NE-NYG Grades: Patriots complete thrilling comeback

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Patriots’ 27-26 victory over the Giants.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

NE-NYG Grades: Patriots complete thrilling comeback

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Patriots’ 27-26 victory over the Giants:

New England Patriots

– Super Bowl XLIX hero, CB Malcolm Butler (+3.7), has had a decent season to this point and he was at his best against the Giants, despite drawing primary coverage duties on the daunting Odell Beckham. After his early blunder (exacerbated by safety Devin McCourty) where he let Beckham behind him for an 87-yard score, Butler surrendered just two catches for 5 yards to New York’s top receiver, while getting his hand on three passes.

– DE Jabaal Sheard was limited to 27 snaps in his first action since Week 6, but he didn’t show any rust with positive grades both as a pass rusher (three pressures) and in run defense after notching two stops. Tight end Will Tye (-3.1) had particular trouble blocking Sheard, losing that matchup on multiple plays including at 10:43 of the second quarter and 7:56 of the third.

– Ball security was not Tom Brady’s strongest attribute in this game after two fumbles in the pocket and an interception. And he was incredibly lucky that Landon Collins (-0.2) couldn’t haul in his duck at 1:47 of the fourth, which would have ended any comeback hopes. Otherwise, Brady had a solid game despite shoddy pass protection and losing one of his top targets in Julian Edelman. He instead relied on Danny Amendola with the two connecting on 10 of a season-high 11 targets for 79 yards while grading at +2.2 on passes thrown at intermediate distance.

Top performers:

CB Malcolm Butler (+3.7)
DE Jabaal Sheard (+2.9)
CB Logan Ryan (+2.7)
QB Tom Brady (+1.9)
TE Rob Gronkowski (+1.8)

New York Giants

– A week after making his season debut, Jason Pierre-Paul was the team’s best pass rusher once again, returning to his pre-injury form against a makeshift Patriots line. He amassed seven combined pressures and a batted pass, doing the bulk of his work against LT Cameron Fleming (-0.8), though perhaps his best play of the game came against New England’s right tackle, Brian Stork, at 7:07 of the fourth quarter.

– Another negative game for LT Ereck Flowers, who’s playing as poorly as any first rounder this season. In pass protection he allowed seven combined pressures and at times looked overmatched against Chandler Jones, who picked up three of his pressures against Flowers, the worst of them being a sack-fumble in the second quarter – though it didn’t help that Eli (+0.7) spent more time in the pocket than usual, averaging more than 2.6 seconds there. Flowers didn’t fare much better in the run game after allowing his defender to get in on several defensive stops.

– LB Jasper Brinkley (+4.1) has seen increasing snaps over the last three weeks and it’s paid off for the Giants with the two highest grades of his career coming in his last two games. Both of Brinkley’s stops in run defense required him to defeat a block to get there – the first came at 7:24 of the first to keep LeGarrette Blount out of the end zone. He also added an impressive strip sack to start the fourth quarter, beating the aforementioned Blount in the process.

Top performers:

DE Jason Pierre-Paul (+4.8)
LB Jasper Brinkley (+4.1)
DE Robert Ayers (+3.8)
WR Dwayne Harris (+2.3)
CB Trevin Wade (+1.9)

  • rogue

    Butler’s day included a bogus PI call a few plays after another bogus PI call on Chung. I find it amazing that Ed Hochuli has been a referee for 24 years. He always has to insert himself into every game he officiates. He’s the worst.

    • Dan Coyle

      Neither call was bogus. It’s just that the refs were calling PI very tight that game. Chung punched the receiver in the facemask before the pass got there. Butler ran through Beckham before the pass got there.
      Lafell got a similar call in his favor on Wade in the endzone. Was tight but fair given the other two calls. Refs also missed a PI call on Jints TE in the endzone.

