The New England Patriots opened the third quarter with the football, after deferring at the start of the game when they won the coin toss. Tom Brady began the drive on the 21-yard line and marched the Patriots right down the football field. The drive was sparked by a 21-yard reception by Chad Ochocinco. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis also picked up 17 yards on a run to the outside to get the Patriots across midfield. Just a few plays later, the Patriots found themselves in the redzone. Tom Brady completed his twentieth pass of the game to tight end Aaron Hernandez for a 12-yard touchdown pass to put the Patriots up 17-9 over the New York Giants.
The Giants got the football back after the touchdown and began marching down the football field. Eli Manning was able to hit on a couple of passes and pick up some first downs, but the offense bogged down as the team got closer to the end zone and the Patriots defense didn't have to worry about getting beat deep. The Patriots were able to hold the Giants to a field goal as New York cut into the lead 17-12.
After the Giants field goal, their defense decided to turn up the heat on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. On third down, Brady was sacked by defensive end Justin Tuck to end on a three-and-out. New England had a quick scare however after the sack as Tom Brady appeared to be injury. Back up quarterback Brian Hoyer began warming up, but quickly put his baseball cap back on and went back to the bench as Brady finished getting checked out by the doctors.
The Giants got the football back after forcing the three-and-out and began working their way down the football field. The Giants avoided disaster when wide receiver Hakeem Nicks fumbled the football after a 17-yard gain, but fullback Henry Hynoski recovered the football. Manning was sacked on third and long however by linebacker Rob Ninkovich to force the Giants to once again settle for the field goal and cut the lead to 17-15. The half ended as the Patriots got the football back and they will begin the fourth quarter with the football.
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