Patriots Live Blog: Eli Manning Leads Another Game-Winning Drive to Beat Patriots 24-20


Patriots Live Blog: Eli Manning Leads Another Game-Winning Drive to Beat Patriots 24-20

Final, Giants 24-20: The Patriots lost their second straight game after the defense blew two leads and gave up two touchdowns in the final three minutes. The Patriots are now in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East, and they've got the the Jets on the road next week. Plenty more coming on throughout the night.

Fourth quarter, 0:15, Giants 24-20: So much for all the goodwill the Patriots' defense built up in the first half. The Giants flew down the field and benefited from another bad pass interference penalty — this one from Sergio Brown in the end zone — to score another go-ahead touchdown. I'll have more to analyze on this drive later, but the one thing that stuck out was Tracy White being on the field. White got beat by Jake Ballard for the touchdown, and White is a special teams guy. I have absolutely no idea why he was out there for this series because he never plays on defense.

The Patriots have no timeouts and need a miracle.

Fourth quarter, 1:36, Patriots 20-17: Tom Brady is so unfazed by these situations that it's just amazing. He threw a fourth-down touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, who sat in a soft spot in the end zone in Michael Boley's zone and scored a 14-yard touchdown. This came after two poor throws in the drive, one to Gronkowski, and Brady has been fighting through something.

Of course, it's not over. The Giants have two timeouts, and Eli Manning has done this before, including just a few minutes ago.

Fourth quarter 3:03, Giants 17-13: Wow, just a beautiful throw from Eli Manning, and a great job on the footwork in the back of the end zone by Mario Manningham for a 10-yard touchdown on third-and-5. Manningham beat Kyle Arrington to the back of the end zone, and there wasn't much that Arrington could do. However, Arrington's bad pass interference penalty earlier in the drive was the key play, as he never turned around while trying to defend Manningham, and it was a 35-yard penalty that put the Giants at the New England 40.

Manningham was guilty of a stupid taunting penalty after the play, and the Giants will have to kick from their 20. The Patriots have three timeouts, and they'll need to find the end zone here. This could be one of those season-turning drives.

Fourth quarter, 7:08, Patriots 13-10: The Patriots have their first lead of the day after Stephen Gostkowski's 45-yard field goal. Tom Brady has been off in a bad way in this game, and he's actually missed Chad Ochocinco on some great chances. Even though Ochocinco has been held without a catch, he's had his best game to this point, it seems. But if Brady can't hit Welker, he can't hardly hit anyone in this game. Now, it's time for the defense to hold this lead. This would be a huge confidence booster after the week they've had.

Fourth quarter, 11:03, 10-10: Another big series for the defense to force a punt and get the offense the ball at the New England 21. Again, more man coverage, and they even sent a heavy blitz on third down to force an incompletion. This is the type of stuff I've been calling for them to try, and it's worked in this one. Give the corners and linebackers man assignments and let the safeties stay back. It's been so much more effective than the conservative zone approach.

Fourth quarter, 14:28, 10-10: Just when you want to count the Patriots out, they find their stride. Tom Brady hit Aaron Hernandez for a five-yard touchdown, and Hernandez made a couple nice moves to evade a tackle in the right flat before diving into the end zone. Nice way to celebrate his 22nd birthday.

End of third quarter, Giants 10-3: Here come the Patriots, who have moved the ball to the New York 16. Tom Brady has hit Wes Welker twice for 55 yards on this drive to change field position in a hurry, and Welker has eight catches for 127 points through three quarters.

Third quarter, 2:09, Giants 10-3: Hey, Eli Manning showed up. Andre Carter had a free run at Manning off an obvious blown assignment, and Manning lofted the ball into the end zone for Kyle Arrington to record his fifth interception of the season. This was after the Giants had a first-and-goal on the 2. Huge wasted opportunity. Let's see if the Patriots can capitalize on offense.

Third quarter, 3:54, Giants 10-3: Unreal, Julian Edelman fumbled a punt to give the Giants the ball at the New England 40. Edelman should have called for a fair catch and then tried to keep the play alive and lost it. That's not the way you keep your job. The backlash after this game is going to get ugly if the Giants score here.

