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Key Moment: Sergio Brown’s fourth-quarter pass interference penalty dooms Patriots

11.06.11 at 8:38 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The key moment in Sunday’s game came with 35 seconds left in regulation, and the Patriots holding a 20-17 lead.

The Giants were driving, and had the ball at the Patriots’ 21-yard line with a 1st and 10. That’s when New York quarterback Eli Manning scrambled and threw the ball deep toward the end zone for receiver Victor Cruz. Cruz, who was matched in single coverage with New England defensive back Sergio Brown, got tangled up with the safety, and pass interference was called on Brown, putting the ball at the Patriots’ 1-yard line. Three plays later, the Giants punched it in for what would turn out to be the game-winning touchdown.

“I got my head back, looking at the ball and tried to make a play on the ball,” said Brown, who picked up his second pass interference call of the season. “I guess we got tangled up. I was looking at the ball and trying to make a play on it. I mean, the feet got tangled up and they called it on me.

“I was surprised at the penalty, It wasn’t like … I was looking at the ball. I was playing the ball. I didn’t think they were going to call it.”

It was the second of two key pass interference calls on the Patriots in the fourth quarter — Kyle Arrington was flagged for one with just under six minutes remaining, a 35-yarder that put the Giants in position to score a go-ahead touchdown with 3:05 remaining. In all, the two calls accounted for 55 of the 81 penalty yards assessed on New England.

“The last two calls were tough,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick when asked about the two pass interference penalties. “That’s a lot of yards on those two plays.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Eli Manning, Kyle Arrington, Sergio Brown
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