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New York Giants vs. New England Patriots


John J. Raspanti


The Giants (5-2) and Patriots (5-2) face off against each other for the first time since their classic 2007 Super Bowl confrontation.

The Giants seek consistency while the Patriots search for some defensive stops. Last weekend the Giants were lucky to get past the winless Dolphins while the Steelers handled the Patriots easily.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning is completing 65 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. This year Manning has stayed away from his propensity to throw silly interceptions. Ahmad Bradshaw leads the Giants running backs with 440 yards gained. Wide out Hakeem Nicks has proved himself to be Manning’s favorite target. The third year pro has caught 38 passes and scored three times. Dangerous receiver Victor Cruz has caught 28 passes for an average of almost 18 yards per catch.

New England’s defensive lapses are driving coach Bill Belcheck crazy. The Pats pass defense is giving up 323 yards per game. Last weekend Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 365 yards, and three scores. Offensively the Patriots continue to put up some points. Quarterback Tom Brady has completed 67 percent of his passes and tossed 18 touchdowns. Benjarvis Green-Ellis has gained exactly 400 yards on the ground. Brady always looks for diminutive but tough receiver Wesley Welker and this year is no different. The 30-year-old Welker has caught 57 passes and scored six touchdowns.

The Giant defense has struggled at times. Their bugaboo is stopping the run. Free safety Antrel Rolle leads the team with 49 tackles while outside linebacker Michael Boley has 46. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has sacked opposing quarterbacks 8 times.

The Patriots need to pressure Eli Manning. If they allow Manning to sit back in the pocket, we could be looking at a shootout. New England cornerback Patrick Chunk has 50 tackles for the season, with Devin McCourety collecting 49. Defensive end Andre Carter has 4.5 sacks.

New England will exploit the Giant run defense while Eli Manning might throw 50 passes. The Patriots need this one after their loss to the Steelers. Look for Tom Brady to throw for over 300 yards.

Until the Patriots can improve their pass defense we have to side with Manning and the Giants to at least stay in this one. The Pats will get their points as the Giants defense is nothing to write home about, but the Giants are going to have some success of their own. This could be a good one, decided late. Giants +9

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