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
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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.

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Comments

Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:07 am
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Great day to be a football fan! Congratulations to the Giants on a job well done!!




Since: Oct 11, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:33 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!!  Ask Nick Saban about that.



Since: Dec 20, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:30 pm
 

Congrats Gmen & Fans



ALFIwantsout
Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:27 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:25 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

What a game! Not as high scoring as many thought but I tell you what, Tom Brady gave everything he had. His receivers let him down and his offensive line allowed constant pressure, which Brady avoided. He should have been sacked 7 or more times but he stuck in the pocket and fought a tough battle. As a Jets fan, I had to root for the Giants as they represent out great city and it is nice to stuff a sock in the mouth of New England fans. Tom Brady, helluva game, Eli played better but you have a supermodel wife to ice down that shoulder tonight. Congrats Giants and their fans...I only wish Brandon Jacobs had 6-7 more carries so he could have punished NE defenders a little more.



Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:18 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

This just in!  Breaking news from Denver!

Eli Manning named the best QB in the world - better than his brother and Aaron Rodgers combined!  #winning

At least Eli didn't pillow fight Caleb Hanie...




Since: Aug 20, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:18 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

manning has said the same thing numerous times.  nothing wrong with that comment

go Giants!



Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:18 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.


Yes, facts are facts.  And what you posted is pure speculation, about as far away from "fact" as you can get.

BTW I'm not a fan of either team. i would have been thrilled if there were some way that BOTH teams could have lost.




ALFIwantsout
Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:17 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jan 23, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:16 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

That's perception, not reason, they are not the same. The sentiment is understandable, not logical. The Giants made the plays at the end of the last two Super Bowls and deserve the credit, the Pats did in their three wins and deserve theirs. Last time I checked Belichick didn't kick the ball out of bounds in Super Bowl 38 after the tying score, Kasay did. McNabb practically fainted in SB 39 at the emnd, but I guess the video camera did that too.


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