Sometimes, when evaluating an apparent mismatch on the gridiron, it’s easy to forget that NFL players are some of the best athletes in the world, with many having played in pressure-packed situations well before entering the league.
With that in mind, the New York Giants won’t be intimidated Thursday night when they face the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium despite an obvious discrepancy in talent.
“I don’t think we have a locker room full of fanboys,” Giants wide receiver Golden Tate said, according to The Boston Globe, of New York’s looming matchup with the reigning Super Bowl champions in Foxboro.
“We understand we’re all in the NFL. We’re going up there to do a job. We’ve all played in big games, at some point. I don’t think we need to put too much pressure on ourselves. We don’t want to get too high, too low, and we just want to live in the moment.”
Tate, who signed a four-year, $37.5 million contract with New York over the offseason, was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The 31-year-old made his season debut Sunday and caught three passes for 13 yards in the Giants’ 28-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Tate has faced the Patriots three times in his 10-year career, during which he’s played for the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles in addition to the Giants. He might not be intimidated strolling into New England this week, but the Giants sure have their work cut out for them given how dominant the Patriots’ defense has been through five weeks of the 2019 season.