Wed Oct 9 2:24pm ET
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) works in ther pocket against the Washington Redskins during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
In this Feb. 3, 2008, file photo, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts after throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football game against the New England Patriots, in Glendale, Ariz. It was supposed the culmination of the perfect 2007 season for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and a fourth Super Bowl title since 2002. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) passes against the Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Few quarterbacks have outdueled Tom Brady and the New England Patriots the way Eli Manning has during his career.
Twice Manning has been under center to help the Giants lead fourth-quarter comebacks in the Super Bowl over New England.
In 2007, Manning spoiled the Patriots' bid for an undefeated season by leading a game-winning drive in the final two minutes that included his pass to David Tyree and his now infamous helmet-pinning catch. It set up Manning's TD pass to Plaxico Burress to give the Giants a 17-14 victory.
Manning broke New England's heart again following the 2011 season, this time engineering an 88-yard drive that ended with Ahmad Bradshaw's touchdown run in New York's 21-17 win.
''He's had a great career and certainly had great games against us,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said this week. ''I have a ton of respect for Eli and all that he's done. I wish he'd done a little bit less in a couple games against us, but I have a lot of respect for Eli.''
But when the teams meet on Thursday night, Manning likely won't get the chance to add to his past heroics against the Patriots (5-0) .
After being benched following the Giants' 0-2 start this season, the quarterback who Belichick thinks will ''absolutely'' be in the discussion for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will again be in a backup role when rookie Daniel Jones makes his fourth straight start.
The Giants (2-3) have gone 2-1 with Jones as the starter, but the 22-year-old will be walking into a matchup with the NFL's top-ranked defense without three top playmakers. Running back Saquon Barkley will miss his third straight game because of a sprained right ankle. Tight end and leading receiver Evan Engram is dealing with a knee injury and receiver Sterling Shepard is in the concussion protocol.
Jones said he's ready to take on the challenge, regardless of who suits up for New York.
''We're confident in the guys we've got,'' he said. ''I think when you look at how some of those guys have played and stepped up, I think we've got guys who are ready to go and ready to make plays. ... I know those guys will be ready.''
Jones will also be up against some recently unfavorable history for young quarterbacks when they match up with the Patriots.
New England has won 18 straight games against a first or second-year quarterback, the longest streak in NFL history.
While the Patriots are preparing for Jones, safety Devin McCourty said they're also ready if Manning does make an appearance.
''Obviously, we know, if anything, they probably have one of the best backups in the NFL,'' McCourty said. ''There's been a lot of legends that I've gotten the opportunity to play against, some to play with. Those guys, sometimes they retire or different things, younger guys come up, they start over them. So, those things always happen. But I think one thing we have to be ready for is, if he does get in the game, knowing that he'll be prepared and he'll be ready to go.''
Some things to watch for during Thursday night's matchup:
There was so much talk about the Giants' three first-round draft picks - Jones, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and cornerback DeAndre Baker, it was easy to overlook the other draft picks. One who has stepped up in recent weeks is fifth-round choice Darius Slayton. The speedy wide receiver missed a lot of training with hamstring issues. He was inactive for the first two games of the season. In the past three, the Auburn product has been targeted 12 times by Jones. He has caught nine passes for 157 yards, a 17.4 yard average. He had the only TD last week, a diving 35-yard catch.
The biggest difference between the teams - besides talent - is turnovers. The Patriots lead the NFL at plus-7. They have intercepted 11 passes and recovered one fumble. The offense has thrown three interceptions - only two by Brady - and lost two fumbles. The Giants are close to the bottom, tied for 29th at minus-5. They have had five passes intercepted and lost six fumbles. The defense has five picks and recovered its first fumble Sunday.
PASS AT YOUR PERIL
The Patriots' defense is ranked No. 1 against the pass this season, allowing just 160 yards per game. It's also the only defense in the NFL yet to allow a passing touchdown.
One thing that may complicate both teams' ability to throw is the weather. The forecast calls for temperatures in the low 50s, with a 100 percent chance of rain. Winds are expected to be between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts possibly reaching more than 40 mph.
Dallas Cowboys WR Randall Cobb (back, hip) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 6 game.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield appeared to injure his lower back in the third quarter against the Seahawks. Mayfield was taken to the locker room for evaluation, but he promptly returned without missing a single snap and is currently back in the game. It appears Mayfield will tough this one out, but his Week 7 status needs to be monitored.
New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.
Fantasy Spin: Thomas likely will receive a handful of targets against the Dallas Cowboys, but fantasy players may be able to find better options for their lineups this week.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly went down in Week 6 against the Browns with an injury to his achilles. The injury was non-contact, and Dissly was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game. At the time of the injury, Dissly was just targeted just once and failed to haul it in. Luke Willson is in at tight end for the rest of the afternoon, and currently has one catch for five yards. Dissly's Week 7 status is in doubt and needs to be monitored.
Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk (ankle) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 6 game.
Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson (back) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson likely will receive a lot of touches during the game despite the injury and should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (groin) is officially active for the team's Week 6 game.
