Blog Entry

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:01 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 11:48 pm
C. Blackburn's interception of Tom Brady helped change the game for New York (Ryan Wilson,
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS – Eli Manning did it again.

Four years ago, Manning proved he was one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the game, leading the Giants to the shell-shocking Super Bowl victory against the undefeated Patriots, and at Super Bowl XLVI, he cemented himself as one of the most-elite signal-callers in the game.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Manning is an all-timer, maybe a future Hall of Famer. Maybe not quite as good as brother Peyton. But Peyton only has one Super Bowl ring. Now, his younger brother has two.

Losing for most of the second half, Manning, with 3:46 to play, led the Giants on a nine-play, 88-yard drive to pull off the 21-17 upset of the Patriots.
Eli Manning was the Super Bowl MVP (AP)

Once again, Manning beat Tom Brady in the final game of the season. Once again, Giants coach Tom Coughlin knocked off New England’s Bill Belichick in the most-important contest of the year. Once again, Manning needed to be clutch in the final minutes with his team trailing the favored Patriots, and yes, once again, Manning delivered the victory.

Not surprisingly, he was the Super Bowl MVP and led a 9-7 team to the NFL title -- the first time that's ever happened.

While there were no David Tyree moments -- not one receiver caught the ball off his helmet -- Manning’s first throw of the final drive was a 38-yard pass to Mario Manningham that advanced the ball to midfield. From there, it was a 16-yard pass to Manningham, a two-yard throw to Manningham and a 14-yard throw to Hakeem Nicks.

After a seven-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw, Manning completed a four-yard pass to Nicks to set up the Giants game-winning score.

But here was a potential problem: with 57 seconds remaining, the Patriots simply allowed New York to score a touchdown so they’d get the ball back, and though Bradshaw tried to stop himself, his momentum carried him into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown.

"These guys never quit," Manning told NBC's Dan Patrick on the field afterward. "We had great faith in each other. ... It just feels good to win a Super Bowl, no matter where we are."

On fourth and 16 deep in his own territory, Brady kept the game alive by throwing a first-down ball to Deion Branch. After back-to-back incompletions, Brady took the final snap of the game with 5 seconds to play, and though his Hail Mary attempt was batted around in the end zone, it fell harmlessly to the turf to seal the Giants win.

For the first 26 minutes of the second half, the Patriots were in control of the game and seemed likely to get New England its first Super Bowl title since 2004.
Ahmad Bradshaw tried to stop himself from falling into the end zone but ultimately couldn't. (AP)

Many of the pregame storylines -- the Giants were going to pick on the Patriots secondary all night, New England’s offense would be much less dynamic without a completely-healthy Rob Gronkowski and the New York defense would spook Tom Brady once again -- hadn’t panned out.

Instead, after falling behind 9-0 in the first quarter, Brady was fantastic on the final drive of the first half, completing all 10 of his passes. Though Jason Pierre-Paul stuffed Danny Woodhead on second and goal from the 3 for a 1-yard loss, Brady, with all kinds of time provided by his offensive line, found Woodhead for the four-yard touchdown pass to give New England a 10-9 lead at halftime.

The 14-play, 96-yard drive tied a Super Bowl record for longest drive, and that momentum continued in to the third quarter. Though Madonna elongated halftime with her mostly-panned performance, the Patriots came out hot in the second half, as Brady went 6-for-6 on the first drive of the third quarter and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Except for his performance in the first half, New England's offense struggled behind Tom Brady. (AP)
On those two game-turning drives, Brady was 16 of 16 for 154 yards and two touchdowns, and he proved that many of those pregame prognostications were inaccurate.

Except the Patriots offense didn’t do much of anything else after that.

Gronkowski, like we thought, wasn’t much of a factor except as a decoy and a blocking tight end. Even with the best tight end in the game suffering from a high ankle sprain, New England’s offense, especially went it went to no-huddle, was dynamic enough in the middle of the game. Brady did try to go deep to Gronkowski early in the fourth quarter, but Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn intercepted him.

But after that strong output in the drives sandwiching intermission -- Brady completed a Super Bowl-record 16-straight passes -- New York’s defense stopped the Patriots.

The Giants couldn’t have had a better start defensively after the Patriots forced a punt and New York punter Steve Weatherford dropped a kick at the New England 6. On the first Patriots play from scrimmage, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck got good pressure, and Brady released the ball across the middle of the field before he took the hit.

But officials penalized him for intentional grounding, and since Brady was in the end zone when he threw the ball, it was ruled a safety to give New York a 2-0 lead -- the second time this postseason the Giants had opened a game with a safety.

Giants 21, Patriots 17
On the next drive, Manning, who started the game 9 of 9 for 77 yards and a touchdown, found Victor Cruz for the 2-yard score to give New York a nine-point advantage. At that point, New York had run 17 plays to the Patriots total of 1.

