Chase Winovich, Riley Dixon

New England defensive end Chase Winovich, left, races into the end zone after a blocked punt Thursday night during the Patriots 35-14 win over the New York Giants in Foxborough, Mass. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Try as he might, Tom Brady appeared a little stumped when asked the question that continues to hover over the New England Patriots following their latest victory.

Has the offense been good enough this season?

“We’ll see,” Brady said before pausing for a few seconds. “We’re 6-0, so try to get to 7-0.”

It was a perfectly neutral answer about a unit that clearly has things to clean up after needing a big effort from the defense Thursday night to secure a 35-14 win over the New York Giants.

The Patriots have had to make several adjustments on offense already this season with starting center David Andrews (blood clots), left tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot) and fullback James Develin (neck) all on injured reserve. They also entered Thursday missing running back Rex Burkhead (foot) and receiver Phillip Dorsett (hamstring), both inactive.

The Patriots wound up having to make even more changes on the fly during the game.

Receiver Josh Gordon left in the second quarter with a left knee injury when he tried to tackle Giants linebacker Markus Golden during Golden’s 42-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Gordon got caught under a tangle of players and had his left leg pinned under him. He needed assistance while limping off the field and didn’t return.

After tight end Matt LaCosse (knee) and fullback Jacob Johnson (shoulder) also left the game with injuries, the Patriots mostly stuck to a formation featuring one running back, one tight end and three receivers, also known as an “11” personnel grouping. According to a report, Johnson will be placed on injured reserve; it’s unlikely he’ll return this season.

The passing game meant more snaps for rookie receivers Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski. Meyers caught four passes for 54 yards and Olszewski had two catches for 34 yards.

Brady finished with his second straight 300-yard game, but he’s also been sacked seven times in two games and has thrown two of his three interceptions in those games. One of the sacks Thursday ended in Golden’s scoop-and-score return.

Brady said he hopes the extra snaps will benefit the young receivers, particularly as they get more comfortable in the playbook.

“I always said when I was young, I just was trying to be on time and not forget my playbook anywhere. These guys are kind of in a different role than that. They’re playing in games and contributing,” Brady said. “That’s what we needed. Anyone who’s on the active roster has to be ready to go. So it was just good for those guys to catch some balls and gain some confidence.”

The good news for New England’s entire offense is it has 10 days to tend to its issues before visiting the struggling New York Jets (0-4).

“It’s a game of adversity and something that we were prepared for,” receiver Julian Edelman said of the limitations the Patriots are having to confront. “It wasn’t as pretty as we wanted it but we were able to get it done. Hats off to the defense and special teams for once again doing unbelievable things. We just have to hold our bargain up more.”


The defense forced four more turnovers against the Giants, bringing its total to 16 (14 interceptions, two fumble recoveries). Linebacker Kyle Van Noy’s 22-yard fumble return for a score was the defense’s third touchdown this season. The Patriots surrendered their first passing touchdown of the season but still have only allowed three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) in 2019.


Gordon’s injury could be a big one for the receiving group if he misses any games. He’s the Patriots’ chief deep threat and his presence helps open the field for Edelman. Meyers and Olszewski have shown ability but are still building trust with Brady.


Van Noy continues to show different facets of his game each week. This time it was his fumble return for a score that gave the Patriots a much-needed, two-touchdown cushion in the fourth quarter.


Left tackle Marshall Newhouse allowed a sack and quarterback hit against the Giants. He’s given up four sacks in his five starts in place of the injured Wynn.


The Patriots have five non-offensive touchdowns. They returned two blocked punts for touchdowns, and have two interceptions and a fumble return for scores. The team record for non-offensive touchdowns in a season is nine in 1961 and 2010.

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