Third quarter, 5:29, Giants 10-3: The Patriots are on the board after Stephen Gostkowski's 32-yard field goal. On the first play after the fumble, Tom Brady had Chad Ochocinco open on a deep post, but Brady didn't put enough zip on the throw, and it was knocked away in the end zone at the last second. Would have been good for a 33-yard touchdown.

Third quarter, 8:19, Giants 10-0: That's the break the Patriots needed. Aaron Ross fumbled the punt, and Rob Ninkovich recovered at the New York 33. The New England offense had been booed off the field for going three-and-out, but the crowd quickly turned those boos into cheers after the muffed punt.

Third quarter 9:10, Giants 10-0: Wow, that happened quickly. Tom Brady fumbled after getting hit by Michael Boley, and the Giants recovered at the New England 10 (it looked close, but Jacquian Williams caught it in the air to eliminate any doubt).

And on the next play, Brandon Jacobs ran 10 yards for an easy touchdown. Albert Haynesworth got blown out of the hole, and Patrick Chung couldn't get off a Victor Cruz block, helping Jacobs easily get into the end zone.

Crazy to think, but this looks like an insurmountable 10-point lead with the way the Patriots are playing.

Brandon Spikes went into the locker room with a knee injury, and his return is questionable. That would be a bad loss in this one because he has played very well.

Third quarter, 10:09, Giants 3-0: Lawrence Tynes kicked a 22-yard field goal to finally put some points on the board in this one. That drive was keyed by two very good throws — one that was perfectly lofted over Rob Ninkovich to Victor Cruz, who broke off a route to beat Devin McCourty, and the next to Jake Ballard for 30 yards between the safeties. Credit Kyle Arrington for making a big play to knock aside a third-down pass to Victor Cruz over the middle in the end zone.

Third quarter, 13:38, 0-0: Tom Brady threw his second interception on an underthrown ball that was forced into Rob Gronkowski. Safety Deon Grant undercut the throw, which needed more loft on it. The receivers are again struggling to beat man coverage.

Third quarter, 14:56, 0-0: Danny Woodhead returned the kickoff to the 21, and the Patriots will try to score, which clearly takes effort in this game.

Halftime, 0-0: Unreal, Stephen Gostkowski missed a 27-yard field goal, and the Patriots won't score in the first half. What a strange, strange game this has been. That was a very good drive from Tom Brady, who completed his first six passes for 72 yards to get the Patriots in the red zone. But his next pass was tipped at the line, and his final attempt for Aaron Hernandez sailed a little wide.

That was just the 10th time in 107 career attempts of less than 40 yards that Gostkowski has missed, and it's only the fourth miss in 49 attempts from 20-29 yards. So yea, that's rare.

The Patriots obviously have to be thrilled with the defensive performance of the first half, and the offense can probably build upon that last drive where they hurried the pace and opened it up. I'm thinking that's the pace they've got to set when they receive the second-half kickoff.

Wes Welker was injured on that drive but didn't miss a play. It looked like he got his wind knocked out.

Dan Connolly also went back in at center.

Second quarter, 3:20, 0-0: No big deal, just the 10th punt of the game after Phillip Adams blanketed Ramses Barden. Someone was saying the aformentioned scrum happened after Matt Light gave Osi Umenyiora a cheap shot, so that could be why Light was stuck at the bottom of the pile.

Second quarter, 4:45, 0-0: It's not a real game until the Patriots' offensive linemen are involved in some kind of fight. I couldn't really tell what happened there, but that was as vicious as anything I've seen so far with this team this season. Looks like some good old-fashioned hatred between these two lines.

Ryan Wendell replaced Dan Connolly at center. I don't know if it was due to injury or performance but Connolly looks fine on the sideline.

The Giants take over at their own 49 after the punt.

Second quarter 6:28, 0-0: The Patriots' inside linebackers are playing more man, which has taken away the space over the middle, but there has been an underneath zone element. It's much more aggressive than last week's approach, and it's refreshing to see.

The defensive line has played excellent so far, and Brandon Deaderick is having a solid game at left end. I truly wondered if Ellis was inactive more due to performance than the rib in this game, and the way Deaderick has played kind of furthers that thought.

The Patriots start at their 11 after the punt.

