The New England Patriots continued their red-hot start to the season as they cruised to a 35-14 win over the New York Giants.
The Pats were not at their best at Gillette Stadium on Thursday but were able to hold the Giants to a scoreless second half, having led at the midway point.
They scored twice off defence and special teams, while forcing four turnovers to remain undefeated with a 6-0 record atop the AFC East.
Rookie Daniel Jones made some good plays but had his struggles against a strong Patriots defence.
Three takeaways from Patriots' win over the Giants
Giants defence did all it could
The Giants' defense is not New York's strongest point this season as it ranks 30th in yards allowed per game, but that unit did everything it possibly could in this game.
New York tallied a touchdown after a fumble recovery on a sack, put plenty of pressure on Tom Brady and even had an early fourth-down stop following another on third-and-one that made a big statement for the suspect unit early in the game.
But it ended up mattering little as the special teams gave up a touchdown in the first quarter and a fumble was returned by the Patriots for another in the fourth quarter as well. In addition to that, the Patriots got another short field off a bad Jones interception in the second quarter.
This defense played catch up admirably throughout, but New England were playing with a stacked deck in the scoring department.
There's a reason the Patriots dominate rookies
With the defeat of Jones and the Giants, Bill Belichick is now 12-0 against rookies at Gillette Stadium and it was infinitely clear why on Thursday. New England is tough to play in, but the Patriots also brought the pressure throughout the game and confused the rookie QB on multiple occasions, resulting in interceptions.
Take Jones' third interception for example. What looked like a simple read as it was a corner route where the quarterback is supposed to decipher whether the corner drops or stays with the wide receiver going underneath. But because the Patriots dropped the safety and let Stephon Gilmore slip back, Jones read the safety and looked to assume Gilmore stayed up in Cover 2.
That was not what happened, though, and Jones threw the corner as Gilmore was waiting there for it.
The zone defenses messed with Jones throughout and when he got stuck thinking too much he was either hit on the arm to force an interception, or pressured into a sack. He simply waited too long to throw the ball away and it cost him.
Belichick knows how to humble an up-and-coming rookie and that's exactly what he did on Thursday as Jones finished 15-of-31 passing for 161 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
A remarkable achievement on both sides
While Jones had his struggles, he also did something no quarterback had done this season against the Patriots — he threw a touchdown pass.
It was a little bit of a fluke as a corner fell down right after the reception, but it was dropped into the bucket nicely and Golden Tate went on to score a 64-yard touchdown.
It was a very nice play by the Giants, but it must be mentioned the Patriots did not give up a touchdown pass until Week 6. They have faced some bad teams with bad quarterback play, but it remains a remarkable achievement in the modern game.
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