New England allowed New York to drive into its territory on the first drive of the game, but after the Giants reached the Patriots’ 33-yard line, New England’s defense stepped up with sacks of Giants quarterback Eli Manning on first and third down to force a punt.
Special teams could be a big factor in this game and that played out early. Even though New York’s drive stalled, punter Steve Weatherford’s punt was downed at the six-yard line, giving New England terrible field position to start with.
On 3rd-and-6, Manning completed a pass to Victor Cruz for the first down to the Giants’ 35-yard line.
On 2nd-and-7, Manning found Hakeem Nicks, who spun out of a tackle after the catch to gain 19 yards to the New England 33-yard line.
New England’s defense stepped up after that, sacking Manning on first and third downs, forcing the Giants to punt.