Thursday, November 23, 2017
Sports

New England barely guards goose egg

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There's an air of invincibility and inevitability about the Patriots.

Invincible because since January, they haven't lost. Inevitable because of the feeling they will find a way — something they did Sunday in their toughest test this season, edging the Giants 27-26 on Stephen Gostkowski's 54-yard field goal with 1 second left.

"You're one kick away from being Public Enemy No. 1," Gostkowski said. "You're always one kick away from trending on Twitter as the No. 1 loser in America.

"But it's fun being on a good team. It's kind of like being on a baseball team where everybody's got a hit, and you can't wait to get up there and get a hit, too."

The Giants, who seemed to have New England's number, were poised to knock off the Patriots on Josh Brown's fourth field goal with 1:47 left.

But you don't beat the Patriots with field goals.

After Brown made his franchise-record 27th straight, from 29 yards, Tom Brady drove the Patriots 44 yards, converting a fourth-and-10 play on the series. That set up Gostkowski, the league's leading scorer the past three seasons.

New York has given the Patriots fits under Tom Coughlin, including two Super Bowl wins, and nearly pulled off another victory. A 5-yard pass to Odell Beckham on New York's final drive was originally called a touchdown, then reversed by video review.

"I should have caught the ball," said Beckham, who admitted he didn't know the whole rule about completing the catch.

That possession was set up when Trumaine McBride intercepted Brady at the goal line, setting up an 86-yard, 15-play march to Brown's field goal.

That left room for Brady, who hit Danny Amendola three times for 32 yards on the winning series.

"Just finish the game," an exasperated Coughlin said, recognizing four of his team's defeats this year came because the Giants failed in the final moments. "You don't win, they are all miserable. I don't look at it in terms of degrees. I look at it in terms of frustration that goes along with it because of what could have been.

"It's not that far away from being a win. Just finish the thing off."

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