In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
In all the above babble, not one of you addressed Eli's 75% completion rate on 40 passes. Guess what? Passes completed in bounds run off more time than running plays. Think about that a bit, then get back to me.
I did...albeit indirectly. The 75% completion rate matters only to the extent that it helped them extend their drives by a few additional plays (on aggregate, the nine more plays they had over NE), which in turn helped them gain a TOP advantage. Ultimately, that humungous TOP advantage did not translate to a lot of additional points. So it does not matter as much as you make it out to be.
The 75% completion rate was not just about the D's failures. You also have to credit some of that to NYG playing well. Even that thrown to Manningham (?) along the sideline. Chung (was that him?) was late, but the mistake itself was small. What made that play was still a great throw by Manning.
All of that does not take away from the fact if not for that the safety they would have been within a FG of winning the game. And that had that INT not been throw, they could have scored that FG. You can even add to that the incompletion to WW. That was another FG opportunity (at least) thrown out of the window.
As I said earlier, there will be highs and lows throughout a game. You are dinging the D for not playing a perfectly pretty game. There are many ways to play an effective D and some of them are not pretty.
By giving up only 19 points, that's what the D did - play effective even if not pretty. The 19 pts gave the Pats a close to 90% chance of winning the game (Low did the numbers a while back). Unfortunately, the offense scoring no more than 17 pts gave them a bigger probability of losing.