Final, Patriots 35-14: The New England Patriots withstood a litany of injuries and some sloppy offensive execution to put away Daniel Jones and the New York Giants on “Thursday Night Football” and improve to 6-0 on the season.
The Patriots scored off a blocked punt and a Giants fumble. They got two rushing touchdowns from quarterback Tom Brady and another from running back Brandon Bolden — Bolden’s third score in three games.
New England’s defense forced four turnovers — Stephon Gilmore, John Simon and Duron Harmon all pulled in interceptions — and allowed just seven points, with New York’s other touchdown coming on a strip-sack of Brady.
The Patriots, who lost wide receiver Josh Gordon and safety Patrick Chung, among others, to injuries, now will have 10 days off before they visit the New York Jets on Monday night.
Fourth quarter, 3:49, Patriots 35-14: Both of Tom Brady’s touchdowns tonight have been of the rushing variety.
After hitting Julian Edelman for a beautiful 36-yard gain down to the Giants’ 3, Tom Brady took the ball himself on back-to-back quarterback sneaks. The second found the end zone, putting this game away for good.
Have a look at Edelman’s catch, though. It was a beauty:
Fourth quarter, 8:33, Patriots 28-14: Who needs offensive touchdowns when you’re getting this many from your defense and special teams?
The latest Patriots defensive six-pointer came in the form of a fumble recovery for a touchdown, with Jamie Collins dislodging the ball from Jonathan Hilliman’s arms and Kyle Van Noy providing the scoop and the score.
Fourth quarter, 9:28, Patriots 21-14: Another moderately productive Patriots drive failed to produce points after New England declined to attempt a 50-yard field goal and Tom Brady threw incomplete to Julian Edelman on fourth-and-5.
Gunner Olszewski, who’s seeing a ton of playing time in this game, provided the biggest play of the drive with a 29-yard reception over the middle.
Fourth quarter, 15:00, Patriots 21-14: Stephon Gilmore’s fourth defended pass of the night (one interception, three breakups) forced the Giants to punt.
Another Patriots touchdown could put this game out of reach, but New England has struggled all night to move the ball efficiently. Josh Gordon remains on the sideline as the Pats’ offense takes the field.
Third quarter, 2:47, Patriots 21-14: A nine-plus-minute Patriots drive resulted in zero points as Mike Nugent clanged a 40-yard field-goal attempt off the left upright.
Jake Bailey did Nugent no favors with his hold:
The Patriots spent the bulk of the drive in 11 personnel with Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Ryan Izzo and James White, staying away from the heavy sets they favored earlier in the game. They also turned down a 47-yard field-goal attempt to go for it on fourth-and-7 and were bailed out by a defensive holding call.
Injury-wise, Patrick Chung has been ruled out, and J.C. Jackson is questionable to return. We also did not see Josh Gordon at all on New England’s latest possession.
Third quarter, 12:12, Patriots 21-14: After creating an interception for John Simon in the first quarter, Stephon Gilmore snagged one of his own on the opening drive of the third.
Gilmore grabbed an errant Daniel Jones pass intended for tight end Rhett Ellison, ending what had been a productive possession for the Giants.
A few things to monitor for New England: Patrick Chung remains out with a chest injury, and fellow safety Devin McCourty also did not play on this drive, though he was on the sideline. Cornerback J.C. Jackson also limped off the field and was taken to the sideline medical tent.
Halftime, Patriots 21-14: Another big play by Jakobi Meyers and three consecutive completions to James White — including one that ended inches away from the end zone — helped the Patriots pull back ahead just before halftime.
White’s 12-yard catch-and-run initially was ruled a touchdown, but the running back was ruled down inside the 1 after a video review. Tom Brady finished the job himself one play later, scoring on a QB sneak.
Meyers, who’s seen a drastic uptick in playing time tonight with Phillip Dorsett out, has three catches on three targets for a team-high 53 yards.
Josh Gordon has yet to return to the game since injuring his knee on Markus Golden’s scoop-and-score touchdown, but he emerged from the medical tent and spent the last few minutes of the first half riding a stationary bike and jogging up and down the sideline. He’s questionable to return, per the team.
Gordon has just one catch on one target for 7 yards tonight. The Patriots surely would like to get him more involved in the second half if he’s healthy enough to return to the game.
Second quarter, 4:38, 14-14: For the second straight week, an inferior NFC East opponent is hanging with the Patriots late in the first half.
In fact, the Pats and Giants are now tied up after Markus Golden returned a strip-sack 42 yards for a touchdown. Lorenzo Carter jarred the ball loose, overpowering tight end Ryan Izzo before nailing Tom Brady.
Adding to the Patriots’ misfortune, Josh Gordon’s knee bent awkwardly as unsuccessfully attempted to keep Golden out of the end zone. He remained down on the field for several minutes before being taken to the sideline medical tent.
The Patriots now are down to Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski at wideout, with Matthew Slater available as an emergency option.
Second quarter, 6:05, Patriots 14-7: The Giants are on the board thanks to the first passing touchdown scored against the Patriots’ defense this season.
Golden Tate outmuscled Jonathan Jones on a deep ball from Daniel Jones and then outran Duron Harmon to the pylon for a 64-yard score.
The Patriots also allowed a 65-yard touchdown on a jet sweep last week.
Second quarter, 7:11, Patriots 14-0: It got a bit dicey, but the Patriots were able to capitalize on their primo field position after Harmon’s interception.
After Tom Brady and Jakobi Meyers hooked up for 23 yards down to the Giants’ 2-yard line, it took the Patriots three tries to push the ball across the goal line. Brandon Bolden finally sealed the deal on third-and-goal from the 1, burrowing his way in for his third touchdown in the last three games.
