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Keys to Victory: Looking to go into the bye on a high note


After their first taste of victory in a month, the New York Giants are hungry to go into the bye week with another win. History is on their side as they have the NFL's fifth-highest winning percentage in pre-bye games at 22-12-0 (.647).

In Foxborough, meanwhile, the New England Patriots regrouped over their break and will try to snap a three-game losing streak on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

This will be just the third time the inter-conference foes have met since the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI. The Patriots have won the past two regular-season matchups.

Here are three key players who could be key to a Giants victory on Sunday:

Order up another No. 15

Tommy DeVito went from a fun story that included a sandwich named after him at a local Italian restaurant to turning in the highest passer rating (137.7) by an undrafted rookie quarterback with 15+ attempts in the common draft era (1967). He is also the first one to throw five touchdown passes in his first two starts in that span. No Giants quarterback, regardless of draft position or lack thereof, has done that either. And he did that all while being sacked five times by Dallas and nine by Washington.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," the New Jersey native said about making his first start at home. "Imagine it's going to be like the last two games, but a little more of my friends and family there. That's really about it. It's a little tougher to play away, in an away atmosphere. So, it'll be home, I'll be comfortable, it'll be a lot of fun."

How is DeVito handling all the attention?

"Staying off the phone," he said. "I know it could be all good one week, and then next week, it's all the negative, so I'm trying to stay even keeled through it all and really just focus and keep the main thing the main thing. It's Thanksgiving. You know I was giving turkeys and stuff the last two days, but still just in the facility doing football."

The No. 26 is good, too

Since Week 7, Saquon Barkley leads the NFL in carries (100), touches (114), and rushing yards (444). His 560 scrimmage yards are second behind Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Barkley is the only NFL player who has received 50 percent of his team's touches since Week 7, and his 38.6 percent share of his team's scrimmage yards also leads the league, according to NFL Research.

Have you tried the No. 5?

Since it became on official statistic in 1982, no Giants player has more sacks (14.5) in his first 25 games than second-year outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux. With two last week, the former fifth overall draft choice broke Jason Pierre-Paul's previous franchise mark of 14.0 sacks to start his career. Thibodeaux's performance was part of a four-sack, six-takeaway day by the Giants' defense and special teams. Now they will face a Patriots team averaging 14.1 points per game, second-fewest in the league behind the Giants (13.5).

Stats to impress your fellow football fans

Week 12 will mark the first time the Patriots and Giants have played without Tom Brady or Eli Manning since Week 3, 1999 (NE started Drew Bledsoe & NYG started Kent Graham).

The Patriots have allowed 23.8 points per game in 2023, which – if it holds – would mark the most allowed in a season during Bill Belichick's tenure with the team (since 2000).

Bill Belichick is 12-0 as the Patriots head coach (since 2000) when facing the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL entering that week.

Since 1990, the Giants are 16-11 when their opponents are coming off a bye and they are not.

View photos from the Quest Diagnostics Training Center as the Giants gear up for the Patriots.


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