Thursday night: GIANTS (2-3) AT PATRIOTS (5-0)
Gillette Stadium, 8:20 p.m.
Line: Patriots by 17; O/U 41
TV: Ch. 5 (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman)
Radio: WFAN-660 AM (Bob Papa, Carl Banks, Howard Cross); Westwood One (Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli); Sirius 81; XM 225
Giants: OUT: Saquon Barkley (ankle), Wayne Gallman (concussion), Sterling Shepard (concussion), Evan Engram (knee). QUESTIONABLE: Lorenzo Carter (neck).
Patriots: OUT: Phillip Dorsett (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: Rex Burkhead (foot), Shilique Calhoun (ankle), Patrick Chung (heel), Nate Ebner (groin), Julian Edelman (chest), Josh Gordon (knee).
Nate Solder is not exactly riding high as he returns to Foxborough. The two-time Super Bowl-winner with the Patriots and left tackle for the Giants since he signed with them last season will play his first regular-season game against his former team. But Solder admitted after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings that he has been struggling. “Well, none of it has been good enough,” he said. “It all falls on each individual’s shoulders, and I’m the first on that list. I have to run block better. I have to pass block better. I have to communicate better. I have to do all of the things that I need to do to be the best player that I can be.” Sunday would be a good time for that to happen. After allowing two sacks and getting flagged for two holding calls against the Vikings, he’ll have to slow down New England’s Jamie Collins Jr., who leads the team with 4.5 sacks and seven quarterback hits, just to give Daniel Jones a chance.
“Are you saying I’m stupid?” – a half-joking Alec Ogletree when asked about the futility of trying to match wits with Tom Brady at the line of scrimmage as the inside linebacker.
There may be no better consultant when it comes to trying to beat the Patriots than Eli Manning. The quarterback has topped the New England dynasty twice in Super Bowl matchups. Luckily for the Giants, they know where to reach him. Manning has been helping Daniel Jones navigate not only a short week of preparation as he faces his first career Thursday game as a pro, but a Bill Belichick defense that can be overwhelming. “I think they’ve changed a little bit from the times [Manning played them in Super Bowls], but he has the experience from seeing that change,” Jones said. “I think his knowing just kind of the tendencies, who they are, the foundation of their defense, is helpful in preparing.”
121: The point differential for the Patriots so far this season. They have outscored opponents by a combined 155-34. The Giants haven’t even scored 121 points this season (they’re at 97).