By: Ian Logue
Brady put them ahead in the fourth, but the Patriots defense finally faltered. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Brady completed two straight passes to open the third quarter, with the second pass leading to a 5 yard touchdown by Aaron Hernandez, which knotted the score at 10-10 and capped a 7-play 80 yard drive. As Brady headed to the sidelines he had a look of determination, and it’s clear that the Patriots aren’t going to go down without a fight here in Foxboro.
New England’s defense came up big on the Giants next possession, stalling the drive and forcing a punt by New York.
The Patriots got lucky on a trick play after a direct snap to Danny Woodhead nearly went off his hands, and Woodhead did manage to get the ball to Wes Welker on an end around for a 13-yard pickup. From there Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for a 27-yard pickup.
The drive later stalled on the Giants 26 on what appeared to be a miscue between Tom Brady and Chad Ochocinco, with the receiver appearing that he was going to go to the flag, but he instead turned his route to the sideline. That lead to Brady overthrowing him, and Gostkowski would go on to convert a 45-yard field goal. That gave the Patriots the lead at 13-10 with 7:13 to go in the contest. Brady and Ochocinco were seen talking on the sidelines, with Brady clearly frustrated with the previous play.
On the Giants ensuing drive, Kyle Arrington was beat by Mario Manningham, and he couldn’t turn his head around. That gave New York a 35-yard pass interference penalty, and the Giants had the ball at the Patriots 40 yard line. Manningham would later beat Arrington for a 10-yard touchdown catch, giving the Giants a 17-13 lead with 3:03 left in the game. That capped an 8-play, 85 yard drive by New York that took 4:05.
On the ensuing kick, Devin McCourty muffed the catch but recovered and took it back 24-yards to give Tom Brady the ball at their own 36.
Brady then went to the no-huddle, marching New England 49-yards on their first five plays before the two minute warning thanks to a 15-yard completion to Deion Branch, and then a 19-yard gain to Rob Gronkowski before the break. From there the Patriots went to Danny Woodhead on the first play, but after gaining a yard he was ripped down by the Giants defenders. That left him down on the sideline before walking off the field with members of New England’s training staff.
On the next play Brady threw high to Gronkowski in the endzone and the ball went right through his hands. Brady tried to hit him again on a back shoulder throw, and once again he couldn’t quite come down with it. That set up a game clinching 4th down play, with the Patriots needing 9 yards for the first as they sat at their own 14 yard line.
Brady went back to him one more time, and this time Brady was able to hit him in the front of the endzone for the touchdown after he was able to get separation from Michael Boley, and that put the Patriots up 20-17 with 1:36 left in the game.
Josh Barrett was injured on the first offensive play for the Giants, but luckily walked off under his own power after a 19-yard gain by Victor Cruz. From there Eli Manning tried to hit Cruz again, and was nearly picked off by Patrick Chung. Chung got up and ran back to the huddle after appearing to get injured, and the game got interesting from there.
Two plays later Manning hit Jeff Ballard on a leaping grab for a 28 yard gain up the seam, followed by a 12-yard scramble by Eli Manning, which took New York down to the Patriots 21. Sergio Brown then made a bad penalty after yanking Cruz to the ground and being called for a pass interference penalty, giving the Giants the ball at the 1-yard line.
Three plays later Manning threw a touchdown pass to Ballard to seal the win for the Giants, with the final score 24-20 New York.
We’ll have more on this game in a bit, along with our own reactions and analysis on what was just a gut-wrenching loss.
Tom Brady: 28-of-49 for 342 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
Wes Welker: 9 catches for 136 yards
Rob Gronkowski: 8 catches for 101 yards and a TD
Aaron Hernandez: 4 catches for 35 yards and a TD
TOTAL NET OFFENSIVE YARDS: 438 yards
Total NET rushing yards: 106 yards
Total NET passing yards: 332 yards