dealing with their own disappointing season after Daboll’s first year as head coach. This week is as good as any for New England to pick up their third win of the year, but can they actually do it?
All things considered, it is a fairly healthy week for New England as none of their players missed practice on Wednesday. Trent Brown and Christian Barmore continue to be featured on the injury report with an ankle and knee injury respectively, but they’ve been there for what feels like the whole season, I have no concerns about their ability to play on Sunday. The Giants had key players miss practice on Wednesday with running back Saquon Barkley having a rest day, interior defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence missing practice with a hamstring injury, offensive tackle Evan Neal dealing with an ankle injury, and linebacker Bobby Okereke dealing with a rib and hip injury.
The Giants have no bright spots on offense outside of Andrew Thomas and Saquon Barkley. They have okay-at-best receivers, Tommy DeVito at quarterback, and an absolutely brutal offensive line that not a single player in the world is able to function behind. Even with New England’s relatively unimposing defense, New York is going to have a rough time getting anything going. The Giants’ defense remains to be the main attraction of the team, with defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence being the star of the show. Lawrence has 53 pressures, the fifth most in the NFL across all players! He has six more pressures than the next closest interior defender Aaron Donald. Lawrence plays the vast majority of his snaps as a nose tackle, making him the target of multiple double teams, yet he continues to put up ridiculous numbers and be an absolute game-wrecker while having a Defensive Player of the Year-worthy season. He could destroy New England’s night by himself. They also boast a strong linebacking group with Bobby Okereke and Isaiah Simmons both having strong years, and the secondary is not much to write home about, but the same applies to New England’s wide receiver group so it’s a wash. Mac Jones has made some impressive throws this season, but he needs his receivers to find a way to help him out.
New England’s offensive line is much better but will have their hands full with the previously mentioned Dexter Lawrence. New England’s defense continues to suffer without Matt Judon, and their replacement efforts on the edge just have not been enough. Their corner group continues to struggle but with the lackluster group of weapons on the Giants, I’m not too concerned. Jabrill Peppers continues to have a career year at the safety spot and Jahlani Tavai is having easily his best year as well at linebacker. Now we just need Mac Jones to play well and for the receivers to do him some favours too. Neither Jones nor the group of weapons are good enough for one to have an off day. The offensive line is the team’s best unit, and will need to play as such to try and slow Lawrence down.
Prediction: 24-14 New England
This is more of what needs to happen as well, the Giants are a tire fire in a downward spiral with major injuries on top of a horrible roster. New England faces a struggling and very injured team, with the ability to win the trench battle as their whole offensive line unit is very good while going up against a hurt Dexter Lawrence. New England has to have something and avoid letting Dexter Lawrence ruin their day with quick throws and running away from him. They are very capable of this, but Jones needs to execute.
2023 Prediction Record: 7-3