Giants vs Patriots: Matchups to Watch

Eli Manning Patriots

Eli Manning will be looking to prove he is an elite QB today against the New England Patriots.

NEPD Staff Writer: Brian Delabarrera

Today I take a look at some of the key matchups in today’s game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Luckily, none of them involve catching something on a helmet.

Brady vs. Manning (2011) –

It’s pretty surprising how similar the two quarterbacks’ stats are this season, with similar numbers in TDs (18, 13), INTs (8, 5), yards (2361, 2127), and sacks (14, 15).

Unlike previous years, Eli Manning has be delivering clutch performances and minimizing his turnovers to keep New York in the race for the NFC East. Another thing to note is the Giant’s rushing offense isn’t offering any kind of support. Usually ranked in the top half of the NFL, New York’s ground attack is the 3rd worst in 2011.

Even though Eli is going to have less help running the ball, his pass protection with Jacobs looks to be a little more solid as he tries to get the ball into the hands of Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham, and TE Jake Ballard. The lack of star power may hurt the Giants chances, but confident play from Manning will make this a close game. The Patriots need second-year CB Devin McCourty to show up, play big, and shut down his side of the field. One take-away is all the difference you need in a shootout.

For both teams it will be about the opposing pressure. The Patriots could really use some additional help from LB Jerod Mayo bringing the rush with Brace, Wilfork, and Guyton. Manning is a QB that is very affected by his surroundings, when defenses show no mercy and high levels of energy – he is easily intimidated in to making bad throws. The crowd will be a huge catalyst here too. Whatever it takes to get the defense moving at full speed.

On the other side of the of things, OL Dan Connolly and Logan Mankins need to hold off New Yorks pass rush to allow Brady to work the field. Guys like Justin Tuck and Osi Umeniyora have a knack for hitting Tom Brady and the Patriots do not want that to happen at all if they can help it.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul has been dealing with a concussion this week and could see limited time on the field. However, if this guys gets it going out there, it’s going to be bad news for New England – especially if Sebastian Vollmer (questionable) plays anything like he did last weekend.

Tom Brady will be looking to make a statement against another 5-2 team after losing to one a week earlier – to prove that his team can topple the other highly-ranked squads in the league. For Brady it is going to be all about Aaron Hernandez. The 22-year-old tight end will be celebrating his birthday in Gillette Staduim wearing #81 and utilizing his mismatched size and speed to his advantage.

Injury Report vs Injury Report

Between the Giants and the Patriots there are 12 players listed as questionable: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Shaun Ellis, Wes Welker, and NY CB Prince Amukamara to note a few key players.

For the Patriots, this is where the game will be be won or lost. With guys like Green-Ellis, Faulk, and Vollmer playing healthily and in good form, New England’s offense should move the ball much easier. On defense, guys like Mayo, Haynesworth, and Josh Barrett could be the difference in keeping the Giants in check.

The Patriots will need to muster up a consistent pressure to throw at Manning and the offense. If they ease up, I suspect this newer version of Eli Manning to take advantage of the secondary even without Hakeem Nicks.

The Giants are only really worrying about their defense right now since their two offensive stars have pretty much been ruled out. Amukamara would be a better bet for NY against WRs like Chad OchoCinco and Taylor Price (should he really see more time this week) due to his 6-foot stature. If he doesn’t play, the Patriots will have a better chance of having Brady connect with the young Price, provided his hamstring injury doesn’t keep him off the field.

Giants WR Victor Cruz vs Patriots Secondary –

Cruz has had some remarkably athletic plays in his sophomore season. There have also been some instances where he has crumbled and come up short for Giants’ fans. If he can come into Foxboro with confidence and keep his mistakes to a minimum, Victor could send the Patriots spiraling downward in the AFC.

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One Response to “Giants vs Patriots: Matchups to Watch”

  1. DWE says:

    Foregt the our low-rent Defense/Secondery issues.
    The Pat’s O-line need’s solidification/improvement overall.
    Brady has less time to throw then he has in the past(this is why “we” went with TE’s being the prodominemt ball catcher’s and why the No Huddle is so important for us, this is also why “we” didn’t bother getting a deep threat……why?…..Brady hold’s the ball an easy second or so longer than usual/sometimes a half a second/sometimes even longer. He doesn’t have the time too wait for a mid-field or deep threat to get where they are supposed to be!
    Press coverage will be seen and the Gian’t “D” should have a big game as they are one of the best, if not the best in the leage.
    Almost the worst if not the worst in the leage “D”, against one of the best if not the best “D”/pass rush in the leage……
    Brady and the O-line will have their hand’s full alot today, and I expect to see alot of running play’s in order to get away from the issues that the Giant’s will cause with this match up.

    ***Which mean’s I hope too see alot of Vereen & Ridley all day long, as well as Woody and The Law Firm.
    I’d like too see “all 4 of them” rotated in and out “non-stop”, “all game long” so the Giant’s are confused and not sure who’s really if at all which one will be getting the ball. Which one’s will be called to actually run and who’s simply called in to block, and for whom……
    This will also give us an oportunity too see alot of Ridley and Vereen which we need to do as the year wind’s down regarding who’s going and who’s staying, because we do not need 4 Running Back’s. Faulk is an all time Patriot great, he has been a game savor his whole career, he deserves IMO to be in the Patriot HOF, and personally I think would be one hell of a coach. He deserves as I have stated previously, the right to heal and go out playing VS. retired by injury and beleive that will happen. He should play a decent amount through out the season and the retire.
    BJ-GE doesn’t fumble(the maybe twice he has, he has recovered his own quickly), so he’s good. Woody is intrical regarding our No Huddle, a great blocker, catches out of the back field, he’s a great faulk type replacement. Ridley showed great promise in the year’s begining, and I personally have yet too watch any of Vereen(has he even played yet??).

    Ridley & Verren need to be put to the test today, ALL DAY LONG.

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