After a 35-14 victory against the New York Giants, the New England Patriots were still faced with many questions.
Despite the 21-point victory, many weaknesses were confirmed. These struggles included the lack of depth at wide receiver, lack of talent on the offensive line, and a former star on the defensive line not happy with his role.
With that in mind, here are the three studs and three duds of Thursday night.
Stud: Brandon Bolden
It’s not often that someone with only five carries gets counted as a stud. I wanted to stray away from the obvious choices of Julian Edelman and Tom Brady for this one. Bolden had three carries for 23 yards and a touchdown along with two receptions for 22 yards. From the eye test, he looked like the best running back on the field for New England.
Michel has continued to struggle and Bolden made the most of his opportunities, running hard and ultimately proving to be a better goal-line back option than Michel.
Dud: Ryan Izzo
Not many seventh-round picks get the opportunity to start the first six games of their sophomore season, yet here Izzo is. The only problem is he has been a candidate for the duds list for pretty much all six games. He has not shown he is talented enough to be a starting tight end and has yet to show much improvement. His blocking has been the biggest weakness for the sophomore tight end, and that continued into Thursday night. His run-blocking has cost the Patriots multiple big runs, and last night his pass blocking cost the Patriots six points as his missed block led to Brady’s strip-sack which was returned by the Giants for a touchdown.
Stud: Kyle Van Noy
A sack, two QB hits, and a diving touchdown put Van Noy on the stud list. He was relatively quiet beyond that, only recording two tackles. But the impact made on the sack and touchdown was enough to put him on this list. He’s been one of the Patriots best players through six games and that continued on Thursday night.
Dud: Marshall Newhouse
Speaking of players that can be put on the dud-list just about every game, Newhouse might be leading the “dud” category. Since coming over to New England when Isaiah Wynn went down, he has been simply awful. The Giants pass-rushers were getting passed him all game including their first sack where Markus Golden went right by him. The Patriots need to find a way to protect the blind-side of their 42-year-old quarterback, and it doesn’t look like Newhouse is the answer.
Stud: Stephon Gilmore:
To put it simply, the Giants receivers had no answer getting away from Stephon Gilmore. Although Golden Tate had a big game, his six catches came against either Jason McCourty or Jonathan Jones. Gilmore locked up everyone he went against and also had an interception. He hasn’t been great the past couple of weeks, but he showed Thursday why many consider him to be the best corner in the league.
Dud: Ted Karras
Another line issue for the Patriots. Karras wasn’t great and clearly is nowhere close to David Andrews. He had a bad snap as well that almost caused Tom Brady to fumble –– and the run-blocking was sub-par. Karras’ poor play, along with the injuries to the fullback position, have significantly hurt Sony Michel’s numbers, as he also had a sub-par game last night.