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Déjà Vu For Patriots After 2nd Super Bowl Loss Against Giants03:42
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New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker drops a pass during the second half of the Super Bowl game against the New York Giants Sunday. (AP)
New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker drops a pass during the second half of the Super Bowl game against the New York Giants Sunday. (AP)

It will be a long flight home for the New England Patriots and their fans after the team's devastating Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants in Indianapolis Sunday night. In the final seconds, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s Hail Mary pass was knocked to the ground and the Giants won, 21-17.

The Pats made some key mistakes that left many players — and fans — wondering what went wrong and what might have been.

When one of the Super Bowl pre-parties ended about an hour before kickoff, Pats fan Dani Marini of Boston started getting anxious.

"I’m so nervous, I just realized in this moment how nervous I am for this game," Marini said.

Marini was wearing a Wes Welker jersey with her game ticket hanging from a lanyard. She and a couple of friends arrived in Indy on Thursday, hoping to see the Patriots avenge their 2008 Super Bowl loss that ruined the team’s perfect season.

It all came down to a final long bomb throw from Brady in the dying seconds that fell incomplete.

"Since we’ve been here we’ve been getting it from the Giants. And we’re here to prove –- we’re here to take back the revenge. Needed revenge," she said.

Inside the Lucas Oil stadium, Giants fans outnumbered those from New England. When the Patriots ran onto the field, boos drowned out the cheers. And early in the game, New England didn’t give fans much to cheer about.

On his first play, Brady managed to score two points for the other team. Then the Patriots defense made a substitution mistake that led to a touchdown: a pass to UMass Amherst alum Victor Cruz, who danced the salsa in the end zone to celebrate.

Then Patriots came back to make a one-point gain at halftime, even though New York had held the ball twice as long.

That's similar to what happened four years ago. But as he walked to the concessions at halftime, Shawn Edge from Leominster wasn’t getting that same sinking feeling.

"No. Not at all déjà vu. This is a totally different ball game," Edge said. "And the Patriots. Always they start the second half fired. They got fire burning, man. Fire burning!"

And they did. They scored another touchdown straight away, and that was the last one. Brady threw an interception. Welker couldn’t make a key grab.

It all came down to a final long bomb throw from Brady in the dying seconds that fell incomplete.

After the game, Brady said he’d still rather lose to the Giants again in the Super Bowl than not make it to the big game at all.

"You look at our game four years ago, and it was a miracle play that they make," Brady said. "Today we had the chance to make one of those, and didn’t come up with it, so. It always comes down to one or two plays in this game, and if you make it, you’re celebrating. If you don’t, you don’t sleep for a week."

But some fans said the Patriots blew some opportunities.

"Letdown. Big letdown," said Brian Miller from South Attleboro, who headed sullenly back to his hotel room. He said he was going to give up his season tickets.

"We expected a lot better today. We thought we’d win," he said. "We had a little revenge match here. And defense played well. Just couldn’t get it done. You know what, 17 points just doesn’t do it."

Other fans were more forgiving, and pointed to five trips to the Super Bowl in 11 seasons. But now on the last two of those trips, the New York Giants have taken home the trophy.

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This program aired on February 6, 2012.

Curt Nickisch Twitter Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.

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