Patriots

Patriots vs. Giants Week 6 highlights, analysis and injury updates

Patriots vs. Giants Week 6 highlights, analysis and injury updates

The New York Giants face the daunting task of playing the undefeated New England Patriots on the road Thursday night with most of their best offensive players unable to play because of injuries.

If that scenario wasn't bad enough for New York, it also must deal with difficult weather conditions expected to include plenty of rain and winds blowing from 15 to 25 mph at Gillette Stadium.

The Giants will be without starting running back Saquon Barkley, backup running back Wayne Gallman, No. 2 wide receiver Sterling Shepard and starting tight end Evan Engram due to injuries. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones will need to give the best performance of his young career to keep this game competitive without many of his top offensive weapons. Oddsmakers have pegged the Patriots as 17-point betting favorites for this game.

Will the Giants spoil another unbeaten run by the Patriots, or will New England keep cruising and earn an 18th consecutive victory at home? Keep it right here for all of the latest highlights, score updates, injuries and quick analysis from Patriots vs. Giants.

FINAL: Patriots 35, Giants 14

Fourth quarter, 3:49, Patriots 35-14: Tom Brady is able to score on a quarterback sneak once again, his second of the game.

The goal-line score was set up by this huge 36-yard connection with Julian Edelman.

 

Fourth quarter, 8:32, 28-14 Patriots: Kyle Van Noy scoops up a Jon Hilliman fumble and returns it for a Patriots touchdown. The referees originally ruled Van Noy out at the 2-yard-line but it was overturned on replay.

Fourth quarter, 8:49, 21-14 Patriots: More bad injury news for the Patriots, as linebacker Dont'a Hightower and fullback Jakob Johnson are both questionable to return with injuries.

Fourth quarter, 13:32, 21-14 Patriots: The Patriots defense may be down another defensive back, as J.C. Jackson is questionable to return. The team is already without Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty missed a drive at the start of the second half before returning to the game.

Third quarter, 2:47, 21-14 Patriots: Patriots kicker Mike Nugent misses a 40-yard field goal (hit the left upright) and it's still a one-score game. 

Third quarter, 4:09, 21-14 Patriots: Patriots safety Patrick Chung (chest injury) will not return tonight.

Third quarter, 12:00, 21-14 Patriots: Stephon Gilmore has picked off Giants quarterback Daniel Jones for the Patriots' third interception of the night.

And here's an injury update on Josh Gordon.

Halftime, 21-14 Patriots

Second quarter, 0:36, 21-14 Patriots: The Patriots are back out in front. After a James White rushing touchdown was overturned, Tom Brady scored on a very short QB sneak. The Patriots will now take a 7-point lead into the half.

Second quarter, 4:38, 14-14 Tie: The Giants have added a defensive touchdown of their own. Lorenzo Carter strips Tom Brady on a sack and Markus Golden picks up the ball and returns it 42 yards for a touchdown. Josh Gordon came up limping after attempting to tackle Gordon, adding injury to insult for the Patriots on the play.

Second quarter, 6:05, 14-7 Patriots: The Giants are on the board. Daniel Jones fires a deep pass to Golden Tate, who shrugged off a tackle by Duron Harmon and backpedaled into the end zone. It was a 64-yard touchdown, and also the first passing touchdown the Patriots defense has allowed all season.

Second quarter, 7:11, 14-0 Patriots: New England took advantage of the good field position from the interception and Brandon Bolden ended the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.

Second quarter, 9:20, 14-0 Patriots: Daniel Jones is picked off again, this time by Patriots safety Duron Harmon.

Second quarter, 12:20, 7-0 Patriots: Two injury updates for the Patriots.

First quarter, 1:10, 7-0 Patriots: The Patriots are on the board with their second special teams touchdown of the season. Rookie Chase Winovich recovered the ball and ran it into the end zone for his first career score.

First quarter, 6:47, 0-0: Another interception for the Patriots, this time by John Simon. It's New England's league-leading 12th interception of the season.

However, on the very next play, Tom Brady threw his third interception of the year. He tried to connect with Julian Edelman on a deep pass and Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins picked it off. You rarely see Brady and Edelman have a miscommunication as bad as that one.

First quarter, 9:43, 0-0: Here's a look at the Patriots' failed fourth down conversion.

First quarter, 11:15, 0-0: The Patriots marched right down the field, but instead of kicking a 36-yard field goal on 4th-and-1, New England went for it and running back Sony Michel was stuffed. The Giants take over on their own 18-yard line.

Tom Brady also made history on the Pats' opening drive:

First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: The Giants won the toss and deferred to the second half. The Patriots will receive the ball first.

8:07 p.m.: Devin McCourty's pre-game speech is a must-listen as always.

8:02 p.m.: Bill Belichick gives his take on the windy conditions at Gillette Stadium.

