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
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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.

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Since: May 7, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:17 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Bottom line the pats receivers dropped many catchable balls. Welker catches that pass the patriots win that game. Brady played just fine. The giants players made the plays when they had to. Great Super bowl.

Since: Sep 13, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 4:59 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Brady is far from a classy guy.  He cries to the refs almost every time he get's sacked.  All you need to do to raddle him is get a little pressure on him.  On the road or at a neutral stadium he has become just average imho.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 2:19 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Serphnx should be the one writing these columns.  Have him replace Ryan Wilson immediately.

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:59 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Brady is one of the best QBs of all time andpkayes like it for most of the game. I have to give him a lot of credit for being a great sportsman. His comments after a obviously tough loss show what a man he is. Doesn't throw Wes under the bus,,,,clearly not a perfect throw, but more than catchable. Hernandez dropped two balls as well. Very impressed by Brady.....and his team perspective. Total class act....and still one of the best ever. From a NYG fan.

Since: Nov 12, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:36 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Brady is a superb quarterback and is most comfortable dominating an opoonent cinvincingky throughout a game. He is no Manning of Joe Montana with the magical 4th quarter clutch wins against elite teams during olayoff or superbowl play.  Brady lucked into his first superbowl with  aquwpestionable sack overturn against the Oakland Raiders. This years Patriots are nowhere near the Patriots who apoeared in past Superbowls. They had a patsy schedule and lucked their way into the Superbowl again with TWO unlikely Ravens eebacle plays that gave them the AFC Championship. Denver didn't deserve to be in the playoffs.

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:21 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Huh?  If he was 20 of 24, how could the prior pass have been his first incompletion?  Obviously it was his fourth incompletion.  Ever hear of proof-reading, or logic?
He constantly is wrong about everything and just makes things up. If his readers had any intelligence they would long ago have stopped believing anything he wrote as his credibility has been shot. That's something you can never recover from either.

Anyway, I believe Brady must have been injured 2 weeks ago against the Ravens, since he sucked in that game too. Also Tim Tebow was legit injured but these dorks weren't busy writing articles about that. Tebow was in intensive care in the hospital afterwards because his lungs were pretty much destroyed along with his rib cage. Hell, since we're busy making excuses, maybe if Tebow wasn't injured the Patriots never even make the Super Bowl, right? So really, it should have been Giants-Broncos and not Pats.

Or, maybe it should have been the Colts. Their QB was injured all season and is worth 10 wins on his own anyway. Or maybe the Texans, without Matt Schaub.

You can play this game all day. The Raiders with Darren McFadden? Fuck, every team has an important injury omg! It's has injuries I can't believe it!

Stupid columns!!!

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:08 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

Brady was fine after the sack. He can't throw it and catch it for a 30 yard completion. Welker has to catch that pass, which he's made a living doing. Like Chris said "100 out of 100 times he makes that catch." Michaels was right when he said "101 is the dropped one." I'd still take Brady over anyone... but Eli, right now.

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:54 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

If "Welker had to make that catch," then Lee Evans "had to make that catch" two weeks ago to beat the Patriots.  You can't expect every play to go according to expectation.

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:52 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

I think Wilson makes some very good points in his article. Even though not too much was made of Brady's shoulder after that takedown by Tuck (the commentators mentioned it, but they did not harp on it), something obviously changed in Brady's performance after that. He was completing 83% of his passes prior to the takedown, and completed 41% afterwards. Even if you give him another 3 completions to make up for some of the drops (say 10 of 17), his completion rate would have still been just 58% -- quite a bit different from 83%. I would say based on the grimmace on Brady's face in the above photo, he was definitely feeling some pain.

Since: Feb 6, 2012
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:45 am

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

soCal you are a moron. no qb with 3 rings and 5 sb appearances is overrated. The Giants played better and won end of story.

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