For most of the game it seemed the New England had one glaring weakness: playing the New York Giants. However with another poor fourth quarter showing, the Patriots rallied to beat the Giants and the players could not be more disappointed.
Odell Beckham Jr: "I lost us the game"
This game hurts especially for Odell Beckham whose brilliant play is somewhat tarnished by a drop in the end zone late in the game. He doesn't feel proud for being able to stay toe to toe with the defending Super Bowl champs.
"We lost the game," Beckham said. "I lost us the game with the play down in the end zone, a play that should have been made. You can’t leave it up to the officials to get anything right. You’ve got to make the play yourself and it was just a case of playing the play longer than the opponent."
While he accepts the blame for the drop he believes it should have been a touchdown.
"Yeah. I mean I caught it. I trust in my hands," Beckham said. "I go up and catch it. You come down with two feet and you can’t try to do anything too early. You’ve got to complete the whole process. It didn’t go the way we wanted it to."
Manning: "We’ve still got a great opportunity to finish the season strong"
Eli Manning is no stranger to clutch, comeback victories and absolutely heartbreaking losses. He chooses to see the bright side of life and notes that they are still in the division lead.
"I think the fact that, if I’m not mistaken, I think we’re still in the lead in the division, so if anything, we’ve still got a great opportunity to finish the season strong," Manning said. "Obviously we’ve got a bye week right now, which is late in the season so guys will be able to get healed up, to get healthy and we’ve got to come back and our season’s going to depend on these last six games and that’s the way we look at it. We’ve got six games to go, if we handle our business and play well, play the way we need to play and win some games, make the playoffs, and we’ll be happy.
However, he did admit he was frustrated by not being able to score a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
"Well, I think just at the end of the game, not getting the touchdown right there," Manning said. "Had a couple opportunities and we just didn’t make it. For the first throw to Odell to the corner route and then on third down, they played it well. Went to the play and they passed it off and played it well and right there, just had to go down and make sure we get the field goal, but yeah, we had some opportunities."
Some have lamented on the fact that the Giants decided to pass a lot during their final drive instead of milking the clock by running the ball. Manning admitted the pass to Beckham that was dropped in the end zone was an audible.
"We had some runs called and they weren’t going to let us run," Manning said. "They had goal line personnel in and they just weren’t going to let us run the ball in that situation, so the one to Odell on first down was actually a run call, but threw the pass on the outside and just kind of the way it was going to be, they weren’t going to let us run the ball right there."
JPP: "Tom Brady is a good quarterback, you know?"
Jason Pierre-Paul understood the tall task of trying to stop Tom Brady but expected a different result on that final drive which led to a game winning field goal.
"Anytime you lose, it’s frustrating," Pierre-Paul said. "We had it right there until the end. Tom Brady is a good quarterback, you know? We were expecting him to do that, but we expected to stop the ball and get off the field. But he’s a good quarterback, what can I say?"
A win against the Super Bowl champions would have been a big morale boost to the team and JPP admits how big the game could have been for the Giants.
"It’s a terrible loss," Pierre-Paul said. "We wanted to win so badly, but they executed better than us today. But we’ve got to move on. We’ve got a bye week and guys are leaving or whatever, so we’ve got to come back and get on the roll again."
A small silver lining to this game is that we have seen the huge impact JPP has on this game and he believes he's still getting better.
"Yeah, I’m getting better every game. Every game I’m getting better."
The Giants have a bye next week as they look to recover from another demoralizing loss.