BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots offense did not play well Thursday night against the Giants, as Tom Brady and company were sluggish throughout. The Patriots still covered their 16.5 points spread, thanks to more stellar play from the New England defense.
The Patriots defense continues to stymie the opposition and carry the team, as the Patriots got a defensive and special teams touchdown in their 35-14 win over the Giants on Thursday Night Football. The win gives New England their fourth 6-0 start in franchise history.
Rookie Chase Winovich scored the first touchdown of the game on special teams, snagging a blocked punt out of the air and taking it six yards into the end zone. The New England defense came away with four more takeaways to up their tally to 16 on the season, including a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Kyle Van Noy in the fourth quarter.
While the final score was lopsided, that wasn’t the case until Van Noy’s touchdown. With the Patriots leading 21-14 and the Giants threatening to pull even in the final frame, Jamie Collins forced a fumble by running back Jonathan Hilliman at the New York 26-yard line. Van Noy picked up the loose ball and took it 22 yards for the score to put the Patriots up by two touchdowns. Collins now has two forced fumbles to go with his three interceptions on the season.
This was the first game that the Patriots scored a touchdown off a blocked punt and a fumble recovery since 1986.
John Simon, Duron Harmon and Stephon Gilmore each picked off Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones in the game, giving the Patriots 14 interceptions in their first six games.
Brady passed Peyton Manning on the NFL’s All-Time passing yards list, but struggled throughout the contest. He still managed to finish with 334 passing yards, but he threw no touchdowns and had two turnovers (one fumble, one interception). He did run for a pair of touchdowns, both from a yard out, to become the oldest player to score two touchdowns in a game.
Julian Edelman and James White both had nine receptions in the game, with Edelman finishing with a team-high 113 receiving yards. He moved into third all-time on the New England receptions list with Thursday’s performance.
The Giants hung around for much of the game, and scored the first passing touchdown of the season against the Patriots defense in the second quarter. Jones hit Golden Tate deep, who outran Jonathan Jones for a 64-yard touchdown to cut New England’s lead to 14-7 at the time.
Three plays later, Brady fumbled as he was sacked by Lorenzo Carter, with Markus Golden picking up the loose ball and returning it 42 yards for the game-tying touchdown. Patriots receiver Josh Gordon injured his left knee trying to tackle Golden on the play and did not return.
But the Patriots offense made amends quickly, with Brady orchestrating an 11-play scoring drive. The QB hit rookie receiver Jakobi Meyers for 23 yards to get to the New York 28. James White accounted for 20 yards on the drive, including a key third-down conversion. Brady capped the drive off with a one-yard touchdown run of his own after a White touchdown was taken off the board following an official review, putting the Pats on top 21-14 ahead of halftime.
The Patriots now get some much-needed time off to try and figure things out on offense. They won’t play against until Oct. 21 when they visit the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.