But toward the end of the second quarter, the Patriots started playing better.

Still, the Giants kept themselves in the game. Even though New York fumbled three times, they managed to recover two of them and the other was wiped out by a Patriots penalty. After falling behind 17-9, Lawrence Tynes kicked a 38-yard and a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter to cut the lead to 17-15.

After the game, Coughlin was asked by NBC to talk about how he matched the Super Bowl total of his mentor, Bill Parcells.

Said Coughlin: "I'm not about comparisions."

Fair enough, but we know enough to say this. Coughlin shouldn't ever have to worry about his job security in New York again, and Eli Manning never should have to worry about being overshadowed by his brother.

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Since: Oct 16, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:10 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

I have to think the Pats would have won with a healthy Gronkowski.  The fact they came as close as the did without their most productive receiver tells you how good Brady is.  And I was rooting for the Giants.  But facts are facts.

Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:09 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Well, Big Mouth Brady said he'd rather have the ball in his hands with a minute left and the Pats down than have the Pats ahead with 1 minute left and the Giants with the ball. How stupid of a comment!!

That was such an obvious question that I can't believe you took offense at Brady's answer. I can't imagine a QB anywhere who would go on record as saying they would rather be up and have their Defense on the field. Even if that is what they truly would prefer deep in their heart. Most QB's really want the ball in their hand with a chance to score the game winner, and the few who might not are smart enough not to admit it.

Ask that question of all the starting QB's in the league and I guarantee you that all of them will say they want the ball.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:09 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Belichick has to be sick and tired of the Mannings beating up on him.  Now not only a Manning, but a Manningham.  Classic!

Since: Jan 23, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:07 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

read prior posts for context

Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:06 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

The Giants made the plays at the end of a hotly-contested, tight game. Hats off to them... Unfortunately the Spygate talk continues to the contrary  of the facts.  Twice the Patriots were within two minutes of closing out both Super Bowls and couldn't finish. How many teams have made it to Super Bowl in the AFC since early 2007? The Pats (2), Steelers (2), and Colts, and that's it.  The Steelers have won the only one for the AFC in that span of five years and it too was a close game, just as all five of those Super Bowls have been.  The Patriots have one of the best records in football since Spygate, look it up.   Bring facts and not fanboy jealousy the discussion.

No matter how much you want to put this behind you, the truth is, Spygate will not go away until the Patriots "win" another Super Bowl.  Not come close.  Before Spygate came into play, it appeared as if Brady and Belichick were unbeatable in these big games.  They always came through in the clutch and made great adjustments after the half.  They were closers.  Now, all of a sudden they can't win THE big game.  Their regular season record doesn't matter.  No one is calling Belichick a bad coach or Brady a bad QB.  We all recognize that they are HOFers.  BUT, I still can't help but wonder if that "slight" edge with the cameras was the difference in their Super Bowl victories.  I don't know all of the logistics.  All I know is that they have not won a Super Bowl since.  Win one and Spygate goes away.  Otherwise, you just have to deal with it.   

Since: Sep 11, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:04 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Beantwn: Here are some facts: Over the last decade, 4 different pro franchises have accused the New England club of radio frequency manipulation in Foxboro. Just last month, Ravens management publicly acknowledged the probability that somebody in charge of the scoreboard "accidentally on purpose" caused the board to mysteriously 'malfunction' during the Ravens' final drive.
The Patriots have been busted taping other teams' practices and their signals. Their horrendous reputation and silly, desperate stunts led the NFL to fine the team a half million bucks and dock a first round draft pick.

I know, Pats fans-it's because everybody is jealous. Everybody is lying. Hey, you might even convince me of that if we were only talking about 2 or 3 different NFL teams that balked publcily about New England's apparent lack of respect or sportsmanship; but when there's 5, 6, even 7 different clubs (including Tampa Bay, hardly a 'jealous rival') it's hard NOT to listen. Where there's smoke, there's fire. And Foxboro is burning.

Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:02 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Good job giants and elite eli. good game too. A good close game to the end. 

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:00 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

123kid says: "Fact is the Giants got beat 2 weeks ago when Bradshaw fumbled with 2 mins left against the 49ers. Hate all you want...that's a fact"....So, if you think about the 49ers are the real Super Bowl winne

Dude, if you actually believe the typewritten poop you just dumped on this forum, then you should vow right now to never ever watch the NFL again.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:00 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

If, if if...  that's what the denial group has to fall back on.  If Welker's aunt had balls, she would be his uncle!  Eli and the Giants won... Period.

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:58 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

You earn the easy road in the playoffs by winning in the regular season.  Thats why it matters.  Don't whine about how "easy" the Pats had it in the playoffs, thats just stupid.

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