Matt LaCosse, who was dealing with a knee injury earlier, was back on the field for this drive.
Second quarter, 9:26, Patriots 7-0: The Patriots’ offense is having a very difficult time moving the ball, but their defense hasn’t missed a beat.
Daniel Jones just tossed an inexcusable interception to safety Duron Harmon while under heavy pressure from Danny Shelton, giving New England the ball at New York’s 20-yard line.
Second quarter, 13:30, Patriots 7-0: Patriots safety Patrick Chung (chest) and tight end Matt LaCosse (hamstring) both left the game with injuries during the latter part of the first quarter. They’re questionable to return, per the team.
First quarter, 1:41, Patriots 7-0: Blocked punt touchdown! Again!
This time, it was Brandon Bolden providing the block and Chase Winovich gathering the ball and rumbling into the end zone. J.C. Jackson and Matthew Slater teamed up for a similar score against the Buffalo Bills two weeks ago.
Mike Nugent banged the extra point through to give the Patriots a 7-0 advantage late in the first quarter.
First quarter, 3:31, 0-0: Tom Brady found Ryan Izzo for 20 yards on third-and-9, but that was all the Patriots would get on their latest drive. After a 1-yard James White carry, back-to-back passes to Julian Edelman and Gunner Olszewski — who’s seeing time on offense tonight with Phillip Dorsett out — fell incomplete to bring the punting unit out.
Edelman absorbed a big hit on his incompletion, which the Giants challenged, arguing he’d gained before possession before the ball was knocked loose. The ruling stood, though.
First quarter, 5:23, 0-0: We’ve got dueling interceptions here in Foxboro.
One play after Stephon Gilmore deflected a Daniel Jones pass into the arms of teammate John Simon, Tom Brady badly misfired on a deep ball to Julian Edelman, allowing Janoris Jenkins to leap in front of it for a Giants pick.
That interception could have been to be the result of a rare miscommunication between Brady and Edelman, who was facing the opposite direction when Jenkins caught the ball.
The Patriots forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, with Gilmore nearly registering another INT on third down.
First quarter, 7:54, 0-0: Tom Brady completed passes of 7 yards to Jakobi Meyers and 6 yards to James White, but they came after he took a 7-yard sack on first down.
Left tackle Marshall Newhouse appeared to be the one at fault on that play. Three-and-out.
The second completion pushed Brady past Manning on another all-time list: He now ranks third in NFL history in completions.
First quarter, 9:44, 0-0: The Patriots’ decisions regarding field goals will be closely monitored now that Mike Nugent, not Stephen Gostkowski, is handling those duties.
We just saw the first such decision, and it worked out in the Giants favor.
After driving to New York’s 19-yard line, Bill Belichick elected to leave his offense on the field on fourth-and-1 rather than attempt what would have been a 36-yard field goal. Michel was stopped short, turning the ball over on downs.
The Patriots were determined to bully the Giants during these opening minutes. They relied primarily on heavy formations during the drive, utilizing tight ends Matt LaCosse and fullback Jakob Johnson on nearly every snap.
Michel had one nice moment earlier in the drive, ripping off a 19-yard catch-and-run. Brandon Bolden also had a 21-yard carry.
The completion to Michel pushed Tom Brady past Peyton Manning and into second place on the NFL’s all-time passing yards list. He now trails only Drew Brees in that category.
New England’s defense allowed Daniel Jones to complete a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton on the Giants’ first play from scrimmage but tightened up after that to force a three-and-out. Deatrich Wise stuffed Jonathan Hilliman for no gain on second down, and Patrick Chung helped force an incompletion on third.
First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: Game time. The Giants won the coin toss and deferred. The Patriots will receive the opening kickoff on a chilly and windy — but, contrary to expectations, not rainy — night at Gillette Stadium.
6:50 p.m.: Here are tonight’s Patriots inactives:
WR Phillip Dorsett
RB Rex Burkhead
CB Joejuan Williams
QB Cody Kessler
OT Korey Cunningham
DL Byron Cowart
RB Damien Harris
Harris still has yet to play a snap for the Patriots. He remains a healthy scratch even with Burkhead sidelined, with New England opting to roll with a backfield Sony Michel, James White and Brandon Bolden.
Safeties Patrick Chung and Nate Ebner are back in the lineup after sitting out last week’s game with injuries. Receivers Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon and linebacker Shilique Calhoun also are active after being listed as questionable.
4:45 p.m. ET: Greetings from a gray and gloomy Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots are preparing to take on the injury-ravaged New York Giants on “Thursday Night Football.”
The Giants, who are a month into the Daniel Jones era, will be without their two running backs (Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman) and their top two pass-catchers (tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Sterling Shepard), as all four have been ruled out with injuries.
The Patriots will be missing two prominent offensive weapons, as well. Receiver Phillip Dorsett has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, and running back Rex Burkhead (foot) is expected to miss his second consecutive game, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Burkhead is one of six Patriots players listed as questionable for this game, along with receivers Julian Edelman (chest) and Josh Gordon (knee), safeties Patrick Chung (heel) and Nate Ebner (groin) and outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun (ankle). Chung is expected to play after sitting out last week’s 33-7 win over the Washington Redskins, per to a report from Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
The forecast calls for temperatures in the low 50s tonight with a high chance of rain and heavy winds. There’s been no precipitation thus far, but it’s already very windy in Foxboro.
The Patriots, who are seeking their fourth 6-0 start in team history and their first since 2015, are pegged as 17.5-point favorites — the fourth time they’ve been favored by double digits in six games this season. They’ll wear their blue-on-blue alternate uniforms tonight.
Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images