      • rogue

        On Chung, that was good coverage. There was some hand to chest contact, but the refs have been letting it go all season. As for Butler, Beckham slipped and there was no contact. Moreover, for the second straight week, a Patriots receiver was a victim of a helmet to helmet hit which went uncalled.

        • Dan Coyle

          Homerism. It affects at least 1 out of every two sports fans …

          C’mon, man. The reverse angle on the Chung play showed he:

          1. cut off the receiver’s path to the ball
          2. extended his arm into the receiver’s facemask
          3. wasn’t looking for the ball

          On the Butler PI, the reverse angle showed Butler bump Beckham with his shoulder as he tried to run in front of Beckham. Beckham did slip a little, but the reverse angle replay clearly showed contact.

          I’ll give you the Merriweather play. There was contact on that. It was more facemask to facemask. Officials don’t always call it, but by the book it was a PF.

          • Giovani Smith

            You’re mixing up Chung and Rashaan Melvin. Chung didn’t even remotely commit PI. Both commentators mentioned that it was a bogus call.

            Melvin, on the other hand, did stick his hand in the face of the receiver, and the PI call was correct.

          • Dan Coyle

            Hmmmm … it’s possible I am mixing them up.
            When did the Chung PI call take place (quarter, time?). Will take another look.

      • Grumpy Santa

        Calling it tight is one thing. Making things up is another.

      • VJ

        If it was tight then why did they let at least two blantant DPIs on Gronk go uncalled?

        This is 7 yards past LOS. #59 Devon Kennard has both arms hanging onto Gronk while the second Giants’ defender also has both hands on him. Gronks OPI was far less blatant.

        I know missed calls go both ways, but it wasn’t always ‘tight’ as you say.

  • Blackfive

    NYG are better than the Patriots. This game showed it no matter the final score. This could propel the Giants into another playoff run. Watch out NFL!

    • Brian

      Lol this game showed that the nyg can’t close a game just like they couldn’t all season. TheY couldn’t even beat a patriots team missing all kinds of weapons and 80% of their offensive line. And the giants are supposed to be the only team in the nfl that can consistently beat the pats. Lol yeah watch out nfl

      • Dan Coyle

        Meh, the Giants were missing tons of starters too. Those were two pretty beat up teams going against each other and there wasn’t much separation between the two. Pats were one point better than the Jints and won it on a last second 54 yard field goal. Jints played very well against a team many thought would steamroll them.

        • Jack Casey

          Yeah the Pats were also a holding call away from being up 8 points in the fourth…

          • Dan Coyle

            You mean the play where a Patriot shoestring tackled a Giants DT? If you take issue with that call you should stop watching the game.

            Jints were a half second away from going up four.

    • Jim

      You Giansts fans are delusional. Bottom line: you lost, your team is struggling to stay at .500, it’s gonna be a long offseason.

      • SchoOne

        How can you speak so boldly when it took a complete horsesh@* call on a td after an 80 yard drive to save a trip of 80 yards needed to tie the game. We all know that was a catch by Beckham and they subjectively decided he didn’t have possession even though he caught the ball and put two feet down in the endzone. What exactly was he supposed to do after that? Run around the endzone for no reason? Lay down in a curled up position?

        Let’s see what else we have here….a BS push off call on a Ruben Randle catch that would have put the Giants inside the 25 but instead led to offsetting calls and a sack for 15 yards. Game goes from 2 scores to Pats in the lead in the matter of a minute. A dropped interception on a duck thrown in the middle of the field by Lord Brady.

        Point is the Pats won the game. The Giants didn’t do enough to win and had to fight the league stealing 4 points. You can be happy about the result but the “delusional” comment is delusional. The Pats lose if not for a td that’s taken off the board. Take the win and go try to win your second in a row, but spare us the “Giants lost and fans are delusional” routine. There was nothing delusional about the fact that you yourself thought the Pats lost more than once in the final 3 minutes of the game. The game was close and the break went your way. Congrats and good luck.

        • etyb

          lol always the refs’ fault, always and forever.

