INDIANAPOLIS - It took just about the entire half but the Patriots last-second drive to close the opening 30 minutes looked like it might have been one of those trademark Tom Brady marches that leads to four or five consecutive productive possessions. We've seen it many times this year when the offense has some trouble early on and then suddenly clicks. The final 14-play, 96-yard drive to close the first half had all the earmarks of Brady figuring out what the Giants defense had been doing.
He effectively used all his weapons, getting the tight ends involved for the first time of the game. Rob Gronkowski had a big 20-yard catch and Aaron Hernandez came through with a pair of important third-down catches. Then Danny Woodhead emerged as the weapon of choice, nearly breaking a couple of tackles on a catch to the 11 before coming up with the touchdown grab to close the half with the Patriots on top, 10-9.
It will be interesting to see if Gronkowski can remain on the field, even in the limited capacity he displayed throughout the first 30 minutes. If he can, it appears as if New England's offense has too many options for the Giants unless New York continues to mount the steady pressure it did in the early going. Otherwise it will be a long night for the G-Men. The opening drive of the second half will be huge for both sides.