FOXBOROUGH — Scoreless through the first two quarters, the Patriots and Giants combined for 44 points in the second half.
But 14 of the 24 points that came against the Patriots — in particular the game-winning 1-yard touchdown to tight end Jake Ballard and the 10-yard TD to receiver Mario Manningham — were all spurred by huge penalties on the the team’s defense.
Patriots defensive back Kyle Arrington was flagged for pass interference with 5:51 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Giants 35 yards on the play. Six plays later, Eli Manning found Manningham for a touchdown.
With 35 seconds left in the game, after Tom Brady had led the Patriots to a 64-yard touchdown drive in 1:27, safety Sergio Brown was flagged for pass interference that gave the Giants another 20 yards on the drive, putting them right at the Patriots 1-yard line.
Both calls were unquestionable.
“You’d have to ask them about it; they called it,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick when asked about Arrington’s penalty. “The last two calls were tough.”
Adding later, “That’s a lot of yards on those two plays.”
Said Arrington: “They just made more plays than we did. The offense put it in our hands and we just couldn’t make enough plays.”
Arrington picked off Manning in the third quarter for his fifth interception of the season, tying the NFL lead.