8 p.m.: The Patriots will be wearing their special "color rush" jerseys tonight.

7:45 p.m.: Here a good pregame chat between NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry and former Patriots linebacker (and current NFL Network analyst) Willie McGinest.

7:25 p.m.: Interesting comments here from Patriots owner Robert Kraft on a potential return of retired tight end Rob Gronkowski.

7 p.m.: Inactives for both teams:

PATRIOTS
QB Cody Kessler
RB Rex Burkhead
RB Damien Harris
WR Phillip Dorsett
CB Joejuan Williams
DT Byron Cowart
OT Korey Cunningham

GIANTS
RB Saquon Barkley
RB Wayne Gallman
WR Sterling Shepard
TE Evan Engram
OT Eric Smith
G Chad Slade
LB Tae Davis

6:30 p.m. ET: Let's start the blog with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's arrival and head coach Bill Belichick checking out the field conditions a few hours before kickoff.


This stat bodes well for Pats' hopes of reaching Super Bowl again>>>

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Aaron Rodgers describes how 'Belichick effect' has impacted the NFL

Aaron Rodgers describes how 'Belichick effect' has impacted the NFL

The Green Bay Packers are preparing for a battle the San Francisco 49ers on the NFL's championship Sunday. The two will square off in the NFC Championship for the right to advance to the Super Bowl.

While Aaron Rodgers and his teammates are doing what they can to be ready for the game, they still aren't exactly sure what to expect from the 49ers.

And Rodgers credited Bill Belichick's influence for that.

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Rodgers explained in a post-practice interview that not knowing what to expect from opposing defenses is something that has been popularized over the course of the past five years. And he called the defense's ability to change up week to week "the Belichick effect".

"I think that’s the NFL in the last five years, especially, it’s kind of the Belichick effect where teams are more reluctant to really try and scheme up opponents instead of relying on their base defense," Rodgers said to reporters.

"There’s less and less teams like the Lovie Smith Bears defenses over the years that say ‘Hey, screw it, we’re going to play four-man front, play Tampa-2 the entire game and make you go the whole field, and strip the ball and tackle securely and stop the run with a six-man, seven-man front.’

"There’s more teams that are scheming specifically up for teams. I think the tough part is it might be different than you saw on film. The drawback from that is a lot of these teams are used to playing coverages they’re not used to playing, they’re not super-comfortable playing, they don’t have a lot of reps in and that can cause some confusion at times."

Rodgers hit the nail on the head as the NFL's best defenses have become more versatile and game plan-dependent in recent seasons. Having multiple defensive looks is essential to success in the modern NFL and Belichick's ability to adjust week in and week out played a big role in kicking off the trend.

Though the Patriots won't have a chance to out scheme anyone on the defensive side of the ball until next season, they can be thankful that they have a forward-thinking coach at the helm. His ability to adjust on defense as well as Josh McDaniels' ability to change the Patriots offense look to match their best weapons have helped to make the team difficult to figure out.

And that's a big part of the reason that they have been able to make multiple deep postseason runs in recent seasons.

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Packers aiming to match rare playoff feat last accomplished by Patriots in 2001

Packers aiming to match rare playoff feat last accomplished by Patriots in 2001

The Green Bay Packers earned an impressive 13-3 record in the regular season, but they haven't always looked like an elite team.

The NFC North champs ranked 15th in points scored, 18th in yards gained and 18th in yards allowed. These numbers don't exactly jump off the page. The Packers also lacked a signature win, and with a chance to make a statement versus the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12, Green Bay was dominated in a 38-7 loss.

However, if veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers leads his team to an NFC Championship Game victory on the road against the 49ers on Sunday, the Packers will become the first team since the 2001 New England Patriots to reach the Super Bowl after being outgained in the regular season (h/t to NFL Media's Mike Giardi).

The Packers defense gave up 5,642 total yards, while their offense racked up 5,528 total yards, resulting in a difference of minus-114 yards through 16 regular-season games.

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This trend continued in last weekend's NFC Divisional Round matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. The Packers escaped with a 28-23 win at Lambeau Field, but the Seahawks outgained them by 31 yards. It also was the Packers' 10th game of the season decided by one score, and Green Bay owns a 9-1 mark in those matchups.

How have the Packers won so many games despite being outgained on a consistent basis? Well, it sure helps to have a quarterback as talented as Rodgers.

The future Hall of Famer sealed the Packers' victory last week with two clutch third-down conversions late in the fourth quarter. It wasn't an all-time performance from Rodgers, but when it's winning time, he usually steps up and makes a huge play. 

Rodgers' playoff experience and ability to come through in the clutch give the Packers an important advantage at the quarterback position entering Sunday's NFC title game. Oddsmakers, however, have still pegged the 49ers as an overwhelming betting favorite.