Patriots quarterback Tom Brady scored two rushing touchdowns in the triumph Thursday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Brady also passed Peyton Manning's career passing yardage total, climbing to No. 2 on the all-time list.
The Giants (2-4) fought hard in the first half, trailing 21-14 at the break. The Patriots defense shut out the Giants in the second half.
"We just grinded it out pretty good," Brady told reporters. "Got kind of forced into one grouping there in the second half. I don't think that's ever happened in 20 years, but defense played great, special teams played great.
"Outside of a few plays, it would have been pretty good. So, we're hanging in there."
Neither offense scored in the first quarter. The Patriots took a 7-0 lead on a blocked punt at the end of the quarter. Brandon Bolden was credited with the block. Chase Winovich recovered the ball and returned it for a 6-yard score.
Patriots defender Duron Harmon intercepted Giants rookie Daniel Jones in the second quarter and had a 27-yard return, giving New England the ball at the New York 20 yard line. Bolden capped off the Patriots' resulting drive with a 1-yard rushing score.
Jones made up for the miscue on the next drive, hooking up with Golden Tate for a 64-yard touchdown.
Giants defender Lorenzo Carter sacked Brady on the Patriots' next drive. Markus Golden recovered a Brady fumble during the sack and had a 42-yard return for a touchdown, tying the score at 14-14.
The Patriots responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by Brady's first rushing score. Neither team scored in the third quarter. Kyle Van Noy also had a 22-yard fumble return for a score in the fourth frame, extending the Patriots' lead to 28-14. Brady returned to the end zone on the Patriots' next possession, scoring at the end of a 7-play, 63-yard drive.
"Any of those defensive or special teams touchdowns are really kind of bonus points," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "You don't really think about getting those when you go into the game so to be able to get 14 of them was huge. That was a big spark.
"Again, give the Giants credit. They battled back and they hit us on a big play and then they got a scoop-and-score and got back into the game as well. We've got to avoid giving those kind of big plays up to offset the ones that we make. In the end, we made enough plays in the second half to come out on top."
Brady completed 31 of 41 passes for 334 yards and an interception in the win. He also had six yards and two scores on seven carries. Sony Michel had 113 yards from scrimmage for the Patriots. Julian Edelman had 113 yards on nine catches in the win.
Jones completed 15 of 31 passes for 161 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions for the Giants. Tate had six catches for 102 yards and a score in the loss.
"We battled, we didn't win though," Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. "So, we've got to make more plays so we can win. But I was proud of the way we battled. I've never been disappointed with how hard our guys fight, but we got to find a way to make more plays than the other team and win the game."