Two teams hoping to improve on their 2021 finishes in the NFC East and AFC East respectively will take the field on Thursday to prepare for the regular season. The New York Giants hired former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to be their head coach, and this will be the first time fans get to see him on the sidelines. The New England Patriots have been the picture of stability for decades in the NFL, as head coach Bill Belichick will enter his 23rd season with the team in 2022.
New York Giants
It will be very interesting to see how Daboll deploys his starters during the first preseason contest. It’s no secret that this is a big year in the careers of quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. The team might opt to play them a little on Thursday night to get them ready for the regular season, or might play it conservatively.
Daboll’s fit with the Giants has been generally applauded, considering that Jones has a skill set that is not unlike Josh Allen’s in Buffalo. Daboll oversaw Allen’s ascension over the last few years, and will look to put his new signal caller on the same upward trajectory. Jones does not quite have the same type of arm talent, but he is very mobile, and New York may try to move him around the pocket to keep defenses on their toes.
The new Giants head coach is also very familiar with his opponent, as Daboll spent 11 years combined as an assistant in New England over two stints.
New England Patriots
While Belichick is the gold standard for current longevity in NFL coaching, the Patriots have some questions of their own to answer about their staff. Longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left the franchise to take a head coaching position with the Las Vegas Raiders, and the void left has been a primary topic of the offseason.
Belichick re-hired a couple of assistants who had worked with him in the past; former Giants head coach Joe Judge, and former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia. Both men are rumored to be involved in the offensive gameplan, and on Thursday night, we will see who is calling plays.
New England made the postseason last year, but their campaign ended with a disappointing blowout loss at the hands of the Bills. The Patriots have had to remake their defense, and their secondary will be an area to keep an eye on. The team decided not to engage in a bidding war for cornerback J.C. Jackson, who ended up signing with the Los Angeles Chargers. Jackson had been New England’s best defensive back over the last few years, and was one of the premier players at his position in the league.
The team reunited with former star cornerback Malcolm Butler in the offseason, and we should get to see third round pick Marcus Jones play as well on Thursday night.
Quick info Patriots vs Giants
- Game: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
- When: Thursday, August 11 at 7 p.m. ET
- Stadium: Gillette Stadium
- How to watch: NFL Network
- Last game: New England Patriots 22 vs. New York Giants 20 (August 28, 2021)
Patriots vs Giants predictions & picks
- Prediction: Patriots 16, Giants 13
- Best bet: Patriots (+105)
Game summary: New York Giants 23 vs New England Patriots 21
Game insights: The Giants’ first drive of the preseason was decent, but not overly promising. Quarterback Daniel Jones completed 3 of 6 passes for 42 yards, with two of those conversions coming on third down. Backup QB Tyrod Taylor looked better, going 13 for 21 for 129 yards and a touchdown. However, Jones looked most troubling when he was sacked once and hit hard multiple times.
The Patriots’ rookie WR Tyquan Thornton showed promise, catching two passes for nine yards and a touchdown.