New England Patriots v. New York Giants Preview
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The New England Patriots are looking to get back on track today after being handed their second loss of the season, comprehensively, in Pittsburgh last weekend.
Returning to Foxboro to welcome the New York Giants won't be an easy rebound game for the team however.
The Giants are led by Eli Manning, who is living up to his claims before the season that he is an elite quarterback. Manning has thrown for 13 touchdowns and only five interceptions while completing over 64 percent of his passes.
Defensively this will cause some major concerns for the Patriots as they look to turn around their season so far.
There is no secret to what the Giants will look to do this weekend as no team this year has really struggled to throw the ball on Bill Belichick's defense. However, he is missing some vital cogs that the Patriots' defense will take some comfort in.
Center David Bass and running back Ahmad Bradshaw did not travel to New England and will miss the game. More importantly neither did star receiver Hakeem Nicks.
Nicks would have been a huge part of the Giants' gameplan as he is a favorable matchup against Devin McCourty, or any of the Patriots' defensive backs for that matter. Without him the Giants still have explosive players like Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz on the outside, but it always hurts to lose your best weapon.
The Giants will run a much more rigid offense without Bradshaw coming out of the backfield. With Bradshaw the Patriots would have to worry about him becoming a receiver out of the backfield, without him Brandon Jacobs comes in as a very limited running back.
Even though they won't want to, the Giants will have to run the ball more often because of the pieces they are missing.
The home side aren't without their own injury concerns. Wes Welker is among nine players, including other big names such as Jerod Mayo, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Albert Haynesworth, who are listed as questionable coming into the game.
Welker will be the only major loss among the group because the Patriots' have depth at most positions. Without Welker however, the team has no real go-to receiver. The Giants entered the season with one of the best secondaries in the league, however injuries have severely depleted them.
They still have quality starters considering and will hope to get to Tom Brady with their vaunted pass rush to prevent him from putting up a big score. The trio of Jason Pierre Paul, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck will significantly test an offensive line that has been the best pass protecting group in the league this year for the most part.
Sebastien Vollmer will likely be missing from right tackle as he is listed questionable and was taken advantage of by the Steelers last weekend. Expect rookie Nate Solder to start and line up across from the relentless Justin Tuck.
That matchup will be vital for the Patriots' offense as Tuck can take over a game, especially when it is so difficult to double team him without letting Pierre-Paul or Umenyiora in.
Another stern test arrives to Foxboro today, the Patriots will be hoping to hit back after their lacklusture display last weekend. To an extent, they are catching the Giants at the perfect time without key offensive pieces in place.
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