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Postgame Recap: New York Giants 10, New England Patriots 7

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New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) walks off the field after throwing an interception against the New York Giants during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

On Sunday, the New England Patriots and New York Giants renewed their rivalry. But unlike some past occasions when Super Bowl titles were on the line, the stakes were far different this time. With two teams ranked in the bottom five of PFN’s NFL Power Rankings positioning for the 2024 NFL Draft was a bigger concern than trying to get back into playoff contention. The product on the field was what one would expect from teams with combined 5-16 records. Ultimately, the Giants were able to commit fewer turnovers and capitalize on more mistakes.

Scoreless First Quarter

Giants QB Tommy DeVito looked confident on New York’s opening drive. The 48-drive was sparked by a 29-yard completion from DeVito to Jalin Hyatt. RB Sequon Barkley also got his afternoon off to a solid start. Barkley picked up 14 yards on his very first rush of the game. But ultimately, like all struggling team, the Giants shot themselves in the foot.

With a second-and-ten from the Patriots 26-yard line, New York forked over the football. DeVito’s handoff to WR Wan’Dale Robinson fell to the turf. Patriots safety Jabrill Peppers. The first offensive possession of the game resulted in a turnover. It was an omen of how things would go for both teams in the first half.

The next four possessions resulted in four punts, two from each team. The Giants connected on a 21-yard pass from Tommy DeVito to Jalin Hyatt. New England had a 19-yard gain on a Mac Jones to DeVante Parker completion. Aside from those two completions, there was almost no offense from either side.

New England got the ball back with 2:01 left in the first quarter at their own 20-yard line.

Turnover Troubles for Mac Jones

Rhamondre Stevenson had three consecutive positive gains: a seven-yard pass play, followed by consecutive runs for eight yards. But on the next play, Mac Jones tried to hit Demario Douglas and missed his target badly. The throw was intercepted by New York cornerback Deonte Banks (who was ranked 109 of 116 NFL cornerbacks by Pro Football Focus entering Week 12).

Fortunately for New England, New York was not able to capitalize. After a 19-yard gain on a Saquon Barkley first down run, the Giants moved no further before punting. The teams then exchanged three-and-out possessions before the Patriots got the ball back again.

The New England Patriots took over at their own eight-yard line with 11:03 to play in the second quarter. Bill O’Brien did a nice job mixing up the run and pass games on the drive. The offense moved the ball with confidence, picking up four first downs. Highlights of the drive included a Rhamondre Stevenson 15-yard run, and a 14-yard completion from Mac Jones to Demario Douglas. On a third-and-15, Jones found DeVante Parker for a 17-yard gain and fresh set of downs.

New England worked their way to the Giants’ 23-yard line, and faced and third-and-four. Mac Jones felt pressure, and released it over the middle toward Douglas. However, the ball sailed into the hands of New York linebacker Bobby Okereke, who returned it 55 yards into Patriots territory.

Giants Strike First

Following Okereke’s interception, the Giants began their next drive at the Patriots 26-yard line with 4:27 to play in the first half. The Patriots defense looked like it would hold them to a field goal attempt after stopping their first two plays. But New York was able to convert on a third-and-long, courtesy of DeVito finding Hyatt once again, this time a 12-yard gain. Two plays later, the Giants faced another third-and-long from the New England 12-yard line, after Jonathan Jones made a nice open field tackle on Wan’Dale Robinson.

But the next play DeVito went right back at Jonathan Jones, this time finding Isaiah Hodgins. After a juke move, Hodgins stiff-armed Jones to the ground, and finish his journey into the end zone. The New York Giants had broken the scoreless tie with 1:53 to play in the second quarter. The extra point made the score 7-0, advantage New York.

Both inept offenses actually had another full possession after the two-minute warning. Each went three-and-out. When the Patriots got it back they just ran one running play, opting to go into the half down by only a single score.

Bailey Zappe Starts the Second Half

After halftime, Mac Jones was replaced at quarterback by Bailey Zappe. They reportedly split snaps in practice all week, and the game would be no different.

Giants kicker Randy Bullock hit the kickoff out of bounds, giving New England possession at their own 40-yard line to start the drive. Zappe then led a methodical drive down the field, putting up the Patriots first points of the afternoon.

Stevenson once again got the offense going with a 14-yard run. Although a 12-yard completion to Douglas on third-and-13 fell short of the marker, New England picked up three yards (another Stevenson run) to pick up the first. A few plays later, Tyquan Thornton took a wide receiver screen for a 15-yard gain. Rhamondre Stevenson took it from there, eight yards to the house to tie the game.

Bailey Zappe’s opening drive at quarterback lasted 6:58, picked up four first-downs, and put the New England Patriots first points of the game on the scoreboard. It was tied up, 7-7.

Defense Stands Strong

Due tot how long the Patriots controlled the ball in their opening drive of the half, the Giants only had one third quarter possession. DeVito found Hyatt yet again, on a third-and-16 from their own 19-yard line, for a huge 41-yard gain that flipped the field. Cornerback J.C. Jackson was beat cleanly on the play. But aside from that bomb, New York struggled to generate any second half offense.

On that first drive, both Anfernee Jennings and Keion White came up with sacks for big losses for the Patriots defense. They were two of six sacks on the afternoon for New England. When the Giants punted on their next possession, that made seven-of-eight offensive drives for New York that ended in a punt following their fumble. The only other drive was the touchdown on the heels of Mac Jones’ second interception. Despite giving up a few big plays, mostly to Jaylin Hyatt, the defense was far from the New England Patriots problem on Sunday.

Zappe Turns it Over Too

On the New England Patriots first drive in the fourth quarter, they took over at their own 24-yard line with 14:02 to play in regulation. Stevenson once again got things going, with two carries for 11 yards, picking up a first down. But on the next play Bailey Zappe sailed a pass straight to the wrong team. Like his interception at the end of the Colts game, Zappe threw into triple coverage on the pass attempt. New York’s Xavier McKinney was the happy recipient. The pick seemed to confirm the New England Patriots coaching staff’s concerns about turning the offensive reigns over to Bailey Zappe.

Although the Giants began their ensuing drive at the Patriots 32-yard line, New England was able to hold them to a field goal. With 8:13 to play in the fourth quarter, New York had a 10-7 lead.

Win, Lose, or Draw?

Following the field goal from the Giants, the two teams traded punts yet again. New Yorkโ€™s punt was short, and Myles Bryant returned to 12 yards to the 50 yard line. Bryant was in replacing Demario, Douglas, who had been injured on his previous punt return, with no flag thrown on the play. Douglas did not return.

So, with 3:14 to play in regulation, trailing 10-7, the New England Patriots began their drive from mid-field.

After two running plays, and an incomplete pass, New England faced a fourth-and-four from the Giants 46-yard line. Bailey Zappe completed the pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster for a five-yard gain to keep the drive alive.

New England was milking the clock, ensuring that New York would not get the ball back with a chance to win. However, this also made it appear they were playing for overtime instead of the regulation win.

After running five more plays, including a 12-yard run by Rhamondre Stevenson, the Patriots brought out their field goal unit.

Rookie placekicker Chad Ryland came on to attempt a 35-yard field goal with six seconds remaining. A make would send the game to OT. But Ryland hooked his attempt wide left.

Final Score

New York Giants 10, New England Patriots 7