Blog Entry

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:08 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 10:08 pm
Follow all of's Full Super Bowl Coverage (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tom Brady's left shoulder had been an issue for most of the season. In fact, he missed practice the Wednesday before the Patriots faced the Ravens in the AFC Conference Championship and went on to play his worst game of the season. He appeared to injure the shoulder again Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVI, after Giants defensive end Justin Tuck sacked him on New England's second drive of the third quarter.

At the time, the Patriots led 17-12 and up to that point Brady looked every bit the future Hall of Famer he is. Earlier in the third quarter, Brady broke Joe Montana's Super Bowl record of 13 straight completions. As colleague Will Brinson noted during the completion streak, Brady was so spectacular that he even managed to get Chad Ochocinco involved.

But after the Tuck sack, Brady looked more like the quarterback who struggled against the Ravens two weeks ago, and the Giants … well, every time he's faced them the going back four years.

Brady's line, pre-Tuck sack: 20 of 24 for 201 yards and two touchdowns. In fact, the pass just prior to Tuck's takedown broke Brady's completion streak and it came 6:12 into the third quarter.

Brady's line, post-Tuck sack: 7 of 17 for 75 and an interception. The pick, arguably the play of the game, came courtesy of linebacker Chase Blackburn, who was a substitute teacher earlier this season before the Giants signed him. Blackburn ran stride for stride with tight end Rob Gronkowski down the middle of the field and actually out-Gronk-ed Gronk to haul in the slightly underthrown pass.

"We were in a defense where I had to carry [Gronkowski] vertical all the way down the field," Blackburn said. [Brady] had a lot of time. I think he busted out of a sack and he just threw it up for grabs. I finally found the ball. I just tried to box him out and go up and get the ball."

Giants 21, Patriots 17
And that's exactly what happened. Blackburn was the beneficiary of Gronkowski's bum ankle, which kept the tight end out of practice early in the week and certainly limited his effectiveness.

But the road to a championship requires more than precise game-planning or flawless execution. A lot of luck is involved too. Four years ago, it was David Tyree's helmet. Sunday night it was Blackburn making the play of his career.

Here's the thing, though: Blackburn's grab would've been nothing more than a sidenote had Brady -- injured left shoulder or not -- been able to complete a pass to a wide open Wes Welker with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter. By that time, the Pats were clinging to a 17-15 lead but driving. Another score and the game likely would have been over and New England would finally have their fourth championship after a six-year drought that included no postseason victories until three weeks ago.

Instead, Brady missed Welker down the seam on a throw he must've completed a hundred times this season, a thousand times in his career.

"Wes was running down the field and it looked like they messed the coverage up a little bit and I threw it to him," said Brady. "(Welker) went up to try and make it, as he always does, and we just couldn't connect. He's a hell of a player. I'll keep throwing the ball to him for as long as I possible can. He's a phenomenal player and teammate and I love that guy."

When New England finally got the ball back, they trailed 21-17 and had to navigate 80 yards in only 57 seconds. If this had been 2004, we'd all be lamenting that the Giants gave Brady too much time to do what he does. But this is 2012, four years removed from Brady succumbing to New York's pass rush on that final, fateful Super Bowl XLII drive. We've seen this movie, we know how it ends: five incomplete passes and a sack sandwiched around two harmless completions, and Brady walks off the field sullen and beaten.

"We could have done a better job in a lot of things," head coach Bill Belichick said afterwards.

But that sentiment holds for the Giants, too (and every team that has ever played a game).  Things may have turned out differently had New England just been luckier.

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

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:31 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Comments from Gisele:

When the last second ticked off the clock at , there was no denying that had been left unanswered. After all, her husband's . As she made her way down to the New England locker room from her seat, Tom Brady's supermodel wife didn't hold back on her feelings about the final minutes of the game.

As Bundchen walked to the elevator, someone, presumably a Giants fan, could be heard screaming, "Eli owns your husband!" Bundchen didn't respond directly to the fan. But just before she got into the elevator, she let out a curse word while complaining that Brady can't throw the ball and catch it at the same time. She was seemingly referring to any one of several key dropped passes late in the game.

Booooooo hooooooooo Poor super model LMAO

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:51 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

It looks like Gisele was right, Brady needed some prayers. I couldn't resist saying that lol.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:49 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

I agreed that Brady looked mortal after the big sack. I'm generally a Pats hater, but give them credit (especially Brady) for NOT using the shoulder as an excuse for the outcome. The hit was totally legit, and the result of it a game changer. But that's football. Kudo's to the Pats for just saying they were beaten. Afterall the G-men lost 2 tight ends. I thought the game game was well played by both teams, well officiated and a classic. The best thing was that the final score occured by a squatting Bradshaw, who entered the end zone butt first, like he was taking a dump. Classic!  Congrats and WTG G-men NFC East NFC East!!

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:43 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

I thought elite qbs[ Eli} dont let the pressure get them like thomasina did after he got Tucked. Hmmmm, maybe, just maybe, thomasina brady is more hype then elite ?

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:39 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

'Gronk got Gronked' I love it!

Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:39 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

"I'll play better next game, Boss."   

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:39 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

It's the new Tuck rule:
 "Get hit by Tuck then suck" 

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:19 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

here we go making excuses for Tom Brady already fact of the matter is hurt shoulder or not Brady gets scared in the pocket when facing a good pass rush he gets jittery and uncomfortable and isnt the same QB as he is when he faces teams that have no pass rush to worry about if hes not being protected he isnt an Elite QB  which in my opinion means he shouldnt be considered elite for this reason he doesnt play well against teams like the ravens jets giants and colts before this year lol but all of them have superb pass rushing skills and he is scared in pocket whether they get to him or not

Since: Feb 20, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:16 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Screw Tebow and Bradys injuries....if the Steelers didnt have Keisal, Hampton, Clark, Starks, Mendenhall, Pouncey, Legursky, and Walking Dead Roethlisberger and Lamar Woodley, who shouldnt have even played, then THEY would have beaten Pats and Broncos, and steamrolled the Giants. I don't want to hear any excuse making about injuries from any teams.

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:10 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

 Duke loses, then the Pats choke. LOL, life is GOOD!!!!!!!

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