Giants play host to Bill Belichick and the Patriots in a matchup of struggling teams


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BETTING LINE: Patriots by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Patriots 2-8; Giants 3-7-1.

SERIES RECORD: Patriots lead 7-6.

LAST MEETING: Patriots beat the Giants 35-14 on Oct. 10, 2019, at Foxborough, Massachusetts.

LAST WEEK: Patriots had a bye; Giants beat the Commanders 31-19.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Patriots minus-6; Giants plus-3.

PATRIOTS PLAYER TO WATCH: Whoever starts at quarterback. Mac Jones has started every game this season, but Bailey Zappe has relieved him three times — in two blowouts and again at the end of a 10-6 loss to the Colts on Nov. 12. Zappe was 3 of 7 for 25 yards and finished by throwing an interception on a fake-spike play to seal the game. Will Grier also is on the roster, and Malik Cunningham is on the practice squad.

GIANTS PLAYER TO WATCH: Micah McFadden. With leading tackle and fellow inside linebacker Bobby Okereke dealing with hip and rib injuries, McFadden may have to do more. The second-year player has taken a major jump this season. His three fumbles recoveries are tied for the league lead. He had eight tackles, a tackle for a loss and a pass defensed to go along with a recovery last week. He has career highs with 65 tackles and 10 tackles for loss.

KEY MATCHUP: What can Patriots coach Bill Belichick do to get Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito off his game? Belichick remains one of the NFL’s top defensive minds and he will come up with something. The Washington Commanders used every gimmick defense last week in sacking DeVito nine times and getting 11 quarterback hits. Despite it all, DeVito completed 7 of 8 passes for 113 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions on third down for a perfect rating of 158.3. DeVito completed 18 of 26 passes for 246 yards and did not throw an interception against Washington.

KEY INJURIES: The Patriots are relatively healthy coming off their bye week. OL Trent Brown has ankle and knee injuries; he didn’t travel to Germany for the Indianapolis game because of a death in the family, but said he wouldn’t have played anyway. … WR DeVante Parker missed the past two games with a concussion. Giants OT Evan Neal (ankle) will miss his third straight game. … DT Dexter Lawrence (hamstring) did not practice all week and is doubtful along with WR Darius Slayton (neck) . …. CB Adoree Jackson (concussion) is back at practice after missing two games.

SERIES NOTES: New England has won the past two games in the series and holds a 7-4 edge in regular-season games. The Giants and Eli Manning won the only two playoff games, denying Belichick and Tom Brady Super Bowl titles on Feb. 3, 2008, in Glendale, Arizona, and Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis.

STATS AND STUFF: It will be Bill Belichick’s 423rd game with the Patriots, the same as Don Shula with Miami. Only George Halas (506 with the Bears) and Tom Landry (454, Dallas) lasted longer in one place. … TE Pharaoh Brown is averaging 24.3 yards per reception. … DL Davon Godchaux has eight total tackles in each of his past two games. … RB Rhamondre Stevenson needs one more rushing touchdown to move into the top 20 in franchise history. He has 13. With 43 rushing yards, he would pass Steve Grogan (2,176) for 19th on the team’s career list. … The Patriots had a season-high 167 rushing yards against the Colts. … New York’s offense scored its first, first-quarter touchdown last week. … Saquon Barkley has rushed for at least 50 yards in 11 consecutive games, the longest active streak in NFL. … He caught two TDs against the Commanders. He needs 118 yards from scrimmage to reach 7,000. … Okereke had a season-high 14 tackles Sunday and has 105 for the season. …. OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux had two sacks and has 10 1/2 for the season. … S Xavier McKinney has at least 10 tackles in three straight games. … CB Darnay Holmes has interceptions in the past two games. … CB Nick McCloud got his first career interception last week. … OLB Isaiah Simmons had a 54-yard pick-6 to ice the win over Washington.

FANTASY TIP: DeVito threw three touchdown passes and did not have a turnover last week despite all the pressure. He has five touchdowns and one interception overall in his two starts. He can become first undrafted rookie and third undrafted player since 1967 to have two or more TD passes in each of his first three starts.



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