On the Patriots last drive, not on the last play (since game cant end on a defensive penalty) but on a few of their last plays the Giants should have put their entire 53 man roster on the field to play defense in order to milk the clock. Sounds crazy right? But its true. Ive said it all year, it doesnt make any sense how there is no such thing as a a pre-snap too many men on the field penalty on the defense. Its only on the defense once the ball is snapped.
To combat this, the best the Patriots can do is snap the ball and spike it which would run 2 seconds off the clock. Do that enough times and you leave the Patriots with 1 play left to score (since game cant end on a defensive penalty).
As you saw, this was critical on the Pats last drive. With 17 seconds left, they had a play run 8 seconds off the clock where the Giants have 12 men on the field. 5 Yard penalty on the Giants. But good play for the Giants! Why wouldnt they trade the 5 yards for an 8 second runoff?
To combat this loophole, either:
A. Make too many men on the field a pre snap penalty on defenses (just like it is on the offense), or
B. As my roomate suggested, make too many men on the field penalty in the last 2 minutes of the half, so that the offense should be awarded the yards AND the clock should revert to the amount of time that was left before the play started.