I came home from a Super Bowl party to find my mom watching post-game coverage on ESPN after she got back from the party she went to. That’s just how good this game was. If you’re asking where my interests lay, I was rooting for the Pats’ perfection, but I had put money on the Giants to cover. So I win either way. I’ve never been quite so happy to have been so wrong.
I couldn’t pick the Giants beforehand, I thought the skill players were just too much better for New England — but there has always been one thing about the Giants that I would acknowledge every game: if the pass rush gets going, look out. Tom Brady was sacked five times and ate turf many more than that. Essentially, the Patriots did not necessarily get started until the second half, and they were already up 7-3 after one half of football, where the Giants could not finish the deal against the Patriots’ D, a weak point ever since Roosevelt Colvin was injured midway through the season.
Eli Manning wasn’t flawless — he threw a first-half pick, but that defense and pass rush saved him, forcing a punt after the Pats got into Giants territory. After that, there were a few bad throws, evened out by so many amazing plays — the throw to Boss for 45, the amazing heave that David Tyree came down with, the fade route to Burress on the 2-minute drill with time winding down. For all the talk we had about a damaged New York secondary, New England’s looked worse — Asante Samuel and Rodney Harrison were the only ones making plays consistently, and it looked like their own version of the Tampa Two, trying to keep everything in front of them. That defense will get you burned, especially with Burress, Toomer, and the Other Steve Smith becoming a viable third option (even though he made a couple rookie drops and was entirely responsible for Manning’s sole pick.)
But, let us be thankful that we avoided a blowout, and got a game that went down to the wire in a way many Super Bowls do not — this was an NFL post-season that did not disappoint us in terms of the football played on the field (at least the majority of the time), and fortunately, the championship game did not make us wish that it had been as competitive as the conference title games.
Congratulations to the New York Giants: You earned that.
Photo: AP/Stephan Saviola
Filed under: NFL, NFL playoffs | Tagged: AFC, Eli Manning's voice still hasn't dropped, NFC, Super Bowl XLII, the curse of the Red Hoodie, the game was better than the ads this year, those Citizen watch ads are now justified |