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Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:08 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 10:08 pm
 
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By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tom Brady's left shoulder had been an issue for most of the season. In fact, he missed practice the Wednesday before the Patriots faced the Ravens in the AFC Conference Championship and went on to play his worst game of the season. He appeared to injure the shoulder again Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVI, after Giants defensive end Justin Tuck sacked him on New England's second drive of the third quarter.

At the time, the Patriots led 17-12 and up to that point Brady looked every bit the future Hall of Famer he is. Earlier in the third quarter, Brady broke Joe Montana's Super Bowl record of 13 straight completions. As colleague Will Brinson noted during the completion streak, Brady was so spectacular that he even managed to get Chad Ochocinco involved.

But after the Tuck sack, Brady looked more like the quarterback who struggled against the Ravens two weeks ago, and the Giants … well, every time he's faced them the going back four years.

Brady's line, pre-Tuck sack: 20 of 24 for 201 yards and two touchdowns. In fact, the pass just prior to Tuck's takedown broke Brady's completion streak and it came 6:12 into the third quarter.

Brady's line, post-Tuck sack: 7 of 17 for 75 and an interception. The pick, arguably the play of the game, came courtesy of linebacker Chase Blackburn, who was a substitute teacher earlier this season before the Giants signed him. Blackburn ran stride for stride with tight end Rob Gronkowski down the middle of the field and actually out-Gronk-ed Gronk to haul in the slightly underthrown pass.

"We were in a defense where I had to carry [Gronkowski] vertical all the way down the field," Blackburn said. [Brady] had a lot of time. I think he busted out of a sack and he just threw it up for grabs. I finally found the ball. I just tried to box him out and go up and get the ball."

Giants 21, Patriots 17
And that's exactly what happened. Blackburn was the beneficiary of Gronkowski's bum ankle, which kept the tight end out of practice early in the week and certainly limited his effectiveness.

But the road to a championship requires more than precise game-planning or flawless execution. A lot of luck is involved too. Four years ago, it was David Tyree's helmet. Sunday night it was Blackburn making the play of his career.

Here's the thing, though: Blackburn's grab would've been nothing more than a sidenote had Brady -- injured left shoulder or not -- been able to complete a pass to a wide open Wes Welker with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter. By that time, the Pats were clinging to a 17-15 lead but driving. Another score and the game likely would have been over and New England would finally have their fourth championship after a six-year drought that included no postseason victories until three weeks ago.

Instead, Brady missed Welker down the seam on a throw he must've completed a hundred times this season, a thousand times in his career.

"Wes was running down the field and it looked like they messed the coverage up a little bit and I threw it to him," said Brady. "(Welker) went up to try and make it, as he always does, and we just couldn't connect. He's a hell of a player. I'll keep throwing the ball to him for as long as I possible can. He's a phenomenal player and teammate and I love that guy."

When New England finally got the ball back, they trailed 21-17 and had to navigate 80 yards in only 57 seconds. If this had been 2004, we'd all be lamenting that the Giants gave Brady too much time to do what he does. But this is 2012, four years removed from Brady succumbing to New York's pass rush on that final, fateful Super Bowl XLII drive. We've seen this movie, we know how it ends: five incomplete passes and a sack sandwiched around two harmless completions, and Brady walks off the field sullen and beaten.

"We could have done a better job in a lot of things," head coach Bill Belichick said afterwards.

But that sentiment holds for the Giants, too (and every team that has ever played a game).  Things may have turned out differently had New England just been luckier.

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Comments

Since: Sep 21, 2011
Posted on: February 7, 2012 10:18 am
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Nice statistical breakdown of Brady's performance after Tuck's crushing sack.
Overall, I felt both qb's were ultra conservative. I believe neither averaged over 8 yds/comp.
Manning's big pass play was obviously the 38 yard strike to Manningham, a beautiful pass & catch indeed.

Surprisingly, both defenses stepped up and gave the scoreboard operator plenty of opportunities to eat chips and tweet away. I had this Super Bowl forecasted as a Giants victory; however, the more I crunched the numbers, the final score continued to increase. NYG 27-24, 34-30, 35-31. 

