Some highlights from the first quarter:
New England won the toss to start the game and deferred, giving the Giants the ball and the Patriots possession to start the second half.
On New York’s first possession they worked their way down the field, working their way down the field to the Patriots 33, but New England was able to make two straight sacks, stalling their drive and forcing a punt.
After getting pinned inside their own 10 yard line, things went poorly for New England after they caught a bad break. Â On their first play from scrimmage, Tom Brady was hit by Justin Tuck in the endzone, throwing deep downfield before he got there. Â The bad news was since there was no one in the vicinity of the throw, Brady was called for a safety. Â Just like that the Giants had a 2-0 lead and the football. Â It was the first safety since Super Bowl 25 between the Bills and Giants.
On New York’s ensuing possession they went back to work, marching back into New England territory and down to the Patriots 16 yard line, where Sterling Moore forced a fumble on Victor Cruz, and Brandon Spikes recovered. Â Unfortunately the Patriots made their second mistake of the night after being called for 12 men on the field, so the Giants retained possession.
Two plays later Eli Manning found Victor Cruz for the touchdown, capping a 9 play 78 yard drive and putting them up 9-0 w/3:24 to go in the first quarter. Â Through two possessions, Manning was a perfect 9-for-9 for 77 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots had better field position on their next possession, starting from their own 29 yard line. Â They finally got in rhythm after Brady converted a big third down to Deion Branch for 15 yards which got them to midfield, and Brady then found Wes Welker for 19 yards, followed by a well timed end around to Wes Welker just as Brady was about to be hit that picked up 10 yards down to the Giants 17 yard line.
First Quarter Passing Stats:
Tom Brady 3-of-4 for 41 yards (107.3 QB rating)
Eli Manning: 9-of-9 for 77 yards and a touchdown (139.4)