Sb 46 proves Giants really have Patriots’ number
Sunday’s pro football extravaganza may not have featured the two most talented teams the National Football League had to offer for the 2011 season, but it did produce on of the best Super Bowls for the millions of fans who tuned it to the annual production.
And for the fourth time in as many years, the end result was the same. The New York Giants rallied in the final period to overtake the favored New England Patriots, this time by the score of 21-17.
It seems like several of the names on the backs of the uniforms change somewhat, but the final result seems to be the same. Either the Patriots cannot protect a fourth quarter lead against the Giants, or the New Yorkers simply have New England’s number.
In last week’s edition of ESPN The Magazine, in the lead paragraph about the preview of Super Bowl XLVI, author Seth Wickersham writes “the inarguable fact is that the Giants and Patriots are not great teams.”
The article points out that the Giants and Patriots are seriously flawed. “Both seem at once capable of defeating the best teams and losing to the mediocre ones. Opponents outscored the 9-7 Giants 400-394 during the regular season– the same Giants who beat the 13-3 Patriots, who didn’t defeat a team that finished above .500 until the AFC championship game.”
The article goes on to say that together the teams feature the two most porous defenses ever to play in the Super Bowl. “But on Feb. 5, one of them will hoist the Lombardi Trophy.”
Most of the pre-game prognosticators were correct in picking the Giants to win as NBC’s panel went 3-2 for New York, the NFL Network going 6-4 for the Giants while ESPN’s crew split 6-6 with Mike Ditka coming closest to the final score with 24-17 Giants.
Super Bowl XLVI also was the ONLY victory led by a Manning in Indianapolis this season, because Peyton missed the entire season with a neck injury. And while on the subject of Big Brother Peyton, Sunday’s victory put Eli ahead in Super Bowl MVP Awards, 2-1.
“Eli should have been the Most Valuable Player just for the last drive,” Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin told the Houston Chronicle after the game. “He put this team on his shoulders as he has all season.”
What the 65-year-old Coughlin was referring to was the final 3:46 of the game when New York was trailing the three-point favored Patriots 17-15 at their own 12-yard line.
Actually all Manning was trying to do was to drive the ball into position for Lawrence Tynes to kick a field goal that would put the Giants back on top 18-17 and to use up as much time as possible.
The key play in the final drive—which was Manning’s seventh game-winning drive this season— was the first play when Eli threw deep down the left side for wide receiver Mario Manningham, who made a great catch, despite being covered well by cornerback Sterling Moore and safety Patrick Chung, and somehow managed to get both feet down before going out of bounds for a 38-yard reception.
Manning connected with Manningham again for 16 yards and Hakeem Nicks on a 12-yard pass putting the Giants in field goal position. Manning completed all five passes he attempted in the final drive, which was good for 74 yards.
However, there still was plenty of time left for Pats’ quarterback Tom Brady to get his kicker in position for the winning field goal, so the Giants wanted to make certain they stayed in bounds to keep the clock running after New England used up their final time out.
But it appeared to this Korner that Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick had a plan of his own to conserve as much time as possible—let New York score the touchdown.
Ahmed Bradshaw got the call on a dive play up the middle and to his surprise the middle of the field opened up like someone had parted the Red Sea. He got to the goal line, stopped, did a 360 degree turn and dropped into the end zone with a confused look on his face, as if he did something wrong.
Although Bradshaw scored what proved to be the winning touchdown, he didn’t do much celebrating because the last thing he was told was to keep the clock moving. So with the Giants back in front 21-17, Coughlin went for a two-point conversion that failed.
Brady still had 57 seconds left to pull out a New England victory, but it just wasn’t meant to be as the Giants defense did their job as it had all game long and preserved the win for New York when Brady’s desperation Hail Mary pass as time ran out bounced off a few pair of hands and fell harmlessly to the Lucas Oil Stadium turf.
The victory made the Giants the first 9-7 team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl. New York also was the first champion to be outscored in a season, the first to surrender 400 points and the first to survive a four-game losing streak.
Brady’s wife model Gisele Bundchen defended her husband’s performance by claiming that he can’t throw the passes and catch them, too. Meaning that too many of his passes were on target, but dropped by the Patriots’ receivers.
So don’t be surprised if the New England receivers are a little hot under the collar for her remarks and that Brady will have to make amends for the incident.
KWICKIES…NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he was disappointed about the quality of last week’s Pro Bowl and plans to make some changes so the paying public and the television networks don’t get shortchanged by the lack of effort put out by many of the league’s elite players. Most of the plays in the Pro Bowl looked like the New York Giants’ winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLVI where the middle of the football field resembled the parting of the Red Sea. And there was plenty of booing heard in the stands at the Pro Bowl.
Orange’s Ray Dal Sasso shipped his colt Galloping Game to New Orleans in hopes of breaking his maiden status by winning his first career race Saturday afternoon at the historic Fair Grounds. Although the horse was the third favorite at 7-to-1, he took off in the pouring rain and sloppy track from the 11th post position and worked his way to the front of the pack and was barely nosed out at the wire in the six-furlong race by One Survivor. Galloping game paid $7 to place and $5 to show and $57 for the exacta.
Former Port Neches-Groves High School and Lamar University star golfer Chris Stroud turned 30 years old Friday and celebrated with a 12th-place finish in last weekend’s Phoenix Open. He collected a check for $128,000 which was quite a birthday present after firing his best round of the four-day tourney Saturday with a five-under par 66. But the big news of the tournament was the second major final-round meltdown in as many weeks, this time by the leader Spencer Levin. Ironically Kyle Stanley, who blew last week’s tourney with a similar meltdown, rallied Sunday from eight strokes down to win the event by a stroke over Ben Crane. Levin finished third, two shots off the pace.
JUST BETWEEN US…New Houston Astros owner Jim Crane recently unveiled some new fan-friendly measures that will allow them to bring their own food and water to baseball games this season, reversing a long-standing ban that had given Minute Maid a notorious distinction among other major league ballparks. Some ticket prices will fall and $5 domestic beer will be sold throughout the ballpark. Crane promised even more drastic changes could come next year when the club moves to the American League. But changing the name from Astros, as he first suggested, will not happen thanks to a deluge of e-mails and comments from irate fans on talk radio against that idea.