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Instant Analysis

Instant Analysis: Giants fall to Patriots, 35-14

AT A GLANCE: The makings for another special night were there in Foxborough. Propelled by touchdowns from wide receiver Golden Tate and linebacker Markus Golden, the Giants went toe to toe with the undefeated Patriots. There were no moral victories, however, as the defending Super Bowl champion eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 35-14 victory. The Giants dropped to 2-4 on the season while the Patriots improved to 6-0.

UP NEXT: After playing two games in less than a week, the Giants have 10 days until they host the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium in Week 7. Arizona drafted former Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray first overall this past April. He was the first of 11 quarterbacks taken in the draft; Daniel Jones was second. The Giants lead the all-time series with the Cardinals, 80-44-2, but have lost the last two meetings in 2014 (home) and 2017 (away).

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:

*The Giants played without their top two rushers and top two receivers due to injuries. Saquon Barkley (ankle), Sterling Shepard (concussion), Evan Engram (knee) and Wayne Gallman (concussion) were all ruled out heading into the Thursday night matchup.

*The Patriots defense entered with a league-high 11 interceptions, and Jones added three to their total on a windy Thursday night. The rookie quarterback did buck one of their trends, however, with a 64-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Golden Tate. New England was the first team since the 1988 Cleveland Browns not to allow a pass touchdown through the first five games of the season. Jones completed just 14 passes for 161 yards, both the fewest in his young career as a starter. 

*Tate, in his second game back from suspension, finished with six catches for 102 yards and the score. He had three receptions for 13 yards last week in his Giants debut.

*Undrafted rookie Jon Hilliman handled the majority of workload in the injured backfield, rushing 11 times for 38 yards. He lost a fumble, his second of the season, midway through the fourth quarter. Kyle Van Noy scooped it and scored to give New England a 14-point lead.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE:

*After a two-game absence due to a hamstring injury, inside linebacker and defensive co-captain Alec Ogletree returned to the field. Tae Davis, who also missed the last two weeks (concussion), was inactive despite practicing fully this week. David Mayo again started in his place and made a key tackle of Sony Michel on the opening drive of the game. He tackled the running back just short of the first down marker on fourth-and-one, forcing the Patriots to turn the ball over on downs. It was set up by two big stops by defensive linemen and Dexter Lawrence on second and third downs. Ogletree went on to record 12 tackles, including a sack, while Mayo led the team with 10 tackles and a half-sack.

*After Jones threw his first-quarter interception, cornerback Janoris Jenkins grabbed the ball right back for the Giants with an interception on the very next snap. Tom Brady had not thrown an interception at home before Thursday. It was Jenkins’ third pick of the season. He notched two against Washington and was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

*Following Tate’s touchdown, Markus Golden returned a sack-fumble caused by fellow outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter 42 yards for a touchdown. It tied the game for the time being with 4:38 to play in the first half. New England responded with an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to take a 21-14 lead into the locker room.

*Big plays eventually caught up to the Giants again on Thursday as they allowed 14 unanswered points in the second half. The Giants were tied for the most plays of 20+ yards allowed heading into Week 6.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:

*The Patriots were on the verge of being shut out in the first quarter for the first time at home since 2017, but Chase Winovich prevented it with a six-yard return touchdown on a blocked punt. It was caused by New England’s Brandon Bolden, who pushed Giants linebacker Nate Stupar backwards into Riley Dixon’s attempt. 

INJURY REPORT: NYG – DL Olsen Pierre (concussion). NE – S Patrick Chung (chest), TE Matt LaCosse (knee).

INACTIVES: NYG – RB Wayne Gallman, RB Saquon Barkley, LB Tae Davis, G Chad Slade, OT Eric Smith, WR Sterling Shepard, TE Evan Engram. NE – QB Cody Kessler, WR Phillip Dorsett, CB Joejuan Williams, RB Rex Burkhead, RB Damien Harris, OT Korey Cunningham, DL Byron Cowart.

LINEUP CHANGES: Garrett Dickerson for Engram at TE; Cody Latimer for Shepard at WR; Jon Hilliman for Barkley at RB; David Mayo for Davis at $LB.

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