Blog Entry

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:17 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 9:44 am
Eli didn't mind going to Manningham. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It's always fascinating to see how NFL sausage is made: Sound FX and NFL replays do just that. There's a particularly interesting nugget from Sunday's Super Bowl that occurred in between "The Drop" by Wes Welker and "The Catch XLVI" by Mario Manningham.

Bill Belichick, talking to the Patriots defense, told them how to handle pass protection. He wanted them to bottle up Giants wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and "make 'em go to Manningham."

"This is still a Cruz and Nicks game," Belichick said on the sideline. "I mean, I know we're right on 'em. It's tight. But those are still the guys. Make 'em go to Manningham. Make 'em go to Pascoe. Alright? Let's make sure we get Cruz and Nicks."

You know how this works out, right? Not well: Eli Manning slung a teardrop towards the Patriots sideline that Manningham somehow managed to real in ... right in front of Belichick. Belichick challenged and lost.

"He caught it," a dejected Tom Brady said in the Sound FX video.

Thought not for any real fault of either Belichick or his defensive backs. Manning got what he admitted was a bad look at Manningham (after he looked to Cruz and Nicks, who were covered) and just made an unbelievable throw into an unbelievably tight window. I can still see the ball in the air when I try to envision it. There's no way he should've completed that pass.

And it's probably a matchup that Belichick would take again.

H/T: Ultimate NYG

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Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:12 am

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

Totally the right call.  It just so happens that Manning made a great throw and Manningham a great catch.  But week after week Nicks and Cruz murdered defenses.  They kept Cruz from any big runs after catch, which was deadly all year.  The Pats picked the lesser of evils and still got burned.  Tip your hat to the Giants for executing.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:00 am

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

TOO MANY WEAPONS!  thank you, gm jerry reese!

Since: May 14, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:46 am

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

Anyone with a shred of a brain would have done the same. What would you plan? Cover Manningham at all costs and leave Cruz or Nicks open? He made the right call and Mannigham made one catch. If he didn't get that ball everyone is hailing Belichick as a genius for this but frankly its just common sense. You try to take away the big guns that got them there. If someone else steps up thats the risk you have to take.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:22 am

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

You got it, Bill... Let 'em go to Manningham... Check.  Ballgame. 

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