Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
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, CBSSports.com)
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.
Comments

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:31 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Boxer says

Ummmm,

Bradshaw tried to stop???  Gimme a break.  Another stupid idiot wanting a TD rather than helping his team win.  Huge mistake that could have cost the Giants a win.  Once again, all about him, not about the win.....


If the Giants had lost the game he would have been the goat.


Two great organizations played tonight.  Too bad only one team could win.  Great game.    I am glad that my team the Giants won. 



Since: Feb 26, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:30 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

For any fan that's gone thru it losing a SB (or any championship game for that matter) is a tough pill to swallow, losing to the same team is even harder. Anyways, congrats to the giant fans your team deserved to win



Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:30 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Nice drop Welker!!!!!!  There is no doubt you are the most overrated WR in the game today!


ALFIwantsout
Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:28 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:28 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Congrats Giants. You were the best team in the Super Bowl. For all those who said Belichick is the greatest Coach of all-time, how's he done since 2004? For all those who say rings are the most important measure of a QB...

Brady has lost 2 Super Bowls to Eli.

Brady won 2 Super Bowls on a Kicker's leg at the end.

Was Brady a better QB in the early 2000's? If you judge a QB mostly on playoff record and rings, definitely. But most real NFL fans know Brady is way better now than when the Patriots Team won 3 Super Bowls with Brady as a young, system QB. He's become one of the best in the NFL as he's matured, but now he cannot win the big game.

The Patriots defense did the job tonight. They were very good. The offense let the Patriots down. The Patriots O-line was more than up to the task. I was surprised the Giants D-line didn't dominate them.

When it came down to their final drives, Eli came through, and Brady crapped out. That's going to leave a sick taste in the stomach of the Patriots, but they were exposed. They beat a pitiful Broncos team at home, and then squeaked by a Ravens team that had no offense, on a missed FG no less. Wow. Impressive. I expected better in the Super Bowl, with 2 weeks to prepare.



Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:26 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Looks like the pundints were comparing the wrong quarterback to Joe "Big Sky" Montana! Now I'm not saying that Manning is the equivalent of Joe, but he is just as close to him in Superbowl lore as is Tom Brady. Joe Montana and Bart Starr are still atop the perch, I guess Bradshaw is one limb down.



Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:26 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

I think of all those people who said over and over that Brady was better than Peyton Manning because of the head-to-head victories. Brady's Pats almost always beat Peyton's Colts. End of argument. Now, by their own logic, those same people must admit that Eli is a better QB than Brady.




Since: Dec 29, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:25 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

More precise than pretty.  More fundamental than flashy.  Not favored going into the game, but on top when the clock gets to 00:00.  Do you think Eli would trade his two rings for one ring and Peyton's stats?  I don't think so.  Peyton is a lock on the HoF.  Eli probably confirmed his reservation tonight.  The Giants have had some great qbs--Connerly, Tittle, Simms.  Manning need not take a back seat to any of them.  Another great chapter in the book of a storied franchise.



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:24 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Agreed.  Anyone who is dumb enough to say Eli isn't great, really is in denial or an idiot.  Blow all your other stories about "10x better defense, etc..." right up your a**.  Eli whipped the Patriots.  ELi out- played Brady.  Eli is a Hall of Famer.  Eli is a winner.  Period.  End of discussion.  Scoreboard!!!!!



Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:24 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Welker catch the ball!!! This is great. Now I have to listen to "Eli is a HOFer" garbage for a month.


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