November 7, 2011 by staff
Giants Patriots, Brandon Jacobs looked around the now mostly barren visitors’ locker room, his Giants teammates already on their buses, and recalled how he’d frankly told tight end Jake Ballard weeks ago that at first, he wasn’t sure about his ability. Then the big, occasionally cranky running back grinned. “No, there’s no one else I don’t know about,” Jacobs said. “I believe in everybody on this team.”
Really, how could he not? The once-written-off Giants came to New England without their starting center, their starting running back and their No. 1 wide receiver—and they left Sunday night with a Super Bowl XLII redux: a crazy, roller-coaster 24-20 comeback win.
This one was won when quarterback Eli Manning hit Ballard in the back corner of the end zone for a one-yard touchdown with 15 seconds to play; in the title game four years ago, it was Plaxico Burress who Manning hit back there, with 35 seconds left. This was the first time the two teams had met in a regular season game since the Giants ended the Patriots’ undefeated season in that Super Bowl.
Giants end Justin Tuck said it was “obvious they don’t like us,” and yes, Ballard said, of course he’d watched those Super Bowl highlights earlier Sunday afternoon.
“This is the stuff you dream about when you’re playing backyard football—making catches like that in a game,” the second-year undrafted free agent said.
“You dream about winning games like this,” said safety Deon Grant, whose interception in the third quarter would set up the Giants’ first points.
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