Looking back on that game, just some thoughts... - The Pats had the first legit drive of the game going, in the 1st quarter. They had gotten all the way to the Giants' 29 as the quarter ended. On 2nd and 7 from the 29, Brady threw a pass short over the middle to Branch that was intercepted by Kiwanuka. NFL Videos: Kiwanuka INT It was a bad read by Brady because he waited for Branch to get inside Kiwanuka, but by waiting it allowed Boley to sneak over and bat the ball up in the air, which Kiwanuka snagged for the pick. That's at least 3 points right there. - Later on in the first half, Gostowski missed a 27 yard field goal with 3 seconds left in the half. The Pats had the ball 1st and 10 at the NY 11, but the drive stalled at the 8. That's another 7 or, at a minimum, 3, points lost by the Pats. - Brady's 2nd pick, another ill-advised throw (he had Welker wide open short right, and Brady stared at him before throwing to Gronk) led to an interception by Deon Grant (NFL Videos: Brady's second INT). That ended up leading to a NY field goal. Another 3 points that cost NE. - The very next possession (we're in the 3rd quarter now), Brady gets hit on a 3rd and 10 play from the NE 16 by Boley, causing a fumble that the Giants recover. Next play, Jacobs runs it in. Another 7 points that cost NE. - Finally, the Pats get it in gear, marching down the field to the Giants' 14, but on 3rd down, Brady misses Ochocinco and Gostowski ends up kicking a FG. 10-3 Giants. Note: A HUGE play on that drive was the fact that the Pats actually had to punt, but the Giants muffed the punt and NE got the ball back. Big play. - Here's where the Giants really pay the Pats back for a mistake. They drive right down the field, really, for the first time all game. They have the ball on NE's 5, 3rd and goal, and Eli gets picked by Arrington. Great play by Arrington actually. See 1:15 here (NFL Videos: Giants vs. Patriots highlights. - The Pats are able to march right down the field and score a TD to tie the game at 10. After they force a Giants' punt, they go down the field again and get another FG, putting the Pats up 13-10. At this point, the Pats' offense was looking pretty good. - NY gets the ball and on this drive we have one of the key plays of the game. On 1st and 10 from the NYG 25, Eli throws deep down the left sideline. Arrington has GREAT coverage, but his back is turned. Really no contact, but the refs throw the flag anyway. See 2:13 here (). Ends up leading to a Giants' TD that gives them the lead, 17-13. - Pats get the ball back and rip down the field, culminating in a Brady-to-Gronk TD on 4th and 8 with about a minute and a half left. Pats up 20-17. Wild finish in store. - Giants' final drive. Biggest play of the drive, 3rd and 10 from the Giants' 39. Very similar spot as the Tyree play, actually. Eli throws a seam route to Ballard who is bracketed by two Pats' defenders. Ballard makes an incredible twisting catch between the two defenders, prompting Aikman to say that he may never make a better catch in his life. It's at 3:25 here (NFL Videos: Giants vs. Patriots highlights. Later in the drive, Sergio Brown commits PI to give the ball to NY on the one yard line. Eventually, Eli hits Ballard for a diving TD in the left of the end zone for the win. On that play, the Pats had Tracy White on the coverage, and he misread the play completely. Here's the lesson I take from the game: The Pats made some really bad mistakes that cost them the game. Three key turnovers (they had four overall, but one didn't really end up hurting them) that led to a net -9 points for the Pats. Two huge penalties (one which shouldn't have been called, IMO) that led to a net -14 (but let's say -10, because the Giants would likely have gotten a FG if Brown doesn't commit that late PI). That's a net -19 points on Patriots mistakes. Now, about those mistakes. It's unlikely that Sergio Brown or Tracy White will be playing significant snaps for NE in the Super Bowl. In fact, neither played a single defensive snap for the Patriots against the Ravens. Arrington, who made the other key PI penalty, certainly should play a lot this time around, but he had a pretty good game other than the penalty. Brady's fumble wasn't his fault - that was good pressure by the Giants...Pats need to make sure that doesn't happen again. But the two picks were worrisome. Why? Because Brady has had ball security issues in the playoffs recently. 2009 - vs. Ravens - Brady has 3 ints 2010 - vs. NYJ - Brady has 1 bad, bad int 2011 - vs. Den - Brady has a great game overall, but had a terrible throw for a pick 2011 - vs. Bal - Brady has 2 ints And 2011 regular season against the Giants, Brady has two bad ints. In other words, he's thrown at least one interception in each of his last 4 playoff games. It's becoming "normal" for Brady to throw a pick in a playoff game. The Pats really cannot afford to make those kinds of mistakes again. The good news is that he's totally capable of avoiding those mistakes (witness his entire 2010 season with just 4 picks). And if he does avoid them, they're likely to be in good shape.