Second quarter, 10:53, 0-0: Remember when the Patriots and Giants went to Gillette and a defensive battle broke out?

Well, it wasn't on the defense this time. Rob Gronkowski and Danny Woodhead dropped first-down passes on consecutive plays to halt that drive, and the Giants have it at their own 25 after the punt.

On third down, Brady tipped Dan Connolly's high snap, stayed alive and hit Woodhead in the hands, but those hands weren't ready for the ball.

Second quarter, 13:02, 0-0: Mark Anderson got blown up at the line and found himself in the second level of the defense. By the time he collected his balance, he read Eli Manning and dove to break up a third-down pass. Good rush by Phillip Adams there, too. This is a completely different Patriots defense. They're much, much better over the middle of the field, mostly because Jerod Mayo has replaced Gary Guyton and Brandon Spikes is playing well.

Josh Barrett subbed in for James Ihedigbo on that series. I was wondering if that would happen in this game.

The Giants' lone first down on that drive came when Spikes was called for offsides, but the officials missed the right guard flinch before the snap.

Second quarter, 14:52, 0-0: Tom Brady tried to throw a pass to Deion Branch through tight coverage on the first play of the quarter, and it was intercepted. Linebacker Michael Boley knocked the ball in the air while reaching back with his arm, and it deflected into the hands of Mathias Kiwanuka. New York takes over at its own 28.

End of first quarter, 0-0: You're probably rich right now if you bet these two teams would play a scoreless first quarter. The Patriots are putting together the best drive of the game for either team, and they've got it at the New York 30 to start the second quarter.

Two plays ago, Tom Brady scrambled for five yards on third-and-4, and it was the first third-down conversion for either team — the Pats had been 0-for-2 and the Giants are 0-for-3.

First quarter, 3:49, 0-0: The Patriots are actually starting outside of their own 10-yard line, so that's an improvement. The third-down stop came after Rob Ninkovich drew a double team on the outside and Gerard Warren pushed through the inside of the line to for an Eli Manning incompletion, and the Pats get it back at their own 17 after the punt.

First quarter, 5:20, 0-0: The Giants are winning the field position battle after the second New England punt puts New York at its 36.

I think the Patriots tried to get too cute on that last series. On second-and-4, they ran BenJarvus Green-Ellis behind Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder and Rob Gronkowski for three yards. On third-and-1, they subbed Green-Ellis for Danny Woodhead and had him run it up the gut for a one-yard loss. If you've got no problem showing run on second down, don't hide from it on the more important down, especially if the plan is to go up the middle.

First quarter, 7:12, 0-0: Brandon Spikes levied a gigantic hit on tight end Jake Ballard to stop him shy of a first down, and the crowd has been going crazy while watching the replays. That's been the hit of the year so far, no doubt.

First quarter, 10:53, 0-0: BenJarvus Green-Ellis ripped off an 18-yard run on the first play, when the Patriots used three tackles, but things stalled out after that. Sebastian Vollmer got the start at right tackle. I wonder if there's going to be a rotation at that spot in this game.

After Zoltan Mesko's punt, the Giants start at their own 22.

First quarter, 13:23, 0-0: The Patriots' defense held strong and forced a punt. Julian Edelman was out there in his old role, so there was no benching for his arrest. New England starts at its own 5-yard line.

Phillip Adams, who played fairly well last week, was the third cornerback on that series. Antwaun Molden was benched in the second half against the Steelers.

And to the guy who is wearing a No. 12 Michigan jersey, well, if the intent was to buy a Tom Brady throwback, you wasted your money.

First quarter, 14:55, 0-0: The Giants start it off at their own 23. Jerod Mayo is starting at inside linebacker with Brandon Spikes. Brandon Deaderick and Andre Carter are the defensive ends. Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love are the defensive tackles. Rob Ninkovich is the outside linebacker. Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington are the cornerbacks. Patrick Chung and James Ihedigbo are the safeties.

4:14 p.m.: The Giants will receive the opening kickoff. Interestingly, Logan Mankins joined Vince Wilfork, Devin McCourty, Jerod Mayo and Matt Slater for the coin toss (Tom Brady never goes out there). Mankins is a new addition. I wonder if they added him as a captain.

