EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Peyton Manning gave Eli Manning one piece of advice about playing against the New England Patriots. Little brother followed it to perfection - he played well.
Eli Manning matched his career-high with four touchdown passes and helped the New York Giants put a scare into the Patriots' bid for an undefeated regular season in Saturday night's 38-35 loss.
``I think this helps us,'' Eli Manning said after the Giants (10-6) finished the regular season with an impressive prep for next weekend's NFC wild-card playoff game against the Buccaneers in Tampa, Fla.
``It's been a while since we have come out as an offense and put up a lot of points and executed well.''
Manning finished 22 of 32 for 251 yards, the four scores and one interception. His 118.6 quarterback rating for the game was better than the 116.8 posted by New England's Tom Brady, who threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which set a single-season record of 50, breaking Peyton Manning's mark set in 2004.
For Eli Manning, it was his best game since throwing four touchdowns in a season-opening loss to the Cowboys in Dallas.
He admitted he and Peyton discussed playing the Patriots but denied a television report that Peyton told him the Patriots were beatable.
``Peyton and I, we talked,'' Eli Manning said. ``He didn't say anything wrong. Just go out there and play well. They are a good team. They have good players. Like any team they are beatable. He didn't say anything inappropriate.''
Manning set the tone for his night on the second play from scrimmage. Using play action to hold the New England safeties, he found Plaxico Burress running a deep post for a 52-yard gain.
It set up a 7-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Jacobs.
``It was a big play,'' Manning said. ``We wanted to hit a big play early on to loosen some of their corners and keep them from jumping things. It set the tempo of the game, and said 'We're hear to play, we're out here to give it out best shot.'''
The Giants certainly did.
Manning's 3-yard TD to rookie tight end Kevin Boss capped an 85-yard drive that gave New York a 21-16 halftime lead. He added a 19-yard touchdown pass to Burress on the Giants' first possession of the second half, pushing New York's lead to 28-16, the Patriots' biggest deficit of the season.
Manning capped his night with a 3-yard TD toss to Burress with 64 seconds to play, cutting the Patriots lead to 38-35.
New York failed to recover the onside kick, and the Patriots claimed their spot in history.
``I thought today was definitely a positive outcome in the game,'' Manning said. ``We didn't win the game, but if you saw everybody in the locker room, everybody was excited. I never saw a locker room so upbeat after a loss because we played so well, did some good things and hung in there in a game where we didn't have to play. We wanted to. We wanted to come out and play well, and we did that.''
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