The Patriots remained undefeated Sunday, but they absorbed perhaps their stiffest test yet. The Giants took a 20-10 lead in the third quarter by making big plays and largely bottling up Tom Brady. They couldn't keep the Patriots down for long, however. The Patriots' offense exploded in the fourth quarter to give them a 27-26 win on a Stephen Gostkowski game-winning field goal.
The Giants seemingly scored a touchdown, but what appeared to be an Odell Beckham Jr. catch in the end zone was ruled incomplete according to the interpreters of the NFL's obtuse definition of what is and isn't a catch. The Giants had to settle for a field goal, giving them a two-point lead with 1:47 remaining in the game.
Brady threw for nearly 200 yards in the fourth quarter -- well more than half of his 336 yards for the game. He only needed to move the Patriots 44 yards to put Gostkowski in position for a game-winner. His 54-yard attempt was good, but only barely snuck inside the left upright.
The game was defined by haymakers. The Giants responded to the Patriots' opening touchdown by hitting Odell Beckham Jr. with an 87-yard touchdown pass that proved that the wideout can use two hands and still dazzle us. The Giants would take a 17-10 lead just before halftime with a 1-yard pass from Eli Manning to Dwayne Harris.
The Patriots needed just six offensive plays to take the lead back, however. Danny Amendola returned a punt 82 yards to Giants' 7-yard line and would have score if only his own teammate hadn't gotten in his way. The Patriots score on a LeGarrette Blount plunge three plays later, then on their next possession they responded to a Giants field goal with a 76-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski that gave New England the lead, 24-23.
The big pass play was seemingly the perfect moment for the Giants to roll over to the favored Patriots. The Pats were on the precipice of taking a two-score lead after driving to the Giants' 5-yard line on their next possession. Brandon LaFell seemingly had step on Trumaine McBride as he ran a slant at the goal line, but Brady's pass was just a bit behind and McBride got in front of it to secure Brady's third interception of the season.
Buoyed by the pick, the Giants drove down to the Patriots' 5-yard line. They couldn't punch the ball into the end zone, however, thanks in large part to the wonkiness of the NFL rulebook. As a result, they ended up on the losing end of one of the wildest NFL games of the season.