Patriots

Giants pass rush worrisome for Brady

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Giants pass rush worrisome for Brady

FOXBORO -- If you dig in to the Giants' 5-2 record, you'll find Eli Manning has a lot to do with the success. The quarterback is having one of the best seasons of his career, sitting behind just Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady on the league's list with a 102.1 rating.

Good for Eli.

Going into Sunday's game, Brady's still plenty worried about New York's defense, no matter how inconsistent it's been.

"They get pressure probably better than anybody in the league. They lead the league in sacks," he said Wednesday. "Damn near every guy on that D-line can rush the quarterback. Jason Pierre-Paul's got eight sacks 8.5, Osi Umenyiora's got six, Justin Tuck hasn't been in there a whole lot this year but he's still getting them. They've got a whole group of pass rushers.

"We've got to be able to be balanced. We've go to be able to go out and certainly execute better than we did last week."

New England scored just 17 points in Week 8's loss to Pittsburgh. Brady had two touchdowns but struggled to get the offense into a rhythm. His 198-yards are a season low. The Patriots got the ball nine times and scored on three drives. Brady was sacked three times.

But is he really jumping from nightmare to nightmare? The Giants have suffered a host of defensive injuries this season: Tuck's playing time has been limited by a neck issue; Umenyiora had arthroscopic knee surgery after the Redskins game; they lost cornerbacks Terrell Thomas to a season-ending torn knee ligament and rookie Prince Amukamara to a broken foot.

The personnel hits have landed Tom Coughlin's club in the middle of the pack on total defense (355.3 average yards surrendered).

Pittsburgh boasted the NFL's best pass-D; New York ranks 13th. And the Giants give up 130.1 yards per game on the rush. Surely, the Patriots will have an easier time moving down the field this week.

Not necessarily, says Brady. The pass rush is solid; he's worried about that front seven no matter who's in it.

"They have a whole group of D-linemen that rush, so, if Tuck's not in there -- he was only in there for about half the game last week -- they put other guys in there and they get after the quarterback, too. They can rush Tuck, Osi, and JPP, and Dave Tollefson."

"They've got a whole group and they've had that there for quite a while now. So when you play them, you've got to understand that you're not going to have all to throw. You can't drop back and stand in the pocket. You've got to find someone and get rid of the ball."

The troubled Patriots defense will have its hands full with Manning this weekend. Consequently, more pressure falls on the offense to extend drives and pile up points. That won't happen unless guys get open.

And it won't happen if, as Brady warns, he ends up on the ground.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Wentz tosses 4 TDs, Eagles beat Redskins, 34-24

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Wentz tosses 4 TDs, Eagles beat Redskins, 34-24

PHILADELPHIA - Carson Wentz tossed four touchdown passes, and the Philadelphia Eagles overcame losing nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters in a 34-24 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.

Wentz threw for 268 yards and ran for a career-best 63 after a shaky start to lead the NFL-best Eagles (6-1) to their fifth straight win. But the victory was costly because Peters was carted off the field with a knee injury in the third quarter.

Kirk Cousins had 303 yards passing and three TDs for the Redskins (3-3).

The Eagles went three-and-out three times in their first four drives and had only 57 total yards before Wentz hit Mack Hollins in stride with a perfect 64-yard TD pass to tie it at 10.

That got the offense rolling.

Wentz connected with Zach Ertz for 46 yards on the next series and found him again for a 4-yard TD pass to make it 17-10.

After getting the second-half kickoff, the Eagles drove 86 yards for another touchdown. Peters was injured during the series, and fans chanted his name while teammates surrounded the cart.

Wentz finished the drive off with a play that Peters would appreciate.

While being hit by two defenders and falling forward, Wentz lofted a 9-yard TD pass to Corey Clement.

Wentz fired a 10-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor to expand the lead to 31-17. Wentz kept that drive alive by escaping a sack and running 17 yards on third-and-8.

Cousins tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson to give the Redskins a 10-3 lead. He connected with Jordan Reed on a 5-yard TD to cut the deficit to 24-17 and threw a 12-yard pass to Reed to cap the scoring.

The Eagles were penalized on four straight plays to start their first possession before Wentz was intercepted by Quinton Dunbar on a deep pass to Torrey Smith on second-and-31.

Philadelphia swept Washington for the first time since 2013 and has a commanding lead in the NFC East. The Cowboys and Redskins are tied for second place.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Are Patriots' defensive problems solved?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Are Patriots' defensive problems solved?

0:41 - Tom Giles, Michael Holley, and Tom Curran react to the Patriots’ 23-7 win over the Falcons on Sunday night and whether the Patriots deserve to be considered Super Bowl favorites.

6:09 - Is Johnson Bademosi an upgrade over Stephon Gilmore at cornerback for the Patriots? Michael Hurley joins BST to debate with Tom Curran, Michael Holley, and Kayce Smith. They also discuss the defense’s overall improvement in Sunday night’s win.

14:37 - NBC Sports Boston’s Red Sox insider Evan Drellich joins the show to talk about the Red Sox hiring Alex Cora to be their new manager, whether it was the right choice, and how his presence will affect the Red Sox clubhouse.

22:14 - Kayce Smith and Tom Curran discuss Kyrie Irving’s vulgar response to a Philadelphia fan yelling “Where’s LeBron?” at him on Friday night.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE