The Giants played the Patriots closer in Week 17 than any other team had done all season, leading for most of the game before surrendering their lead to Tom Brady and Randy Moss. The 38-35 loss was a monetum booster for the G-Men who were entering the playoffs on a bad not after having played poorly in the final weeks of the season. The loss to the Patriots gave them hope that they could play with any team in the league on any night.
If not for some stupid penalties by the Giants they might have been able to win that game. Had they recoverd the onside kick in the 4th qurater they might have won as time expired as well. But what it comes down to is the fact they had the Patriots beaten and instead of stepping on their throats they let up and let the best team in the NFL come back against them without any problem.
The Giants turned off the pressure they had poured on all game in an effort to play smart and conservatively trying to eat the clock when in fact the pressure it what got them the lead in the first place. At the first sign of relaxation, Brady picked apart the defense and mainly the secondary, connecting with Moss for a record breaking TD pass.
After this game it became known that the Giants might be better than they were being given credit, though they still entered Tampa Bay as an underdog and have been ever since. Had they beaten the Patriots, they would have already upset the perfect season and Sunday’s line would not be 12.5 points or whatever it might end up before kickoff.
The Giants had their chance to make history and ruin the Patriots’ at the same time, but they eased up when they needed to go harder. Now, in six days they will get a shot at redemption and to finish what they started four weeks ago.