Manning Leads Giants To Huge Win Over Patriots

Published on: 7th November, 2011

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FOXBORO, Mass. – Notes and statistics from the Giants’ 24-20 victory over the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium.

The Giants won their third consecutive game, all against AFC East teams, and for the sixth time in seven games to improve to 6-2 at midseason. This is the second year in a row and the fifth time in eight years under Tom Coughlin that they reached the halfway point of the season with a 6-2 record (also in 2005, ’06 and ’07). They were 7-1 in 2008 and 5-3 in 2004 and 2009.

The Giants rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to win, just as they did in their previous victories over Buffalo and Miami.

The Giants scored the game-winning touchdown with 15 seconds remaining when Eli Manning threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ballard, ending an eight-play, 80-yard drive. It was the latest the Giants scored a game-winning, come-from-behind touchdown since Oct. 23, 2005, when Manning threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer to give the Giants a 24-23 victory over Denver. That score capped a 15-play, 83-yard drive. It was the latest the Giants scored game-winning points of any kind since Sept. 20, 2009, when Lawrence Tynes kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired in Dallas to beat the Cowboys, 33-31, in the first game at Cowboys Stadium.

The Giants’ winning drive was reminiscent of their game-winning drive vs. the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. That was a 12-play, 83-yard march that took 2:07 and finished with a Manning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds remaining.

The Giants’ victory ended three significant Patriots streaks. New England had won 20 consecutive regular season home games, 18 straight home games vs. NFC teams and they had won 31 regular season games in a row started by quarterback Tom Brady.

The Giants were out-gained, 438-361, ending their streak of 400-yard games at three.

The Giants had a season-high four takeaways – two interceptions and two fumble recoveries – and two turnovers. The four takeaways was their highest total since the 2010 season finale in Washington, where they recovered three fumbles and intercepted a pass.

The teams were scoreless at halftime. It was the first 0-0 halftime tie in a Giants game since Oct. 3, 2004 at Green Bay. The Giants won that game, 14-7.

The Giants have been tied at halftime in four of their eight games this season. In Tom Coughlin’s first seven seasons as head coach, they were tied at the half five times in the regular season – twice from 2008-10 – and once in the playoffs. 

The Giants were shutout in the opening two quarters for the first time since Sept. 19, 2010 at Indianapolis and did not score a first-half touchdown for the first time since Nov. 28, 2010 vs. Jacksonville.

It was the first time the Giants did not allow a point in the first half since Dec. 5, 2010 vs. Washington. The Patriots had not been shutout in the first half since Dec. 10, 2006 at Miami.

Tom Coughlin moved into a tie for 20th on two significant NFL coaching lists. The victory was Coughlin’s 139th regular season triumph, tying him with Tony Dungy for 20th on the league’s career list.

Including his eight postseason victories, Coughlin has 147 wins. That ties him with former Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher for 20th on that list.

Manning completed 20 of 39 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns in the final 3:03 and one interception. He played without his leading receiver, Hakeem Nicks, who was inactive with a hamstring injury.

Manning started his 111th consecutive regular season, moving into a tie for the fourth-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history. The man he tied was his opposite number in the game, Brady, who started 111 consecutive games from 2001-2008.

This was the fifth time this season, and the third game in a row, that Manning has led the Giants back from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to win a game. He has now done it 19 times in his career.

Manning was not sacked for the second time this season (also vs. Buffalo on Oct. 16). Dating back to last season, the Giants have won their last five games in which they did not allow a sack.

Manning’s 250 yards increased his career total to 25,023. He is the second player in Giants history with 25,000 passing yards. Phil Simms holds the franchise record with 33,462.

When Manning was intercepted by Kyle Arrington in the third quarter, it ended his streak of 106 consecutive passes without throwing a pick.

Brandon Jacobs made his first start of the season in place of Ahmad Bradshaw, who was inactive with a foot injury. Jacobs had season-high totals of 18 carries for 72 yards and he scored the Giants’ first touchdown on a 10-yard run.

The rushing touchdown was the 52nd of Jacobs’ career, which leaves him three behind franchise record-holder Tiki Barber.

