Up against Bill, Patriots go down
First in a collection of eight memorable Patriots-Giants games.
Coming off two straight playoff appearances, the Patriots were midway through a strike-marred 8-7 campaign when they matched their lowest scoring output in Week 8 (and that includes three games using replacement players). The league’s 24th-ranked passing offense was no match for the Giants’ Bill Belichick-guided defense, which forced Steve Grogan into as many misfires (18) as completions, intercepting him three times. One of those picks was by star linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who also had both New York sacks. The Patriots finished with just 232 total yards - 65 below their season average - and 11 first downs. Though the Giants were the defending Super Bowl champions, their season was a mess from the start, hindered by injuries and the strike. But New York played up to its potential in this one, even without quarterback Phil Simms, who sprained his knee six days earlier in a Monday night loss to Dallas. Jeff Rutledge had one of the better games of his career, finishing 21 of 33 for 233 yards and delivering a pair of first-half touchdown passes to give the Giants a 14-0 lead.