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.

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Comments

Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:57 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Congrats to the NY Giants.



Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:57 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Well, Big Mouth Brady said he'd rather have the ball in his hands with a minute left and the Pats down than have the Pats ahead with 1 minute left and the Giants with the ball. How stupid of a comment!! But it's Brady so nothing coming out of his mouth surprises me - Anyway, Brady got his wish and could not deliver.

Oh, hey Brady - I guess you lied to those 25,000 fans when you invited them to a "victory parade", huh?

C'mon man!  I'm by no means a Patriots fan but lets be fair here.  Brady was praising Eli with this comment.  His point was that Eli has been so clutch in those situations that he'd rather have the ball in his hands for the last drive instead of having to watch Eli in that situation.  Nothing wrong with that comment.  And to be fair, Brady made some great throws in that last drive but his receivers didn't go get the ball the way Eli's stud receivers did for him.  Hard to beat up Brady for that last drive.

  



Since: Jan 23, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:57 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

It says nothing. Wes Welker catches that ball and it's a non-issue in fact. Now it's still perception.



Since: Sep 11, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:51 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

It may sound simplistic, but Lemieux is absolutely correct. Let's face it: the Patsies had the easiest road to the Super Bowl in conference history. A bye, followed by the pathetic Denver Tebows. After that, all they needed was a little hometown scoreboard manipulation to hose the Ravens out of the big game!
And after all that, they still couldn't beat a 9-7 team? Talk about well-deserved Deja Vu...



Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:51 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

I know that some pro sports have an stat or set of stats that if you hit them you're an automatic lock for the HOF.  Just wondering is # of Championships or MVPs or anything like that an auto lock for the NFL?  I'll admit I'm a little baffled how Cortez Kennedy is in the Hall of Fame and Will Shields isn't...but maybe that's just me.



ALFIwantsout
Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:51 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jan 23, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:50 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

The Giants made the plays at the end of a hotly-contested, tight game. Hats off to them... Unfortunately the Spygate talk continues to the contrary of the facts. Twice the Patriots were within two minutes of closing out both Super Bowls and couldn't finish. How many teams have made it to Super Bowl in the AFC since early 2007? The Pats (2), Steelers (2), and Colts, and that's it. The Steelers have won the only one for the AFC in that span of five years and it too was a close game, just as all five of those Super Bowls have been. The Patriots have one of the best records in football since Spygate, look it up. Bring facts and not fanboy jealousy the discussion.


ALFIwantsout
Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:49 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



ALFIwantsout
Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:48 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Oct 28, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2012 10:45 pm
 

Manning, again, beats the Pats when it counts

Brady and Beli-cheat now 0-2 in Super Bowls without SpyGate advantage...that says it all!!


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