PHOTO GALLERY: Nov. 6, 2011 Foxborough, Mass. New England Patriots 20 - New York Giants 24. Images…
Giants Down Patriots 24-20
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (AP)
The New England Patriots need to stop giving Eli Manning time to make a comeback.
Manning led the New York Giants on an 80-yard drive and threw a touchdown pass with 15 seconds left to beat the Patriots 24-20 on Sunday.
It was a remarkably similar ending to the Giants' win over the Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl, when Manning threw a touchdown pass with 35 seconds to go and New York ruined New England's perfect season.
This time it was just a regular season game, but it still stung the Patriots.
''The offense put it in our hands and we just couldn't make enough plays,'' cornerback Kyle Arrington said.
Tom Brady put New England up 20-17 with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski with 1:36 remaining, but the defense couldn't stop Manning during the Giants' final drive.
The Giants capitalized after New England's Sergio Brown was called for pass interference on a third down with 35 seconds left. It was a 20-yard penalty that set up the Giants with first-and-goal from the 1.
''I was looking at the ball the whole time. They just called it,'' Brown said. ''I was surprised. They come and tell us as long as we're looking at the ball we can play the ball. I don't want to sit back and let him catch it. I want to catch the ball, too. Nothing I can do about it now.''
The defense stopped the Giants twice, but Manning found Jake Ballard in the end zone with 15 seconds to go and that wasn't enough time for Brady and the Patriots to answer.
''We obviously played a very poor first half but we battled back and we battled through some tough adversity there and put ourselves in position. They made some great plays,'' Brady said. ''You can't expect just to walk over teams every week. They were a little bit better than we were today.''
The Patriots (5-3) have lost consecutive games for the first time in two years and for just the third time since the beginning of the 2003 season.
The loss put New England into a three-way tie for the AFC East lead with the Bills and Jets, who they visit next Sunday night.
It also ended several impressive streaks - wins in an NFL-record 31 regular-season starts at home for Brady and in 20 regular-season home games for the Patriots.
''This was a tough game. We had our chances,'' New England coach Bill Belichick said. ''The Giants are a good football team. They did a good job and we've just got to do a little better than we did.''
The Giants won for the sixth time in seven games despite injuries that kept their top rusher, Ahmad Bradshaw, and leading receiver, Hakeem Nicks, from making the trip. But New York's defense pressured Brady much of the game, coming up with two sacks and two interceptions. New England also lost two fumbles.
Manning completed 20 of 39 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Brady was 28 for 49 for 342 yards and two touchdowns.
The offense was so bad that fans booed when Brady threw an incompletion toward Danny Woodhead with 8:30 left in the third quarter. They cheered on the next play when Aaron Ross fumbled Zoltan Mesko's punt and Rob Ninkovich recovered at the New York 33.
But the Patriots settled for a 32-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that cut the lead to 10-3.
''We've got to get the ball in the end zone when we get down close,'' Brady said.
The Giants punted on the next series and got the ball back when Spencer Paysinger recovered Julian Edelman's fumble.
Manning moved the Giants from the Patriots 40 to a third-and-goal at the 5, then threw an interception to Arrington in the end zone. Seven plays later, Brady hit Aaron Hernandez for a 5-yard touchdown, tying the game at 10 just 32 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Giants had much better field position in the first half, starting at their 23, 22, 36, 28, 25 and 49. But all those series ended with punts.
The Patriots began at their 5, 6, 17, 20, 11 and 9. They punted four times and lost one interception before wasting their best scoring opportunity when Gostkowski pulled his 27-yard field goal attempt to the left with 3 seconds remaining. On that drive, the Patriots had five first downs, matching their total to that point.
Their next-best series of the half began at their 17 and ended on the first play of the second quarter. With the ball at the New York 29, Brady's pass was tipped by Michael Boley and intercepted by Mathias Kiwanuka, who returned it to the Giants 28.
Notes: The Giants have forced at least one turnover in 21 straight regular season games. ... Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had a sack for the fifth straight game. ... The Giants have 14 players remaining from the 2008 Super Bowl team, the Patriots have seven.
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