Objectivity is a hard thing to accomplish when you a sports blogger. Personal feelings and getting caught in the moment of a big event often taint that unbiased opinion that is being striven for. To that end, I have waited a full two days before revisiting this years SuperBowl in an attempt to avoid the pratfalls that come with this job. Below are my grades on how both teams fared in the key aspects of the game.
New England Patriots
Bill Belichick, regarded as a genius by many, made two questionable calls in this game. The first was throwing the ball with 4minutes left when the Patriots had the lead instead of running against the League's worst rush defense when killing the clock might have ended the Giants chances. The second was allowing the Giants to score with a minute left instead of trying for a strip or a missed field goal, something that happened in their favor just a game ago. There is a fine line between genius and goat and that line is defines by the choices that work out. These didn't.
Tom Brady wants so badly to be the greatest of all time. The only issue with this is that in this latter part of his career, he isn't getting the job done. From his opening play safety to that late interception on a pass that should have never left his hand, Brady is showing heavy signs of humanity from a QB many believe is a winning machine.
Yes, I understand that the Patriots greatest offensive threat, outside of Brady, was hobbles by a high ankel sprain thus making him a pail shadow of himself but let's be real here, they should have done more. The best offense in the league facing the 27th best defense should have been able to muster over 20 points, yet they didn't, and that's why they lost.
Oddly enough, the defense was the only unit on the Pats team that came with their A game. It's true they allowed the Giants a game winning drive, helped by Belichick's decision to allow New York to score at the end, but props must be given for how they kept the high flying Giants O in check for most of the game.
New York Giants
Tom Coughlin wasn't flashy and he didn't make any genius moves but he had his team ready to play, fired up and most importantly, prepared to handle adversity. Sometimes being consistent is better than being genius, at least that's what Coughlin's two rings over Belichick tells me.
Big time Players come out in big time moments and that's what Eli Manning did. Much maligned all season for his placing himself in the elite QB scene, Eli lived up to that moniker by coolly marching his team down the field and winning the game late. Is he really elite, well, I don't know. But this much is true, he is a two time SuperBowl winning QB and that says volumes right there.
The O wasn't great in this game, not capitalizing on a number of early opportunitues to make a larger lead, but they came through in the end with a game winning drive. Considering they lost two tight ends to injury in this game, you have to give props where it's due.
The New York Giants D came out to play in a big way and held the best offense in the league to under 20 points. They harassed, harried and sacked Tom Brady into a shell of his former self and made it so they had no real chance on that last drive.
SuperBowl XLVI: B
Do I think this SuperBowl is a top ten game… no… but it was enjoyable in that I saw the Patriots lose. The most you can hope for in a big game is a dramatic finish and this one had it.
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