The Patriots found themselves on a short week. They had just defeated the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Then they found themselves with a quick turnover to take on the New York Giants Thursday night in Foxborough. The Patriots took care of the Giants with a 35-14 victory. The win keeps the Patriots as the only undefeated team in the AFC, and one of two teams (San Francisco) still undefeated overall. Now that the dust has settled, let’s look at three ups and three downs from last Thursday’s matchup.
Up: Tom Brady
The Patriots needed a big game from Tom Brady and they got one. Although it wasn’t exactly the way you’d draw it up. Brady finished the game going 31/41 for 334 yards and an interception. Even though Brady didn’t throw a touchdown pass this game, he was still able to find the endzone. He found his way into the endzone twice courtesy of one yard runs. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, as Brady threw an interception one play after the Patriots intercepted Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. The whole country knew how tough it would be for the Giants to win in Foxborough. But with Brady finding ways into the endzone with his legs, you could forget about the Giants having any chance to win. Brady still has some work to do, but the 75.6 completion percentage last game is a very good sign going forward.
Down: Mike Nugent
Once again, Mike Nugent finds a way to bring the Patriots down. His one field goal attempt was a miss. You have to wonder if the Patriots really want to ride or die with Nugent for 10 more regular season games, plus playoffs. If I’m Bill Belichick, I’m cutting Nugent. He hasn’t been reliable and continues to miss kicks all over the place. Yes, the numbers were in his favor when the Patriots signed him. The past is the past. It’s all about production now on the field. If you know a kicker better than Nugent out there, send him our way!
Up: Julian Edelman
In a game that saw Phillip Dorsett out and Josh Gordon get hurt early, Julian Edelman stepped up. The Super Bowl LIII MVP found himself finishing the game with nine catches for 113 yards. He also had a big catch in the fourth quarter to set up a score to put the game out of reach. Edelman is as tough as they come and that’s why we love him. The chemistry between him and Brady is unmatched and continues to get better every game, if that’s even possible. Another good game for Jules in this one.
Down: The Offensive Line
This is one of the only problems that the Patriots have right now. Brady was sacked three times and also fumbled which led to a Giants defensive touchdowns. There are injuries, which happens on every team. Will Isaiah Wynn come back and bolster the line? Who knows. But right now, Dante Scarnecchia has his hands full and needs to get that offensive line in shape. Get the snaps down and do a better job of protecting the quarterback. A hurried Brady equals a less efficient Brady.
Up: Chase Winovich
I can’t help but love this kid. Chase Winovich found himself scoring his first NFL touchdown on a blocked punt. Winovich has been a great asset to this defense. His instinct and focus allowed for an easy first touchdown to get the Patriots on the board. Maybe it was exactly what the team needed at the time. Whatever the case is, Chase is always playing for that five dollar bill and chocolate bar from his grandmother. Grandma was probably happy to see Chase playing hard and staying healthy throughout the game.
Down: Josh Gordon
It’s tough to see Josh Gordon go down like he did. He only finished with one reception for seven yards on the night. Hopefully the injury isn’t severe enough for Gordon to miss any time. If he doesn’t get injured, he probably is the second best receiver for the Patriots. The Patriots need Gordon in the lineup and they know it too.
Another week and another win for the Patriots. This extended week of preparation and rest will be vital to the Patriots. They face the Jets on Monday night with Sam Darnold back in the fold and the team with some renewed life. The Patriots have two more weeks before their schedule gets significantly tougher. But for now, it’s one week at a time and one opponent at a time. We’re on to the Jets!