FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said his defense was on the wrong end of two "tough" pass interference calls in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Giants.
Cornerback Kyle Arrington was penalized for 35 yards, and safety Sergio Brown was flagged for 20 yards on the last two drives, respectively. Each call played a major role in the Giants' last two touchdowns, which gave them the lead both times.
"You'd have to ask [the officials] about it," Belichick said. "They called it. The last two calls were tough."
Arrington fell behind wide receiver Mario Manningham up the left sideline, and Eli Manning underthrew the ball. As Arrington tried to catch up, he collided with Manningham before the arrival of the ball. It moved the Giants to the New England 40-yard line.
The Patriots have been guilty of similar calls this season, and cornerback Devin McCourty said it's a tough situation for a defensive back to chase down a receiver in that situation.
"It's probably the toughest play when a guy goes deep, and not many guys in this league are slow, so you really have to start running," McCourty said. "Sometimes you're able to get your head around. Sometimes you've just got to try to play his hand. Each situation is different. That pass interference call is always going to go either way. As a defender, it's tough. Sometimes, the ref sees it as pass interference. Sometimes, he sees it as no call. You've just got to try to continue to play and get it out of there."
Brown's penalty might have been the most significant play of the entire game. Manning threw the ball to wide receiver Victor Cruz in the end zone, and Brown and Cruz got their feet tangled. Brown, though, also collided with Cruz, perhaps enough to warrant the penalty that put the ball on the 1-yard line with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.
"Our feet got tangled up, and shoot, they called it on me," Brown said. "I got my head back, looking at the ball, tried to make a play on the ball and I guess we got tangled up. I was looking at the ball trying to make a play on it. I mean, our feet got tangled up and they called it on me."
Brown wasn't pleased with the call.
"I was surprised," he said. "I was looking at the ball. I was playing the ball. I didn't think they were going to call it."