Sports

Super Bowl Rematch Anything But Thrilling

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 29: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants makes a pass against the New England Patriots during a NFL pre-season game at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 29: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants makes a pass against the New England Patriots during a NFL pre-season game at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

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By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Lawrence Tynes kicked a 32-yard
field goal with 1:03 to play and the New York Giants defeated the
New England Patriots 6-3 on Wednesday night in the preseason finale
for the teams that met in the Super Bowl in early February.

This one was hardly as interesting as the title game, but the
Giants (2-2) once again scored late to win. Adewale Ojomo set up
the game-winning score with a sack and forced fumble against Brian
Hoyer that Marcus Thomas returned 12 yards to set up Tynes’ second
field goal of the half.

Steve Gostkowski kicked a 20-yard field goal in the second
quarter for the Patriots (1-3), who rested almost every starter.

The Super Bowl champion Giants will kick off the NFL season next
Wednesday at home against Dallas. The Patriots will open on the
road at Tennessee on Sept. 9.

The Giants iced the game with 13 seconds to play on an
interception by Laron Scott.

Eli Manning and the majority of the Giants’ starters played just
over a quarter, with receiver Hakeem Nicks making his preseason
debut. New England rested their starters with only fullback Eric
Kettani and defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick starting.

.After collecting only four first downs and 69 total yards in
the first half, the Giants took the second-half kickoff and went 64
yards in 13 plays with Tynes tying the game with a 34-yard field
goal. Andre Brown rushed nine times for 51 yards in what has to be
a late bid to make the club.

The Patriots held a 3-0 halftime lead after 30 minutes that at
best were boring.

Manning and the first-team offense played into the second
quarter and never got into New England territory. The closest New
York got was its own 49 in the next to last play of the half.

Manning was 4 of 8 for 29 yards in four series against the
Patriots’ reserves, including three without making a first down.

Gostkowski provided the only points of the half with a 20-yard
field goal a little more than 6 minutes into the second quarter.
The 12-play, 51-yard drive was kept alive by a third-down facemask
penalty against Giants linebacker Spencer Paysinger as he tackled
Brandon Bolden well short of a first down at the Giants 36.

If there was anything interesting in the first half it was the
work of referee Don King and his crew on a day the NFL announced
that it would open the regular season next week with replacement
officials.

King took about 5 minutes and three announcements to the crowd
at MetLife Stadium to explain that there were two penalties against
the Giants on a punt by New York’s Steve Weatherford.

At first, King said it was a penalty on each team. He then
corrected that to an illegal formation and a personal foul against
the Giants, and then the officials had to meet for a couple of
minutes to figure out how much yardage to access New York. They
settled on five and Patriots coach Bill Belichick came out to
question the decision.

The crowd got restless after third announcement.

King also seemed to muff the Giants calling a running into the
kicker penalty in the second quarter, roughly 7 seconds after
Zoltan Mesko kicked the ball.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin also questioned King early in the
fourth quarter when the officials picked up a flag seemingly thrown
for the Patriots having 12 men in the huddle before a 54-yard field
goal by Tynes.

King said New England called time out before the play. The
Giants eventually decided to punt.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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