The Patriots take on the Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game will kick off at 7:00 PM EST.
The Patriots ability to stay a perennial playoff contender is a result of quality depth. With Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the regular season, Jimmy Garoppollo will start in his place. That means the Patriots will most likely limit Garoppollo’s reps in the last preseason game.
Jacoby Brissett will play a huge role in Thursday nights preseason finally. And that might be a good thing. Even though preseason statistics are flaky at best, Brissett is having a solid preseason. In three games, he’s completed 25 of 35 pass attempts for 235 yards and a touchdown. It’s not stellar but at this point not turning the ball over is more important. The Patriots will use him to back up Garoppollo for the first four games. If Brissett comes out against the Giants continuing to make smart decisions, then the Patriots should good about this matchup.
The Giants are going into the 2016 NFL season with only two quarterbacks on their roster. Eli Manning will be under the helm when week one rolls around. Backing up the two-time Super Bowl MVP is Ryan Nassib. As the only other current quarterback on the Giants’ roster, Nassib will get the nod to start in the preseason finally. Through the first three weeks of the preseason, Nassib is 17 of 46 for 188 yards. That’s a 37% completion percentage over the course of three games. He’s thrown only two touchdowns to go along with two interceptions. Against the Bills in week two of the preseason, Nassib went 2-12 for 25 yards. The Giants went on to lose twenty-one to nothing.
Nassib should find it difficult to move the ball against New England’s defensive backs. The Patriots defense should feature a few reserve players fighting for roster spots. Fighting for the fifth cornerback spot on the Patriots is Johnathan Jones and Cre’von LeBlanc. Both have a played a lot in the preseason. LeBlanc has been the most consistent throughout the preseason, but Jones did have a nice game against Carolina. LeBlanc looks to have the advantage now. A fierce competition at corner against a shaky quarterback could lead to a few turnovers. Look for the Patriots defensive back to take a few chances as they try to separate themselves to win a final roster spot.
The Giants struggled offensively in week three against the Jets, despite getting their first victory of the season. If the Giants are going to pull out a victory in week four of the preseason, they’ll need to rely less on the play of their quarterback and more on their running backs. Andre Williams appeared to have locked up the backup running back position. However, it’s concerning that he didn’t see the field at all in week three of the preseason; that’s always a troubling sign.
If Williams isn’t the starter in the finale, then it’s most likely return specialist Bobby Rainey’s gig for the evening. Although Rainey didn’t see the field either in week three, he’s demonstrated he still has an explosive element to his game. Both Williams and Rainey have demonstrated elusive speed in spurts this preseason, and with the Giants’ offensive struggles through the first three weeks, they’ll need both Rainey and Williams to contribute what they can to the offense.
The Patriots are more fortunate at the running back position. They have several players fighting for one spot. The position battle is specifically tight between Tyler Gaffney and D.J. Foster. Through the first three games, Gaffney has seen more touches while Foster is the back with more upside. Gaffney had 29 carries for 130 through three games. He’s a strong runner and with a solid performance on Thursday, Gaffney should solidify his roster spot.
Giants Vs Patriots Preseason Betting Lines
The Patriots are slight road underdogs. The Patriots rarely go undefeated in the preseason. A matchup of atrocious quarterback play for the Giants against quality depth for the Patriots is enough to give New England the edge.
Play: Patriots +2.5 @ BetOnline.ag