The New England Patriots will travel to Metlife stadium on Sunday to take on the pesky and nuance foe New York Giants.
The Giants have won the last three games against the Patriots, including two Super Bowl victories and a win inside of Gillette Stadium. The Giants are the NFC version of the Ravens for the Patriots, meaning no win is ever easy and they can and do lose to this team sometimes. This will be a big game for the Patriots because as I see it, they and the Broncos are the only two teams that pose a threat to a potential undefeated season.
If the Pats want to roll on to 9-0, here are the three matchups they must win.
1. CB Malcolm Butler Vs WR Odell Beckham
The biggest matchup of the game and a must win for the Patriots. If they win this battle, they will win the game with ease, if not, like Butler Vs Decker, it could make things interesting. I’m sure at times Butler will have safety help, especially if he proves he can’t handle Beckham alone, but I expect Butler to be on an island with Beckham JR, at least to start the game. He needs to hold his own with a play maker the same size as him, so Ryan can get needed safety help. This is a measuring matchup for Butler, a lets see how good you really are youngster matchup.
2. OG Bryan Stork Vs Robert Ayers
The Giants liked Ayers rushing from the tackle spot when they put their best group of pass rushers in. Ayers is a very good pass rusher even though the numbers don’t indicate that, he’s dangerous and with Jason Pierre-Paul back, he can be even more dangerous. It will be important for one of the Pats best offensive lineman to shut down the rushes from the guard spot and not let any pressure get to Brady from the middle. If Stork does that, Brady should have enough time to throw the football.
3. CB Logan Ryan Vs WR Rueben Randle
Here we go again. Like the Jets, the Giants have not one, but two dangerous wide outs, the 2nd option being a very big guy. 6’2 and 208 pounds, Randle has the clear size advantage over Ryan and any corner on the Patriots team, which means he will need safety help more times than not. Ryan has handled bigger wide outs by himself before, so Butler may get the safety help more, we have to wait and see. Ryan held his own against Marshall with safety help while Butler was eaten alive by Decker, so depending how these two corners start out, they may shift safety help. I can see McCourty helping to take away such a big threat for Eli in Randle, but Ryan with his speed needs to win this matchup. If the Pats can take both the number one and two threat away, they will be fine.