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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.

Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2012 10:05 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

I was gonna reply to the BloodyCubfan guy but then I saw he had like 6 replies in a row, I think all calling various people idiots and dbags.  So I'll just comment on one thing... your comment that a "true" Xer (in this case New Yorker) could NEVER be a fan of TeamY (in this case the Bulls) is patently false.  The fact that you think only someone from Chicago can be a "true" fan of the Bulls just shows how limited your view of the world is.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:50 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 6:48 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Oh...and Crop Duster.....Jordan 6 NBA Finals..6 NBA Championships...woulda been 8 in a row instead of 2 3-peats when he decided to try to be a baseball player.  No sport has been dominated the way the Bulls dominated the 90's in the past 40 years.  Boston as Titletown...totally laughable

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 6:44 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

LOL...Titletown???  I'll take the Bulls dominance in the 90's all day over anything Boston has ever had...and the Blackhawks ...Big deal the Cubs suck....tell me something I don't know.  You can have your sorry ass Celtics, and your cheating coach, and your QB who needs his wife to be his mouthpiece cause he used to care about football but now only cares about being Hollywood.  He gets out of Boston as fast as he can and he's a Yankee fan.  Always wondered how you guys could even respect him?? 

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 6:39 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Hey bigbangtheory17, you are a real A-hole....because I'm a Cubs fan, I'm an idiot.  No, I'm a true fan, have been for all 36 years of my life.  I don't cherry pick the best teams....No way in hell any TRUE New Yorker would be a Bulls fan....No way in hell.  That's a joke.   And hopefully, some New Yorker will call your punk ass out.  

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 6:35 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

City of Winners???   Is that why you conveniently drop the Knicks as your NBA team and decide to be a Bulls fan??   So all Knicks fans are losers.....Do you just root for whoever is winning in a given year?

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 6:30 pm

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

And figures you are the one douchebag who cherrypicks your teams......Rangers, Yankees, Giants....And CHICAGO BULLS??   You are the idiot.  Why the Bulls??  Cause the Knicks have sucked for over 35 years and the Bulls own the Knicks... and you can't stick with them??   Lol.   Wow...real hard to root for the Yankees.  They were winning long before you were born.   At least I'm Chicago and all Chicago.   You are just an idiot...and Brady is NO first ballot HOF'er.  Not when they havent won dick since SPYGATE.  Until they can win a SB after that, he's not a first ballot HOFer.  He's linked to cheaters. 

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 3:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 20, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:15 am

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Sorry guys. Nice catch by Manninham, but Brady was the better QB all day yesterday. 

Everyone keeps saying that, but there's no guarantees there.  If the Pats go conservative and try to run clock and kick a field goal, the Giants gets the ball back down by 5 with about 2 minutes left.  The game would NOT have been over at that point.

Keep in mind that the Giants got the ball back with over 3:30 on the clock and a timeout left, and they moved to within field goal range before they hit the two minute mark, and were running clock after that. 1:45,-2:00 would have been plenty of time to accomplish what they did to win the game.

Since: Oct 16, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:03 am

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Brady is not a HOF'er...period....his defense won his SB's. Giants are th.e only team in the NFL with the ability to get pressure with the front 4 once again....and once again...Brady and the great coach (lmfao) choke..AGAIN.  Nowhere near Montana..period!  And now...FINALLY...Eli gets his due and is not in Peyton's shadow.  Love that he called himelf ELITE and backed it up.  Boston fans are all sore losers and can't just give the guy his credit.  All cocky as hell when their team is winning and sore as hell when their team loses.  Bill and Tom haven't been "smart" since they got caught cheating.  Tom Coughlin better get his due too!  Guy can flat out motivate and coach!  Great college coach...maybe one of biggest upsets ever over ND in 93 and definitely 2 HUGE SB's wins on his resume.  HOF coach in the toughest media market for all sports.  Congrats Coach!  Wish we had a guy like you in CHI-town!

What a joke.  Year after year the Pats have one of the top offenses under Brady and they haven't had one of the top deep threats except for 3 years with Moss.  They never have one of the top defenses.  This year's defense was close to awful at times, ranked toward the bottom of the league.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or