Fantasy Spin: Kittle is one of the best right ends in the NFL and is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
The Panthers Defense brutalized the Tampa offense during the Week 6 matchup in London. With seven sacks on the day, including receiving 2.5 from Gerald McCoy against his former team, Carolina was relentless by also forcing quarterback Jameis Winston to throw five interceptions. With a week off, the team will have a stiff challenge against a sound 49ers offense in Week 8.
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen was targeted seven times against the Buccaneers on Sunday and finished with four catches for 52 yards. After failing to record a catch against the Jaguars in Week 5 while recording just two in Week 4, the veteran's performance in London was a slight improvement. Nonetheless, Olsen has been a disappointment from a fantasy perspective and should only be expected to produce efficient performances on sporadic occasions throughout the remainder of the season regardless of who is under center for the Panthers.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Dissly missed last season with an injury to his right knee, so this is a brand new injury to his left Achilles. We don't know the severity yet, but it was bad enough to immediately rule him out for the rest of the game. It took him a couple of minutes to get off the turf and it sure seems like this is a serious injury. Stay tuned. At tight end, Luke Willson will take over and he's an athletic TE who may become a threat.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber was unable to get anything going against the Panthers in Week 6, gaining just 28 yards on 10 carries on the day. Barber did get more carries than backfield mate Ronald Jones II, but could not find any holes and was otherwise a non-factor in what turned out to be a pass-heavy game. Barber has established himself through the first 6 weeks of the season as borderline unstartable in any fantasy format and should be treated as such. The Bucs have a bye in Week 7 before another tough matchup against the Titans in Tennessee in Week 8.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was unable to get going Sunday, gaining only 10 yards on four carries, but did score a touchdown to save his day. Jones again fell victim to the Bucs unpredictable backfield rotation after starting to seemingly separate himself from the pack, seeing fewer snaps and touches than fellow backfield mate Peyton Barber in Week 6. It will be hard for fantasy owners to trust any of the Bucs running backs until something changes in that backfield. Until then they can both be considered very low-end bye week fill-in options. The Bucs are off in Week 7 before a tough matchup against the Titans in Week 8.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston disappointed fantasy owners in a big way Sunday, completing 30-of-54 passes for 400 yards and a touchdown to go along with an absurd five interceptions. Winston wasn't given an inch on the day, getting sacked seven times and losing a fumble in the process. Anything Winston did through the first four weeks to gain fantasy owner's confidence has been thrown out the window over the last two weeks. This shouldn't come as the biggest surprise though, as inconsistency has been the theme of Winston's career. The Bucs have a bye in Week 7 before a tough matchup against the Titans in Tennessee, Winston will slot in as a mid-range QB2 for that matchup.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel recorded four catches for 70 yards, while also recording a pair of touchdowns against Tampa Bay on Sunday. Samuel got it done in all areas in London, rushing for a score midway through the third quarter before catching a touchdown off of a 13-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Allen in the fourth. With Cam Newton (foot) potentially returning after the Week 7 bye, the 23-year-old will continue to split the bulk of the targets with fellow wideout D.J. Moore and running back Christian McCaffrey regardless of who is under center.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore recorded 73 yards off of seven catches during the win over the Buccaneers in London. With 10 targets on the day, Moore kept it going after recording six receptions for 91 yards against the Jaguars in Week 5. The quarterback situation remains a mystery as the team heads toward the bye, but the 22-year-old should remain involved regardless of who is under center while continuing to split the majority of the targets with Curtis Samuel, who finished with two touchdowns on the day.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey recorded just 57 total yards against Tampa Bay on Sunday, but still managed to find the end zone twice in Week 6. While McCaffrey was stuffed by the Buccaneers Defense by rushing for an abysmal 31 yards on 22 attempts, he offset his shoddy numbers with a touchdown run late in the first quarter, while acquiring his second off of a 25-yard pass from Kyle Allen. With the team heading into a bye, the potential MVP will look to keep it going in Week 8 against the 49ers.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen recorded his fourth straight win on Sunday against Tampa Bay in London. While Jameis Winston recorded five interceptions on the day, Allen was able to get it done by finishing with 227 yards and two touchdowns on 20-for-32 passing. With the Panthers heading into a bye, things will get interesting for the Panthers if Cam Newton (foot) can return for the Week 8 matchup with San Francisco. Fantasy managers will want to monitor the situation, but Allen should remain on rosters until Newton is officially back in the mix as a starter.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (ankle) is active against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kamara gets a juicy matchup in Week 6, though he might be limited. Even if he has a smaller role, he should still put up RB1 numbers against Jacksonville.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) is inactive against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6 while tight end Mark Andrews (shoulder) will play. Andrews is a TE1 with upside, as quarterback Lamar Jackson will lean on him in the passing game. Ravens slot receiver Willie Snead could be a sneaky sleeper without Brown in the fold.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) is officially inactive for Week 6. His absence should give the rest of the Kansas City offense more opportunities. In a likely shootout against the Houston Texans, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson are flex plays while Tyreek Hill is back and ready to resume his WR1 role.