What. A. Game. Super Bowl XLVI gave us a little bit of everything. Last minute scores. A safety. Chad Ochocinco actually making a catch. Let’s break it all down in my last *sniff, sniff* football post of the 2011-12 NFL season.
FIRST AND GOAL
The four biggest stories from Super Bowl XLVI. As always, use the comments section below to answer my questions!
Eli 2, Brady 0
It’s also Eli 2, Brady 2 when it comes to Super Bowl MVP trophies. Obviously, it’s about more than just Eli and Tom, but when it came down to it in the big game last night, Eli made the plays and Tom didn’t. With 4 minutes left in the game and the Patriots clinging to a two-point lead, Brady misled a wide open Wes Welker. The Pats had to punt two plays later. On the ensuing drive, Manning marched the Giants 88 yards down the field for the deciding score. Obviously football is a team sport, but when the quarterbacks needed to make plays to decide the Super Bowl on Sunday, only one of them made the throws he needed to, and that was Eli. What do you think: who is the better quarterback right now, Tom Brady or Eli Manning?
Can’t Catch Crew
Like I said, this game was about more than just the two signal-callers. Manning got some truly eye-popping catches from guys like Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. On the other side of the ball, Brady watched as key guys like Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez all had HUGE drops on the last two drives. The Patriots receiving crew will spend all off-season kicking themselves for getting a case of the dropsies on the biggest stage in football. What do you think: who do you blame more for the Patriots poor performance on offense, Tom Brady or his receivers?
Was it just me or did this game seem…strange? New England, a team that scored the second most points in the league this year, came out on the first offensive play of the game…and gave up a safety. The Giants, on the other hand, completely dominated the first half, holding the ball for 19:45 compared to the Pats’ 11:15…and went into halftime losing. Even the game’s deciding touchdown was scored reluctantly, as Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw wanted to fall at the one-yard line in order to run more time off the clock but fell into the end zone instead. What do you think: was this one of the weirdest Super Bowls you remember?
Legacies Moving Forward
So now what? Has Eli Manning eclipsed Tom Brady as the most clutch QB in the league? Has Tom Coughlin eclipsed Bill Bellichick as the best post-season coach in the NFL? Have the Giants last three wins over the Patriots officially ended this New England dynasty? Will the Patriots make any more Super Bowl runs in the Brady Era or is this the beginning of the end? Will Eli continue to carry the Giants on his back every time the playoffs roll around? Give me your thoughts to these questions and any others you can think of in the comments below. See you in April for the draft and the start of next season!
HEROES AND ZEROES
Who excelled and who came up short in the big game. Nominate your own in the comments below!
Justin Tuck, DE, NYG: 2 sacks, 3 tackles
Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG: 10 catches, 109 YDS
Eli Manning, QB, NYG: 30-for-40, 296 YDS, 1 TD
Zeroes (these guys fought hard this week, but someone has to take the blame for the big loss):
Wes Welker, WR, NE: 7 catches, 60 YDS, one huge drop fourth quarter
Deion Branch, WR, NE: 3 catches, 45 YDS, also had a huge drop in the fourth quarter