The Giants find themselves facing an unbeaten Patriots team more often that one would think, given that they only show up on each other’s regular-season schedule once every four years.
But here they are again, set to meet at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Patriots (8-0) have looked unstoppable thus far, but any Big Blue backer knows the same was true before Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. Look up how that one turned out.
It won’t be easy, though. Here are three reasons to doubt the Giants (5-4) can play spoiler for New England once again.
The Giants defensive backs have been getting torched this season, especially in the absence of Prince Amukamara. The hope is that Amukamara will return against the Pats, but nothing is set in stone at this point. The team might be hopeless otherwise, given the season quarterback Tom Brady is enjoying. The future Hall of Famer has 22 touchdown passes compared to two interceptions.
No defense has made more interceptions than the Giants’. But with Brady’s high TD-to-INT rate, there’s no counting on winning the turnover battle. In fact, the Giants’ league-best plus-11 turnover margin might be negated by the Patriots’ NFL-low five turnovers. Perhaps the presence of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul can sway the pendulum in the Giants’ favor, but he won’t be in on every play.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning already has been working all season without Victor Cruz, and this week he won’t have top tight end Larry Donnell to target. Manning is having a fine season, but New England has stymied opponents’ passing attacks well, thanks in part to NFL sack leader Chandler Jones (9.5). The Patriots’ 6.9 yards allowed per pass attempt is tied for ninth in the NFL.