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Short week no favor, but Giants' Engram confident they can compete with Patriots

Tom Brady after the Patriots defeated the Redskins

Tom Brady after the Patriots defeated the Redskins 33-7 at FedExField on October 6, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. Credit: Getty Images/Patrick McDermott

The Giants’ next game is against the Patriots. In Foxborough. On a short week. With a rookie quarterback, maybe a rookie running back, and yet-to-be-determined defensive personnel.

But Even Engram says: Bring it on!

“There's no doubt in our minds that we can go up there and compete with this team and go get a win,” the tight end said. “We don't have any doubt. We have belief in our players and our team that we can go out there and get a win.”

That might be a little more believable, of course, had the Giants looked just a little more competitive against the Vikings in Sunday’s 28-10 loss at MetLife Stadium. Instead they seemed overmatched in nearly every area of the contest. And now they face the greatest quarterback and head coach of all time, not to mention the best team in the league this season. The Patriots are 5-0 and have outscored opponents 155-34. That’s a 121-point differential. No other team in the NFL is more than +50 in that category. The Giants have scored just 97 points total. The Patriots are favored by 16 points as of Sunday night.

Bill Belichick’s affinity for the Giants and respect for the Mara family may be the only thing that keeps the game close.

Of course, no fan of either team has to be reminded that there have been other Giants-Patriots games that looked like they would be lopsided affairs but turned into upsets. The Giants will be without their usual Patriots kryptonite with Eli Manning on the bench, but they might get Superman back instead.

Saquon Barkley certainly would give the Giants a better chance than they will have without him.

“It would mean a lot, obviously,” Engram said of the potential addition. “That’s a no-brainer. But we’ve got to be smart with his recovery and be smart with his timeline.”

There are other pieces the Giants can hope to get back. Alec Ogletree could help solidify the soft middle of a defense that missed tackles, misread keys and allowed wide-open receivers for most of the game against the Vikings. He’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury the past two games. The Giants might also be able to take advantage of a banged-up Patriots offensive line.

Engram said even without those players, the Giants had a chance to beat the Vikings.

“There were plays that could have been made,” he said. “There were a lot of 50-50 balls that we have to make. We make those plays, then it's a different ballgame. So there's nothing to really get discouraged about. We're fine.”

And it is why he thinks they have a chance to beat the Patriots.

“We just have to stay the course,” he said. “Like I said, there's nothing to be discouraged about… There's no worry. There's no doubt. We put the work in. We believe in each other.”

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