By: Ian Logue
Some highlights from the fourth quarter:
The Patriots made their first big mistake of the game, with Tom Brady getting pressure on a 1st down play and rather than throw it away he heaved the ball up to Rob Gronkowski who had linebacker Chase Blackburn on him and Blackburn managed to come up with the interception.
The Giants drove down to the Patriots 38 yard line, and New England caught a huge break after Mario Manningham got behind Sterling Moore, but ended up running his route too wide and ended up catching the ball out of bounds, which set up a 3rd and 5 for New York. They then were forced to burn a timeout after the game clock hit zero, and then followed it up with a false start, which backed them up an additional 5 yards. One play later Sterling Moore knocked the ball away from Mario Manningham, which had the Giants extremely upset after they felt he interfered with him. But New York would punt the ball away, and the Patriots got the ball with 9:24 to go in the quarter.
On New England’s ensuing possession a 19–yard completion got the Patriots out from their own 13 to their own 32, giving them a little more breathing room. They then ran a reverse to Wes Welker, which saw Brady put a block on Osi Umenyiora which allowed him to pick up 11 yards on the play.
A few plays later they had just the match-up they wanted and Brady took a shot downfield on a 2nd and 11 to Wes Welker, and Welker couldn’t quite come down with it. Brady then threw incomplete to Deion Branch and forced them to punt, which pinned the Giants in their own 12 yard line. with just under four minutes to play in the game.
However, the Giants went deep on their first play from scrimmage, with Eli Manning connecting with Mario Manningham down the sideline for a 38-yard gain. Bill Belichick would challenge the play, but replays reveal that he held on which gave them the ball at the 50 yard line.
From there Manning completed passes of 16, 2, and 14 yards, which got the Giants down to the Patriots 18 yard line, and that took them into the 2:00 minute warning.
After the Giants drove down to the Patriots 6, Belichick called the defense to let New York in which at least gave Brady one shot to score the winning touchdown with :57 to go in the game.
The ensuing kickoff saw them start off with the ball at their own 20 after Julian Edelman knelt in the endzone for the touchback.
The first pass saw Brady go deep to Deion Branch, throwing just over the coverage but Branch must have lost it because he dropped it. One play later Brady again went over the middle to Aaron Hernandez, and he also dropped it.
A third down sack left them with a 4th and 16, and Brady somehow escaped and found Branch for a 19 yard pickup to keep the drive going.
Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be, as the game came down to a final Hail Mary that Rob Gronkowski was inches away from coming down with but couldn’t quite get to, and the Giants would escape with a 21-17 win.
Tom Brady Fourth Quarter Passing Stats:
Brady: 6-of-15 for 64 yards 1 INT
FINAL PASSING STATS:
Brady: 27-of-41 for 276 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 INT
1st DOWN: 12-of-19 for 128 yards, 1 INT
2nd DOWN: 8-of-12 for 69 yards, 1 TD
3rd DOWN: 6-of-9 for 60 yards, 1 TD
4th Down: 1-of-1 for 19 yards