|Tuck's sack changed the complexion of the Super Bowl. (AP)|
We wrote about this moments after the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI: Tom Brady pre-Justin Tuck sack was a completely different player than the one after Tuck took him to the Lucas Oil Stadium Turf late in the third quarter.
Brady completed 20 of 24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns (this includes breaking Joe Montana's Super Bowl record for consecutive completions) before Tuck got a hold of him. He was 7 of 17 for 75 yards with an interception afterwards.
At the time, we figured Brady had aggravated a left shoulder injury and that, in part, had something to do with the abrupt drop-off in production. That Brady slowly made his way to the bench and was surrounded by team doctors as they checked him out (not to mention the sight of Brian Hoyer getting loose) only confirmed the suspicions.
Well, on Wednesday, the Boston Herald's Ian Rapoport shared what he knows:
Brady landed hard on his left shoulder, aggravating the sprain from earlier in the season. The key word is “sprain.” This is the same injury that forced him to miss a practice during the AFC Championship week, an ailment he needed to manage. The aggravation didn’t lead to major injury, though, and Brady did not need to come out of the game for treatment. It also is not believed to be the kind of injury that will need to be dealt with much in the offseason.Put differently: Tuck's hit hurt like hell but didn't cause lasting damage. Hoyer told Rapoport that “I don’t know if I’ll ever meet someone as tough as he is."
(Clearly, Hoyer hasn't met Gisele.)
After the game, one in which Brady sat dejected at his locker for a very long time, he finally spoke about the play that probably decided the outcome: the Brady-to-Welker throw-that-wasn't with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.
"Wes was running down the field and it looked like they messed the coverage up a little bit and I threw it to him," Brady said. "(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."
For his part, Welker didn't make excuses.
"The ball is right there," Welker said when asked if he was looking for it on the other shoulder. "I've just got to make the play. It's a play I've made a thousand times in practice and everything else. It comes to the biggest moment of my life and I don't come up with it. It's discouraging."
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