Both teams opened on the conservative side, and the Patriots will need to open things up to win. Here is what the team needs to accomplish in the second half to win.
Tom Brady will have plenty of opportunities with the Patriots defense forcing so many Giants punts. The Patriots have done a nice job staying balanced with run and passing plays, which will open Brady up for some downfield passing opportunities off of play action in the second half.
4. Win the special teams battle.
With both teams combining for 10 first-half punts, whichever team owns this area of play will have a healthy advantage in the second half. Strong punt coverage will be essential to winning the field position game.
3. Pressure Eli Manning.
The Patriots have done a nice job of limiting Manning's opportunities to throw downfield. With the worst pass defense in the NFL in terms of yards per game (323/game entering the contest), the Patriots will need to supply some pressure to continue limiting New York's passing yards.
2. Get Brady on track.
You won't see many halves of play where Brady is held under 100 yards passing (which he eclipsed right before the two-minute warning). The Giants' defense has done a nice job keeping the Patriots' running game under control without stacking the box. Something will have to give in the second half.
1. Hope Wes Welker returns, then target him.
Welker has been targeted four times in the first half by Brady. The result? Four catches for 54 yards. Welker was shaken up near the half, but hopefully the Patriots can go back to the Wes well.