New England Patriots: Loss to Giants Evokes Super Bowl Deja Vu
Many of the players have changed, but the outcome remained the same.
The Patriots had not lost a home game since November 30, 2008, at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The similarities between Sunday's home loss on the Giants' final drive and the final drive that ended the hopes of a perfect season from Super Bowl XLII were eerie. "Yeah, there were some similarities," Manning said.
In both games the Patriots were under 40 ticks away from victory.
Tom Brady's touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski to put the Patriots ahead with 1:36 remaining on Sunday (just like Brady's touchdown pass to Randy Moss with 2:45 remaining in the Super Bowl) left Manning another opportunity to dash the Patriots' hopes (ESPN play-by-play).
On Sunday, Manning orchestrated an eight-play, 80-yard drive with two timeouts remaining (12 plays, 83-yard drive with two time outs in the Super Bowl), including a key 3rd-and-10 pass down the middle to Jake Ballard for 28 yards to the NE 33-yard line (much like the 34-yard pass to David Tyree).
In both games, Manning drove the G-Men at least 80 yards with less than three minutes to go.
Then, with 19 seconds remaining, Manning hit Ballard again on a one-yard touchdown pass to the left corner of the end zone, beating the coverage of Tracey White.
The similarities to the 2008 Super Bowl continued, as the play was reminiscent of Manning's touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the left corner of the end zone to seal the Giants' championship (ESPN play-by-play).
At the end, both results remained the same—the Patriots took losses with less than three minutes remaining on the clock and their defense was unable to stop and contain Manning and the Giants to seal a victory.
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