By HCR Staff | Oct. 11, 2019
While the New England Patriots did the expected and beat the New York Giants, it certainly was a struggle. Here are our observations.
Bill Belichick, the general manager, has some work to do. The current starting left tackle, Marshall Newhouse, was unemployed at the beginning of the season. At one point in last night’s game, the Patriots receiver group included a Division II undrafted rookie quarterback in Gunnar Olszewski, another undrafted and converted college quarterback in Jakobi Meyers, and the tight end group included Ryan Izzo and Matt Lacosse. This morning brought the news that second string fullback Jakob Johnson would be put on injured reserve. We don’t think this offensive personnel is going to be good enough going forward. Of course, the Patriots will get back wide receivers Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett in the coming weeks, but even those players are limited in their own ways. The Patriots simply don’t have any explosive impact players on offense, and that is the responsibility of general manager Belichick.
The Patriots defense will continue to achieve, even against the better teams. There is a lot of discussion about the Patriots early-season schedule, and whether the current defense would still continue to achieve at a high level against the higher quality teams. We have no doubt this defense will continue to be among the NFL’s best, and possibly even among the best historically. Why? Principally two reasons. First, this defense has been together for quite some time, or at least the key parts. Second, this defense shows extraordinary communication between each unit. Safety Devin McCourty and linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower simply are never confused, and they make sure their teammates aren’t confused either. It actually is extraordinary to watch. Watch this unit pre-snap. They never have any difficulty lining up, even when the Giants or any other team tries to change the tempo. Compare this to what you see from other teams. The difference is startling.
New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones is going to be a good player for a long time. Just as we have no concern about the Patriots defense, we also have no concern about Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones shows the necessary poise, intelligence, athleticism, and passion for the game. This is an incredibly rare combination, and the Giants will be the main beneficiary for years to come. Yes, he threw three interceptions, but he also was on the road on a short week, against the defending Super Bowl champions, on a windy night, and without his primary weapons. It doesn’t matter to us. The patience of the Giants and their fans will be rewarded.
The Giants offensive line will continue to improve, and is on an ascending path. This unit has been bad for a long time, but we saw improvement and we believe it will become a strength of this team in short order. The Giants offensive line successfully picked up a number of blitzes last night, and their communication seems much improved over last season. General manager Dave Gettleman will need to add just a bit more athleticism to this unit, but we like the trajectory.