Same old, same old for Giants

FOXBORO, Mass. – Once again, New York concocted the perfect recipe for failure. Five more turnovers, occasional defensive lapses and the all-important failure to score a TD. Add it all up and stir and you come up with a 17-6 loss to New England in front of 68,436 rain-soaked fans at Gillette Stadium. The loss drops New York to 2-3, with two very difficult games against Philadelphia and Minnesota on the horizon.

"We're not doing the things you have to do to win football games," Jim Fassel understated. "You can't have that many turnovers."

For the second consecutive week, Big Blue was on the short end of the turnover stick, as they coughed it up five times and forced none. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, teams with a minus-three or worse turnover ratio during the last two seasons have won only five out of 75 contests.

"It was tough because we moved the ball pretty well," C Wayne Lucier said. "Once again, we just killed ourselves with turnovers."

For the second straight week, QB Kerry Collins had interception problems, this time completing four passes to the opposition. RB Tiki Barber chipped in a fumble that the Pats returned for the game's first points for good measure.

Defensively, the Giants did a good job in the first half, repeatedly snuffing out New England threats. That changed in the second half, as the Pats began moving the ball and mixing in big plays. All told, Big Blue surrendered two pass plays of 20 yards or more to New England. Last season, New York allowed only 40 of those such plays all season. This year, they've already given up 25 through five games.

The turnover problems started early, as New York turned it over twice on its first three plays. They dodged a bullet after QB Kerry Collins' INT on the game's first play when Pats K Adam Vinatieri missed a 42-yard FG. They weren't so lucky two plays later. Barber took the pitch, and lost the ball when he was hit by New England CB Tyrone Poole, who had just recorded the INT of Collins. Pats LB Matt Chatham picked up the freebie and returned it 38 yards for the game's first points.

"We missed a block; (Poole) shouldn't even have been there," Fassel said. The Giants responded, but missed an opportunity to tie the game when an open Barber slipped in the end zone because Collins' pass was slightly off the mark. Brett Conway drilled his first FG try as a Giant, a 22-yarder.

A TD there might have changed the complexion of the game.

"I got Tiki in the back of the end zone and he slipped," Collins said.

"I was trying to gather my feet and I just slipped," Barber said. "The ball was a little behind me, but it was a tough throw for Kerry. I was trying to slow down. Without a doubt (he would have caught the pass). I didn't gather myself well enough. That's my fault."

Conway also deserves some blame. New York's new kicker's luck ran out shortly after his first FG. Conway missed a 47-yarder wide right and his try from 49 yards shortly before halftime was blocked.

"On the 47-yarder I just barely missed it," he said. "It missed the upright by about an inch. The 49-yarder was blocked. I actually hit them both really well."

The Giants missed another scoring chance in the second quarter. Already in FG range, Collins' arm was hit by Seymour as he threw a third-and-nine pass, which was picked off by Rodney Harrison.

Whatever Patriots offensive coordinator and former Giants assistant Charlie Weis said to his offense at halftime, it worked. After gaining only one first down and 29 total yards in the first half, the Pats went on a nine-play, 63-yard march that ended in a 28-yard Vinatieri field goal.

Then came the biggest sequence of the game. Michael Strahan's sack of Patriots QB Tom Brady left the Pats in a third-and-16 situation from their own 9-yard line. Brady coolly hit WR David Givens for a 21-yard gain. Four plays later, Brady connected with former Giant David Patten for a 39-yard gain down the left sideline. Mike Cloud eventually took it in from one yard out to cap the 10-play, 85-yard drive that extended New England's lead to 17-3.

The Giants never seriously threatened after that. Despite the slow start to the season, they insist they haven't lost hope yet.

"I still believe in what we can do," MLB Micheal Barrow said. "My faith hasn't wavered. I still believe we're going to go to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl."

After Sunday's performance it's difficult to take Barrow seriously.

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