By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
It was a wild affair on Thursday night in Foxboro, as the Patriots certainly had their share of ups and downs in a 35-14 win over the Giants.
-- RB Brandon Bolden. Chase Winovich will get all the glory for catching the ball and running it into the end zone, but Bolden made the Patriots' blocked punt happen. He pushed the line back into the trajectory of punter Riley Dixon to cause the deflection. He also scored a rushing touchdown at the goal line. But the Patriots brought Bolden back mainly for his special teams contributions, and he showed up in a major way in this one.
-- CB Stephon Gilmore. The 2018 All-Pro had a hand in two interceptions. The first one he deflected in the air for OLB John Simon to collect. The second he grabbed himself on an errant throw from Daniel Jones intended for TE Rhett Ellison. He also made a key pass breakup on a third-and-8 at the end of the third quarter with the Giants trying to put together a game-tying drive. He made four pass breakups total.
-- LB Jamie Collins. The linebacker made the biggest play of the second half as he swung a one-score game further in the Patriots' favor with a forced fumble against Giants RB Jon Hilliman. Kyle Van Noy did the rest as he scooped the ball and ran and dove for the pylon for a touchdown.
-- TE Ryan Izzo. The second-year pro took a step back after his best game as a Patriot against the Redskins. His biggest mistake came as a blocker, but it may not really be a mistake - he might just not be good enough to block an edge-rusher 1-on-1. Lorenzo Carter got around Izzo to strip Brady and cause Markus Golden's fumble recovery, which he took to the house for what at the time was a game-tying touchdown.
-- P Jake Bailey. The golden-legged rookie had his first noticeably down game as a Patriot. One of his punts went for only 32 yards and he made a bad hold on Mike Nugent's missed field goal in the third quarter. Probably a hiccup for a kid who has otherwise had an excellent start to his career.
-- Health. Thursday night games really aren't good at all for player safety, which Matthew Slater vocalized earlier in the week. It showed up big-time for the Patriots, as a whopping six players left at least temporarily due to injury: Josh Gordon, Patrick Chung, Matt LaCosse, Dont'a Hightower, Jakob Johnson, and J.C. Jackson. Expect a very long injury report in Week 7.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].