NFL: Patriots can Take Out Anger on Giants

Al Dannity | Updated Nov 03, 2011

The Giants have the wrong offense, playing the wrong team, at the wrong time. Al Dannity explains in his preview of Big Blue’s trip to take on the New England Patriots.

A conservative approach These are not the Giants that Eli Manning typically ran the rule over in previous years. The younger Manning has a cannon arm but one that was prone to getting his team into one too many jams. This year Eli is having a good season despite throwing the ball less. Manning has only dropped back on 259 of the 478 snaps he’s taken, with the Giants looking to take the pressure off his shoulders. This seemingly more timid approach has resulted in 64.7 percent of his passes being completed with an average of 8.8 yards per attempt. That average is second only to Aaron Rodgers.

In terms of the Giants’ overall prospects this season, that’s good news. The problem is this league is all about match-ups and Big Blue’s offense isn’t designed to exploit New England’s defensive weaknesses. To beat New England the Giants need to play a more expansive passing game, one that will test the Patriots’ secondary. That approach however leaves New York open to the kinds of errors that have plagued Eli’s career to date.

You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry Critical as I am of the Patriots’ defense, there’s no doubting the talent on this offense. The twin-threats at tight end coupled with a variety of receiving options gives the Patriots the most varied offense in the NFL. Tom Brady may trail Aaron Rodgers in the MVP stakes but he’s once again a lock for the Pro Bowl thanks to an offense capable of putting up remarkable numbers. Last week they came unhinged against the Steelers but one blip isn’t enough for me to write off New England just yet. Rather than fade out of the AFC East race, they are more likely to charge back into the hunt this Sunday.

The verdict The Giants have the makings of a playoff team but they all have the makings of a team about to be beaten badly. New England’s biggest frailties won’t be exposed by the efficient but far from explosive New York offense. Instead I expect Big Blue to hang with New England early but eventually fall into a hole as Brady and Welker step up to do their thing. I like the Patriots to bounce back with a big win.