4:12 p.m.: A flyover followed the national anthem, and then "Highway to the Danger Zone" played on the PA system. Always a good time.

4:07 p.m.: There are three American flags on the field, and the Patriots just took the field. This thing will be under way in about 10 minutes.

4:03 p.m.: The Jets are closing in on a victory against the Bills, so the Patriots can take sole possession of first place in the division with a win against the Giants. Otherwise, there will be a three-way tie for first place heading into next week's game against the Jets. Or the Patriots could tie, which would be boring.

3:54 p.m.: A couple fighter jets just flew past the stadium. I've never seen that before. I am guessing it's because the Patriots are honoring veterans during the game.

2:53 p.m.: Running back Kevin Faulk (knee), wide receiver Taylor Price (hamstring), defensive lineman Shaun Ellis (rib), linebacker Jermaine Cunningham (not on injury report), offensive lineman Donald Thomas (not on injury report), quarterback Ryan Mallett (not on injury report) and linebacker Dane Fletcher (thumb) are inactive.

Defensive lineman Ron Brace will make his 2011 debut, and wide receiver Julian Edelman is in the lineup after being a healthy scratch last week. Running back Shane Vereen and safety Josh Barrett are also back in the lineup.

2:42 p.m.: The Patriots' medical staff never monitored anyone during warmups, which is a strong indication there were no game-time decisions. Therefore, everyone's availability would have been determined earlier Sunday morning, including Taylor Price.

2:21 p.m.: Julian Edelman is jogging around the field in game pants, so it looks like he'll be in the lineup, too. Edelman was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career last week and then was arrested for indecent assault and battery.

Danny Woodhead, Brian Hoyer, Shane Vereen and Jeff Tarpinian have also taken the field to loosen up.

2:13 p.m.: Taylor Price is loosening up his hamstring on the field right now, and there's no one from the medical staff in sight, which is typically a strong sign sign that he's healthy enough to play.

1:59 p.m.: BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the first non-specialist to take the field for the Patriots. He's jogging around, and he's wearing his game pants, so he's good to go despite the toe injury.

1:46 p.m.: There's not much going on just yet. Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko and Danny Aiken are warming up on the field along with several Giants. But there's no sign of Taylor Price or anyone who might be a game-time decision.

1:28 p.m.: The video boards here always have the Red Zone Channel on when there are other games being played, but there's a variation of that right now. The video board in the open end zone has the Red Zone Channel, but the one in the closed end zone has the Jets-Bills game on. Obviously, with its importance in relation to the Patriots, it gets its own screen.

12:55 p.m.: The weather is about as perfect as you could hope for at the beginning of November. It's fairly warm, and there's not a cloud in the sky.

Saturday night's news about Taylor Price's hamstring is a little disconcerting. The team added him to the injury report with a hamstring issue after the walkthrough. Price has obviously been limited by his hamstring this season, but this was the week when the coaching staff talked him up, and Price said he was excited to get a greater role in the offense against the Giants. Of course, it could still happen if he plays, but there's a larger issue here.

I've seen these pregame walkthroughs in the preseason, and they're incredibly boring. Some players wear sandals — that's how slow the pace is for these things. So, for Price to hurt his hamstring at it, well, it's got to be frustrating for the team. Just when he's about to potentially get an increased role, he gets hurt during a walkthrough.

If, in a worst-case scenario, Price doesn't play, I've got to wonder if he'll ever get a chance to get over the hump and contribute in a meaningful game.

8:00 a.m. ET: This was one of those weeks the Patriots might remember for a long time, but they can put it to rest with a turnaround performance Sunday against the Giants, who lead the NFC East with a 5-2 record.

The Patriots went to work on a number of things in practice this week, but there were two areas in particular that they've got to shore up after last week's loss in Pittsburgh. They've got to improve their pass defense over the middle of the field, and their offense has to do a better job of beating man coverage, especially when Tom Brady gets pressured.

The Giants have the personnel to exploit each area, and Tom Coughlin's familiarity with Bill Belichick makes it a certainty he'll press upon each weakness Sunday. This promises to be a very good test for New England.

Stay with throughout the day for complete coverage of this game.

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