The Young Pups Hang In There and the Giants Win 18-17; Sintim Lost for the Season: The Giants defeated the New England Patriots 18-17 on Thursday Night. The Giants did not play any of their starters and some key reserves. Only 57 of the 85 Giants on the roster were even dressed for the game. The Patriots did play their starters for an entire quarter, and in the early going, the game was pretty ugly at times for New York.
The bad news is that LB Clint Sintim suffered a season-ending injury when he ruptured the patella tendon in the same knee that he tore his ACL last year. He also may have torn the ACL again.
The Giants received the ball first and a penalty on the opening kickoff put the Giants in a deep hole, starting at their own 5-yard line. On the first offensive play, QB David Carr hit WR Domenik Hixon for 12 yards, but Hixon fumbled and the ball was returned to the Giants’ 1-yard line. On the very next play, New England went up 7-0 on a 1-yard rushing touchdown.
The Giants’ second possession also ended in a turnover when Carr’s pass intended for Hixon was intercepted and returned to the Giants’ 33-yard line. The Giants’ second-string defense gave up one first down, but then held, forcing the Patriots to settle for a field goal. 10-0 Patriots.
Aided by a roughing-the-passer penalty, the Giants moved the football to near midfield on their third possession, but then punted. The second-string defense allowed one first down against the Patriots’ first-stirng offense and then forced New England to punt. WR Jerrel Jernigan returned the punt 42 yards to the Patriots’ 46-yard line. Carr found Hixon for 21 yards on the next play. Carr was sacked on 3rd-and-6 and PK Rhys Lloyd hit a 48-yard field goal. Patriots 10 – Giants 3.
The Patriots’ starters remained in the game late in the first quarter and QB Tom Brady led New England on a 5-play, 90 yard drive, the big play being a 64-yard pass. The Patriots went ahead 17-3. The Giants responded with an impressive 83-yard drive, but on 2nd-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Carr fumbled the snap and turned the ball over. Carr, finished the game 13-of-21 for 116 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 1 lost fumble.
With the Patriots’ second-team offense now in the game, the Giants forced a three-and-out. The Giants’ final possession of the first half started at New England’s 46-yard line. The Giants did manage to drive to the Patriots’ 12-yard line before a series of negative plays, including a penalty, knocked New York back to the 31-yard line. Lloyd then missed a 49-yard field goal. Patriots 17 – Giants 3 at the half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. New England punted twice and was stuffed on 4th-and-1 from the Giants’ 24-yard line when DT Dwayne Hendricks nailed the running back for a 3-yard loss. Meanwhile, Lloyd missed a 48-yard field goal and the Giants punted on another drive.
At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Giants were lining up for another punt from their own 35-yard line, when a fake punt was called and HB Da’Rel Scott sprinted 65 yards for a touchdown. Patriots 17 – Giants 10.
The Patriots and Giants then exchanged punts. On the first play of New England’s fifth possession of the second half, CB/S Brian Jackson forced a fumble that was recovered by S Derrick Martin and returned for an 11-yard touchdown. QB Ryan Perrilloux then found Jernigan for a 2-point conversion and the Giants took their first lead of the game with less than 10 minutes to play in the 4th quarter, 18-17.
New England had three more possessions to win the game, but the young turks on the Giants’ defense, who played well most of the game, would not be denied. There were big plays by S Tyler Sash (7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble), LB Jacquian Williams (7 tackles, 3 sacks), DT Dwayne Hendricks (5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble), CB/S Brian Jackson (4 tackles, 1 forced fumble), LB Greg Jones (4 tackles, 1 sack), S Derrick Martin (4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown), and LB Mark Herzlich (1 tackle and 1 sack).
Video highlights of the game are available at NFL.com.
Post-Game Notes: WR Jerrel Jernigan injured a wrist in the game and was taken for x-rays.
Cuts and Roster Moves Looming: The Giants must cut down their roster from 85 players to 80 on Friday and then to 53 players on Saturday.
Article on WR Jerrel Jernigan: Giants’ Jerrel Jernigan Remains Questionable as Punt Returner by Zach Berman of The Star-Ledger