Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI - Giants over Patriots, 21-17

As distasteful as it might be to bring up Sunday's game, I feel an obligation to the historical record to do so.  For instance, the last time the Patriots lost the Super Bowl, back on February 3, 2008 when these same Giants came from behind to defeat the then 18-0 Patriots by a score of 17-14, Tony wrote the following post under the title "Pats 18-1, Why?"
You can explain it anyway you want, but I am going to explain it this way…the Patriots stunk last night. The Giants didn’t beat them. No way, Eli Manning and these Giants couldn’t beat the New England Patriots on their best day… Rather, the Patriots beat themselves. Usually, when you say this about a sporting team you mean it made a lot of mistakes…but that is not what I mean… The New England Patriots just didn’t come to play. Sure, the Giants had an awesome pass rush, but wasn’t this the same pass rush the Pats scored 38 points against in the final regular season game? Truthfully, the Giants didn’t look that good to me, but the Pats looked that bad. It comes down to this…The Giants played exactly the way we expected. Remember, they scored only 3 points in the first three quarters of the game! but, our Patriots did not play as expected. Tom Brady and company did nothing for most of the game. Even if the New England offense played to half our expectations, they would have been up by a least 14 at half time. Heck, the Pats only scored 7 points up until 2:42 of the 4th quarter. Can you believe it? They were held to 7 points for 90% of the game! I know, I know…the Giant’s pass rush killed them…Still, was this the first time the Pats were blitzed hard all season? NO. Admit it…after the Tom Petty break everyone expected the brilliant Belichick to come out with a plan that would slow down the pass rush. He always did in the past, and he probably did last night. I love the Pats too, but let’s face it, for some reason these players didn’t execute. I’m not a sports junkie or football expert…so I’ll say it again in layman’s terms…the Pats stunk last night. There’s no other way to explain it.
We started this blog in December 2003, so we should also have posts from the February 1, 2004 victory by the Patriots over the Caroline Panthers by a score of 32-29 and from the February 6, 2005 Patriots win over the Eagles, 24-21 (I'll dig them out of the archives and post in the coming days).  The Pats' first Super Bowl victory, on February 3, 2002 over the Rams by a score of 20-17 predates this blog as do the January 26, 1986 blow-out loss to the Bears (46-10) and the lackluster January 26, 1997 loss to the Packers (35-21).

Regarding this year's game, it is said that the team that makes fewer mistakes is most likely to win and that was the case here.  Brady getting the safety and then the interception gave up the ball twice not to mention the 2 points and in a relatively low scoring ball control game, that was the difference.  After the long-bomb interception by Baltimore two weeks ago, I didn't think he'd throw it up for grabs like that again.   When it mattered most, Manningham made the catch while Welker did not.  The game made clear Gronkowski's value to the team.  If they could get one or two decent wide receivers (replacing Ochocinco and perhaps Branch) they'd be better.  Brandon Spikes is really good which I never realized since he was out so much.  The running back Ridley was good this year but for his fumbles.  They are reviving the team with younger players even though Brady is aging.  This probably won't be the last blog post we do about the Patriots in the Super Bowl.  

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