- Associated Press - Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Giants are running out of tight ends.

First, Travis Beckum. Now, Jake Ballard.

New York lost their top two tight ends to injuries, with Bear Pascoe the only remaining player at the position.

Beckum tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee early in the second quarter at the Super Bowl. Ballard sprained his left knee in the fourth quarter.

By the way, New England’s big tight end, Rob Gronkowski, has just two catches for 26 yards. His status was uncertain the past two weeks with a high left ankle sprain.

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Tom Coughlin is fired up.

And for good reason.

The New York Giants coach was livid when officials didn’t call a flag on New England’s Sterling Moore, who _ as TV replays clearly showed _ had his left hand on Mario Manningham’s left shoulder with his right arm stretched out over the Giants receiver’s right shoulder as Eli Manning’s pass came zipping at him.

The throw fell incomplete on third-and-10 from the Patriots 43 midway through the fourth quarter. The Giants were forced to punt as Coughlin barked at the officials from the sideline for not calling a pass interference penalty.

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Buckle up.

With the way these teams are playing, we could be in for another fantastic final 15 minutes.

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The Giants are inching closer.

A 33-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes with 35 seconds left in the third quarter cuts New England’s lead to 17-15. The Patriots’ defense has done a solid job on the Giants‘ last few offensive possessions by putting consistent pressure on Eli Manning and not allowing much on the ground to Brandon Jacobs or Ahmad Bradshaw.

Tom Brady took a hard pop from Justin Tuck at the end of the Patriots’ last drive that had team trainers briefly checking out his left shoulder on the sideline, but he appears to be fine. He was back on the field on New England’s next possession.

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Ouch. That was a painful drive for the Giants _ literally.

Sure, they got a 38-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes to cut the deficit to 17-12, but a couple of New York’s receivers took a pounding from the Patriots.

First came a bone-crunching hit from Patrick Chung, keeping Hakeem Nicks from making a big catch, and causing the Giants receiver to shake his left arm around on the sideline. Two plays later, Sterling Moore slammed into Mario Manningham, who somehow managed to hold on for a 5-yard grab despite getting pounded into the turf.

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Tom Brady is absolutely on fire.

He just led the Patriots on an eight-play, 79-yard scoring drive, going 5 for 5 passing, to give New England a 17-9 lead. That came after he hit on all 10 passes during the Patriots’ 96-yard touchdown drive right before halftime.

The Giants need to find their pass rush _ and fast.

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We have an Ochocinco sighting at the Super Bowl.

After sitting out the AFC championship game against Baltimore, Chad Ochocinco opened the second half with his first catch, a 21-yard grab for New England. His first season with the Patriots was quiet with a career-low 15 catches, but he said he was living his dream by getting to football’s biggest game for the first time in his 11-year career.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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