Bad outweighs the good for Arrington


Bad outweighs the good for Arrington

FOXBORO -- Kyle Arrington almost had a fantastic night.

The Giants were up 10-3 in the third quarter's final two minutes and poised, quivering on the New England 5. Quarterback Eli Manning looked into the end zone and saw Mario Manningham. He launched the ball.

Picked by Arrington.

The interception saved New England at least three points. When Tom Brady and the offense returned Arrington's favor with a touchdown and extra point, the pick turned into a game-tying 10-point swing. And this was his second point-shaving play. At the beginning of the quarter he got a finger on a slant thrown to Victor Cruz on a third-and-3 from the Patriots 4. The ball fell incomplete; New York settled for a field goal.

Seven points saved.

But it's the seven lost -- and 35-yards -- that'll be remembered by most.

Arrington was hit with a huge pass interference penalty in the fourth quarter. Manning was working a first-and-10 on the Giants 25 when he found Manningham running deep along the left sideline. Instead of turning to make a play on the ball, Arrington stayed facing the receiver and got his hands on Manningham. In a flash -- with one whistle -- New York moved up to New England's 40. The Giants got seven, the lead, and an enormous shift in momentum.

New England lost 24-20. In the locker room, Arrington appeared exhausted.

"Receiver had a step on me so I'm trying to make up ground on the thrown ball," he recalled. "Could have played it better or... I don't know. I have to see the film. I didn't think... It doesn't matter what I think. They called it."

He bit his tongue on debating the penalty. The urge to claim innocence is instinctual, but, to Arrington, also pointless. It was a moment of the irrevocable -- as impossible to change as it is to forget. Fellow cornerback and defensive captain Devin McCourty said he understands the frustration.

"It's probably the toughest play. A guy goes deep and, not many guys in the league are slow so, you really have to start running. As he stops and adjusts to the ball, sometimes, like I said to Kyle, those underthrows are the toughest to defend.

"Sometimes you're able to get your head around, sometimes you have to play his hands. Each situation is different and that pass interference call is going to go either way. As a defender it's tough; sometimes the ref sees it as pass interference, sometimes it's a no-call. You've just got to continue to play and try to get it out of there."

The Patriots defense unraveled.

Though Arrington wasn't alone in making mistakes, things continued to trend downward after his penalty. His disappointment after the game was different from that of his teammates; it was like the fall from interception to pass interference knocked the life out of him. Worse, he's part of a secondary beleaguered by doubt in the first place, so instead of coming up a hero, it's like he failed like the statistics said they would.

That's how it will be recalled, anyway.

Arrington says he has to learn and move on. There can be as much dwelling on the bad as there is the good: zero. It's the only way to survive.

"It's the National Football League; playing corner in this business, you have to have a short memory."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win


MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.