EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New England Patriots are
perfect. But it didn't come without a dogfight.
The Patriots rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit and
scored 22 straight points to beat the dogged New York Giants 38-35
to become the first NFL team to finish the regular season 16-and-0.
They're the first undefeated team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
The 1934 and 1942 Chicago Bears also finished undefeated in the
Tom Brady and Randy Moss set single-season records for touchdown passes and TD catches, respectively. Brady hit Moss on a 65-yard scoring pass play in the fourth quarter for the go-ahead score with 11:15 left.
The play gave Brady 50 TD passes for the season. That broke
Peyton Manning's 2004 record of 49. Moss has 23 TD catches,
breaking the mark of Jerry Rice, who did it in 12 games during a
strike-marred 1987 season.
The play and subsequent two-point conversion gave the Patriots a
31-28 fourth-quarter lead over the New York Giants. They finished
with 589 points for the season. The old mark was 556 by the 1998
The Giants didn't go down without a fight. Locked into their
playoff slot and facing a wild-card playoff game next weekend
against Tampa Bay, the Giants went with their regulars the entire
night. Eli Manning tossed four TD passes. They scored on their
first possession, the first time all year New England had allowed a
touchdown on their opponent's first drive. Domineck Hixon added a
74-yard kickoff return for the Giants but it wasn't enough to stop
the Patriots from making history.