Late strike


Late strike

NEW YORK GIANTS (5-2) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-2)Gillette Stadium, Foxboro

Up-to-the-minute information -- play by play, stats, scoring summaries and more -- when the game begins from's In-Game Live tracker.

The facts and figures for today's game:

KICKOFF: 4:15 p.m.

WEATHER: Clear, high around 54 at kickoff, dipping into the mid to low 40s by game's end. Winds out of the southwest at between 5-10 mph. Click here for NECN's complete weather forecast.


TV ANNOUNCERS: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver

RADIO COVERAGE: 98.5 The Sports Hub, the flagship for the 37-station Patriots Radio Network.

RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Gil Santos, Gino Cappelletti, Scott Zolak

COMCAST SPORTSNET COVERAGE Tom E. Curran, Mary Paoletti, Art Martone, Danny Picard

CSN TELEVISION: Mike Giardi, Kevin Walsh

SPORTS SUNDAY (7:30 P.M. SUNDAY): Michael Felger, Troy Brown, Ty Law

CLOSE CALLS: At home against the Dolphins a week ago, the Giants trailed for much of the game, but pulled out a 20-17 win on a 25-yard TD pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz with 5:58 remaining. Manning threw for 349 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the Giants did not commit a turnover for the second game in succession. The game was the fifth straight for the Giants -- and sixth of their seven in 2011 -- in which the score was within seven points at some point during the fourth quarter.

NO OFFENSE: Last week in Pittsburgh, the Patriots suffered through a second successive subpar offensive outing and lost to the Steelers, 25-17. The Pats' 213 total yards equaled their third-lowest output since 2005, as they managed only 20:38 total time of possession. Tom Brady threw two TD passes, but was held to season lows of 198 yards and 5.66 yards per attempt.

TOUGH TO LIVE UP TO: The Giants and Patriots last met for two memorable games in the 2007 season. The Patriots secured a perfect 16-0 regular season by beating the Giants in Week 17, 38-35, as Tom Brady (50 TD passes) and Randy Moss (23 TD receptions) established single-season NFL records. The G-Men turned the tables with a shocking 17-14 upset of the Pats in Super Bowl XLII, as Eli Manning threw a game-winning 13-yard TD pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds remaining. The Giants' game-winning drive covered 83 yards and featured David Tyree's 32-yard reception that moved the ball to NE territory

ELI'S COMING: Eli Manning is on pace for career highs in completion percentage (64.7), yards per attempt (8.83), yards per game (303.9) and passer rating (102.1). Manning has been intercepted just once in 95 passes on the road, after throwing 16 picks in eight road games in 2010.

SLOWING DOWN: After averaging 148.0 receiving yards per game in the Pats' first five contests, Wes Welker totaled only 84 yards in New England's last two games. Welker had 17 catches of 15 yards or more in the first five games, but had no catch longer than 13 yards in games No. 6 and 7.

TWO OF THE BEST: Tom Brady (104.4) and Eli Manning (102.1) rank second and third, respectively, in passer rating in 2011. They are two of four quarterbacks in the league averaging at least passing 300 yards per game. Including postseason, Brady ranks second among quarterbacks with 73 wins since 2005, while Manning is fourth in that span with 68 victories.

Check back often for the latest news.

First impressions: Mitchell sees season-high in targets with Gronkowski out


First impressions: Mitchell sees season-high in targets with Gronkowski out

FOXBORO -- Here are some quick-hit impressions from Sunday's matchup between the Patriots and Rams . . . 

* How will the Patriots offense look without Rob Gronkowski? With a week to prepare for life post-Gronk, the Patriots leaned heavily on their three-receiver sets. That meant plenty of work for rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who saw a season-high in targets with 10. Tom Brady seemed more than happy to throw to Mitchell at the line of scrimmage with the Rams playing off-coverage, leading to relatively short-but-productive gains. 

* Brady seemed to take exception with something he saw from Mitchell during a drive mid-way through the fourth quarter. On the sideline, Brady looked heated while looking over pictures of the drive with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Brady was later caught on the Fox broadcast speaking to Mitchell on the bench. As well as Brady's young lockermate has performed, it was a moment that indicated he isn't doing everything perfectly just yet. 

* McDaniels got creative early with Gronkowski gone. He used the two-back pony set to start the game and handed off to Dion Lewis for four yards. He also found success with LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots running game, using four running plays on the first five snaps of the game. McDaniels then had his offense go five-wide and he sent Julian Edelman in motion. On the subsequent drive, McDaniels turned to the screen game to try to catch Los Angeles' aggressive front off-guard. 

* The Patriots offense stalled at points thanks in part to the Rams' front: Aaron Donald blew up a run play in the second quarter and on the same drive Brady was pressured on back-to-back snaps, leading to a punt. It wasn't an immaculate day from the Patriots offense, but against a talented defensive line, and without their most dynamic offensive player, they'll take it. 

* The Patriots locked things down defensively in what was an all-around dominant performance. Malcolm Butler bounced back after a difficult game versus the Jets, allowing just two catches for 12 yards on five targets until allowing a 66-yarder to Kenny Britt. He broke up two passes and picked off a gift when tight end Lance Kendricks let a pass bounce off of his hands and into the air. Devin McCourty was sound in coverage, breaking up two passes to Britt, a fellow Rutgers product. Britt later got him back for a one-yard garbage-time touchdown. Eric Rowe appeared to play well until suffering a hamstring injury that knocked him from the game. 

* Up front, Alan Branch played with abandon fresh off of finding out that he will not be suspended four games this weekend. He had three hurries, a quarterback hit and a stuffed run to continue his strong season. Rob Ninkovich (two hurries, a hit and a sack), Trey Flowers (four hurries and a hit) and Chris Long (one hurry, three hits and a sack) were pains for rookie quarterback Jared Goff. 

* Stephen Gostkowski was a perfect four-for-four on his field goals, knocking down a 48-yarder and a 45-yarder from the right hash mark and a 45-yarder from the left hash on consecutive drives. He also made both of his extra-point attempts. 

* Some special teams notes . . . Cyrus Jones muffed a punt from "weapon," as Bill Belichick called him this week, Johnny Hekker. The punt-return job was Danny Amendola's until Amendola suffered an ankle injury that knocked him from the game. That could be a critical injury to the Patriots in the kicking game. Amendola has also been a key part of the offense on third downs and in red-zone situations. Jonathan Jones was flagged twice on special teams.