The New England Patriots travel to New Jersey to take on the New York Giants, the team that’s had the Patriots number in the past three meetings. The Giants pose one of the more impressive and dangerous offenses the Pats have faced all season. If you wanted the secondary tested, Sunday evening they will be.
To break the three game losing streak, the Patriots must succeed in these three key areas.
1. Protect Tom Brady: As long as the Patriots protect Tom Brady they have a great chance of winning the football game. The Giants passing defense is ranked 31st in the league so Brady should take full advantage of that if he’s standing upright. Brady’s ability to work the pocket like no other QB and extend plays will help the line and the quick passes, but if they can pull their weight for most of the game, the Pats will score points.
2. Pressure Eli Manning: The defensive line can be the secondary’s best friend in this game if they can apply constant pressure on Eli Manning. The Pats will blitz more in this game because there isn’t any threat of Eli Manning taking off and running the ball. Eli can throw the ball quickly, so the pass rush must get home and get there in a hurry. If they can apply pressure it should help the secondary keep their footing.
3. Get off the field: They have to get off the field on third down. The Giants can move the ball 80 yards pretty consistently, so being physical and staying with them is a big key to getting them off the field. If they can pick up third downs they can score and they can run clock to keep Brady off the field. The Giants best defense will be staying on the field offensively, and that’s why the Patriots have to get off the field on third downs. The secondary has to prevent the big plays, but also the 10 and 5 yard routes and crossers. The secondary needs their best game of the season.