8:15 PM ET, December 29, 2007
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Tom Brady was as giddy as the quarterback of an unbeaten and perhaps unbeatable team should be. Had Bill Belichick spotted him slapping the backs of his New England teammates, the dour coach might have scoffed.After all, a perfect 16-0 regular season won't mean much if the Patriots don't win their next three games and another Super Bowl."We've been dealing with being undefeated all season," Brady said Saturday night after the thrilling 38-35 victory over the New York Giants in a game worthy of the NFL's championship showcase. "It was kind of a strange game. It really doesn't mean much to either team, but it means a lot."
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The Pats completed arguably the greatest regular season in history. Now the real work begins, writes Len Pasquarelli. Story
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Brady finished 32-for-42 for 356 yards, while Manning was 22-for-32 for 251 yards and the only interception. ... The other teams to go unbeaten in a season were the 1934 and 1942 Chicago Bears; both lost in the NFL title game. ... New England also set a league mark with 75 touchdowns. ... The Giants lost center Shaun O'Hara, backup safety Craig Dahl and linebacker Kawika Mitchell, all with knee injuries, and cornerback Sam Madison with an abdominal strain.
While it obviously was a record-setting game for Tom Brady, Randy Moss and everyone associated with the Patriots organization, the Giants took plenty of positives out of this game, as well. It was apparent Plaxico Burress is finally healthy, and the play of rookie replacement TE Kevin Boss was encouraging, with Jeremy Shockey out for the remainder of the season. But the big story for the Giants was the play of Eli Manning, who not only put up excellent numbers, but also showed poise and leadership on a big stage. Losing in the NFL is never a good thing, but New York should be able to build on the momentum it created Saturday night as it prepares to travel to Tampa Bay for its first-round playoff matchup. New York has to feel confident it can hang with any team it faces in the postseason.
-- Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.7||6.1|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||10:59||Brandon Jacobs 7 Yd Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick)||0||7|
|FG||05:19||Stephen Gostkowski 37 Yd||3||7|
|TD||14:55||Randy Moss 4 Yd Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||10||7|
|TD||14:44||Domenik Hixon 74 Yd Kickoff Return (Lawrence Tynes Kick)||10||14|
|FG||09:59||Stephen Gostkowski 45 Yd||13||14|
|FG||01:59||Stephen Gostkowski 37 Yd||16||14|
|TD||00:13||Kevin Boss 3 Yd Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick)||16||21|
|TD||09:12||Plaxico Burress 19 Yd Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick)||16||28|
|TD||04:00||Laurence Maroney 6 Yd Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||23||28|
|TD||11:06||Randy Moss 65 Yd Pass From Tom Brady (Laurence Maroney Run For Two-Point Conversion)||31||28|
|TD||04:36||Laurence Maroney 5 Yd Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||38||28|
|TD||01:04||Plaxico Burress 3 Yd Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick)||38||35|