Victor Cruz started for the first time in his career in place of Hakeem Nicks, inactive with the hamstring injury. Cruz led the team with six catches for 91 yards.

Kevin Boothe started at center for the second time this season in place of David Baas, who missed the game with a knee injury.

Wide receiver Ramses Barden made his season debut after he was activated yesterday off the reserve/PUP list. Barden had two receptions for 24 yards, including a nine-yarder on the Giants’ first touchdown drive of the fourth quarter.

Mathias Kiwanuka intercepted a second-quarter Brady pass that was intended for Deion Branch and tipped by Michael Boley. It was the third interception of Kiwanuka’s career. He got each of his first two picks in home games as a rookie in 2006, the last on Dec. 3 vs. Dallas off of Tony Romo.

Kiwanuka was credited with a team-high 12 tackles (six solo).

Deon Grant intercepted a Brady pass for Rob Gronkowski on the first series of the third quarter. It was Grant’s first pick of the season and the 30th of his career. He had three interceptions in 2010, the last off Dallas’ Jon Kitna on Nov. 14.

Rookie linebackers Jacquian Williams and Spencer Paysinger each recovered a fumble, Williams after Brady was sacked and lost the ball (his second of the season) and Paysinger when Julian Edelman coughed it up on a punt return. Both takeaways were in the third quarter.

Jason Pierre-Paul picked up another sack, dropping Tom Brady for a four-yard loss in the second quarter. Pierre-Paul increased his season total to 9.5 sacks. He has at least a half-sack in seven of the Giants’ eight games.

Rookie Da’Rel Scott had his first NFL rushing attempt, a five-yard gain that picked up a first down in the second quarter.

Defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks – who spent at least five weeks on the Giants’ practice squad each year from 2009 to 2011 and was signed to the active roster on Oct. 15, made his NFL debut.

Steve Weatherford dropped five of his season-high eight punts inside the 20-yard line. He had a 43.1-yard gross average and a 41.0-yard net average. The Giants punted on each of their first six possessions of the game. Weatherford’s punts forced New England to start its six first-half series – in order – on its five, six, 17, 20, 11 and nine-yard lines.

The eight punts were the most by the Giants in a game since they punted nine times vs. New Orleans on Dec. 24, 2006.

New England’s Steve Gostkowski was wide left on a 27-yard field goal attempt with three seconds remaining in the second quarter. It was the shortest missed field goal against the Giants since Sept. 5, 2002, when San Francisco’s Jose Cortez had a 25-yard attempt blocked by Mike Rosenthal.

Brady completed 28 of 49 passes for 342 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was the first individual to throw for more than 300 yards against the Giants since St. Louis’ Sam Bradford had 331 yards on Sept. 19. Seattle’s Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst combined for 315 yards on Oct. 9.

Two Patriots receivers gained more than 100 yards: Wes Welker (nine catches for 136 yards) and Rob Gronkowski (eight for 101). They were the first pair of teammates to each exceed 100 receiving yards in a game against the Giants since last Dec. 26, when Green Bay’s Greg Jennings (seven catches for 142 yards) and Jordy Nelson (four for 124) did it.

Bill Belichick became only the second opposing coach to throw a challenge flag this season (joining Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt). With 14:46 remaining in the third quarter. Brady threw a pass to Aaron Hernandez that was ruled incomplete. Belichick challenged the ruling, saying Hernandez got his hands under the ball for a completion. After review, referee Pete Morelli reversed the call on the field and ruled it a catch for a 15-yard gain. Opposing coaches are 1-1 and 20-31 during Coughlin’s tenure on replay challenges.

The Giants broke a four-game regular season losing streak to the Patriots (which did not, of course, include Super Bowl XLII). New England leads the series, 5-4. In the teams’ nine regular season games, the Giants have scored 167 points, the Patriots 162.

The Giants’ inactive players were running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (hamstring), center David Baas (knee), offensive linemen Stacy Andrews (back) and James Brewer, fullback Henry Hynoski (neck) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (foot).

Fittingly for a game played in Massachusetts, the Giants’ captains were two former Boston College players, Chris Snee and Mathias Kiwanuka. They joined Manning, Justin Tuck and Zak DeOssie for the coin toss.

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