Credit the Pats d, with laying on some hard hits. They were agressive with stripping the ball away although, they could not benefit from recovering the forced fumbles.

Brady was on fire early and may have finished with pedestrian like numbers compared to what he was on track to due. The Giants D was steady and the Pats chose to simply take the inches and feet that the Giants were willing to give. In the end, I think most of the fans knew that Eli and his fourth quarter heroics would be showcased. Having said that, the Pats should have been more agressive in regards to moving the ball downfield in greater chunks.

The Pats, adding Josh McDaniels as OC, will have an even better offensive attack next year.
As for the Giants, they need to stay aggressive and hungry. You can't always wait for your back to be up against the wall before you decide to perform up to your fullest capabilities.
      
;     &nbs
p;




Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 6:34 am
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Dead on. Brady turtled on that sack and wasn't the same after. Feared the rush. 

The Welker non-catch was not the big turning point people are making it out ot be. Welker was on the 20-yard line. All it may have gotten was a FG and a 20-15 lead. The Giants still would have gotten the ball. On that NE drive, the Patriots were too conservative and never looked like they were trying to score a TD.  



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:57 pm
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Does anyone ever proofread these horribly-written articles?



Since: Dec 9, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 6:08 pm
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

I'm a Giant's fan too, way to go G-men.  But NFC East, really?  I'd root for the Pats, or just about any other AFC team, to beat the Eagles, Cowboys, or Redskins.  If you're really a Giants fan, the other three teams in the division can't loose often enough.



Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:20 pm
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Just another Super Bowl losing QB and now increasingly just another footnote.



Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:18 pm
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

It would only be right that Tuck's hit changed the game. If that was the case, Tommy can thank his teammates for that. 


After the coin-toss, the Pats players did not want to shake Tuck's hand. He held his hand out, and guys just looked at him. After about 10 seconds of awkwardness -- "Sooo, you're just going to leave me hanging like this" -- I think someone finally gave him a half hearted hand touch. At that very moment I told my friends, "those dudes just threw Thomas under the bus. Tuck is going to try to kill Tom Brady".

Just looked for articles on it, and it was Vince Wilfork who gave him the cold shoulder. 



Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:46 pm
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

When I saw the Brady's pass headed to a wide open Welker my only thought was: "Why did I bet on the Giants?"  After the ball hit the turf I remembered why:  NFC East owns the AFC East in super bowls(8-2 All Time I believe).  What ever needs to happen for the AFC-E to lose seems to always happen to them.  You can put that drop right next to the Norwood miss.  Took points off the board and kept time on the clock. 



Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:31 pm
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Injuries are part of the game - Giants lose two tight ends and have to change the game plan.  Pats really don't have Gronk - mostly a decoy for the game.  But it was obvious on the interception that Gronk could not get off the ground and with the ball being under thrown Blackburn was able to make the interception.

I still don't get how the left shoulder stops a right armed throw effect the passing game.  I do uderstand that pain grows stronger through the game as it gets worse from siting on the sidelines.

Al;so I haven't seen much discussion of the safety.  I've been watching football for over 50 years and never saw intentional grounding on a ball thrown straight down the middle.  Maybe Brady thought one of his recievers was going to break off their route and go down field.

As a Charger fan I've had a resentment toward Eli and dad Archie for forcing the trade for Rivers.  Happy to have Rivers don't get me wrong.  But Archie knew - as many Charger fans now know - that this Charger ownership and current organization (AJ Smith/Norv Turner) is probably not going to win a Super Bowl - Giants have great ownership and coaching and that's the way it's been since the Mara family stopped the in fighting and hired George Young. 

Alas there's a;ways next year!



Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:21 pm
 

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

apart from a pretty damn good DEFENSE in Da' GIANTZ , and a handful of GOOD ( and 1 GREAT ) catch! ; ) ---- The GAME in general was rather BORING ( until 4th Quarter Drama ) ---- Good Job GIANTZ ---- your Team made better PLAYS - and you deserved to WIN ---- But a lot of 'luck' was also in play on this one ; p --- I'm just sayin ( Welker makes that catch - and GAME OVER )



Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:46 am
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