          • SchoOne

            Come on buddy. You get to be arrogant to fans of every single team except one. This one.

        • snoth cambin

          Actually brady would’ve gotten a bigger grade if it was for the turnovers brady didn’t miss many passes

        • Patriotsbacktobackchamps

          all I heard in this comment was a lot of bitching just like Seattle fans did after their pathetic ass lost the super bowl. The giants are in the trash bin like the eagles and the redskins.

          • SchoOne

            Nah they’ll win the division. Hope and pray they get another run and can play your team again. And again…you’re talking about lost Super Bowls to a Giant fan and being rude about it. There’s one team that spanked two rings off Brady’s hands. I’m not asking for much….just be civil.

          • Patriotsbacktobackchamps

            Will see. better pray the vikings loss to the giants

      • SchoOne

        Not to mention that this site somehow gave your QB a higher grade than a QB that played a better game by every single measure except the win/loss. How exactly does that work?

      • sfurbz

        This is hilarious. We will be in the playoffs and can beat any team any week. We have had the lead in the 4th quarter in every single game we lost this year. Does that mean we can’t close? At the moment, yes. Does that mean if we improve that 1 aspect of our time we are suddenly very difficult to beat? Yes it does.

    • rogue

      Hochuli spotted your team 3 points and the Pats were ravaged with injuries yet still won while playing on the road. Defense and Special teams won this game and the Pats will have Jamie Collins back soon.

      • dubinsky

        the 2007 Giants defenders were also pretty much football elders.

      • Dan Coyle

        Meh, Giants have been hit harder by injuries than the Pats have been.

      • Blackfive

        Don’t worry. If the Giants make the playoffs they’ll win super bowl especially if they play the cheatriots

        • Giants are trash

          They won’t win shit they can’t even beat the cowboys or the eagles. If the patriots meant in the super bowl the score would be 44 to 0 patriots in a blowout while giants fan, players, and staff would crying like bitches LMAO.

    • dubinsky

      what this game showed is pretty much what the previous Patriot-Giants games have shown.

      when the two teams play against each other, the games are well worth watching.

      • Dan Coyle

        Agreed. The last five games have been decided by 4 points are less and Jints won 3 and Pats won 2.

        All instant classics.

      • Blackfive

        Cuz the Giants always figure themselves out against them in the regular season. Tom Coughlin owns Bill Bellichick. I wish the Giants played the Cheatriots every year!

    • Tim Edell

      Another game in which old man Coughlin screwed up clock management!

    • Bob hopkins sr.

      NYG are not even better than the eagles WTF are you talking about. Giants are trash lol.

  • Raul

    If nothing else, this game did show that New England is beatable. Obviously it’s not easy, but it is realistically possible.

    • Brian

      Every team is beatable. And considering new england is running out of players it’s pretty plain to see they are beatable

  • crosseyedlemon

    My earlier prediction of a Giant victory was a point short but the sportsbooks still had to pay up.

    • Giovani Smith

      That’s great but little consolation to the Giants organization, which was burdened with an additional loss.

  • rogue

    This game proved Butler is no fluke. Gostowski finally had his “signature clutch” moment like Vinatieri.

    • Jack Casey

      Love Gostowski, and has been as good as any one… But I don’t think a week 10 kick is really a signature moment in the grand scheme of things.

  • rogue

    Eric Coleman got benched after he stumbled on a fade route that ended in a TD.

  • Scott West

    This game shows how tough to beat the Pats it really is. Even when so many factors swing against them, the loss of Edelman, down 4 o-line, Collins out sick, drive-saving phantom calls by the refs for their opponent, and Giants receivers making some really difficult catches; they still came out on top.

    Now they get back 3 o-line, have a week to adjust the receiving corps (which is pretty deep with players Brady trusts), and hopefully will only get the industry standard number of bad calls by refs. Another teams is going to have to have an awful lot of things go in their favor to even have a shot at derailing 16-0.