Blog Entry

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:17 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 9:44 am
Eli didn't mind going to Manningham. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It's always fascinating to see how NFL sausage is made: Sound FX and NFL replays do just that. There's a particularly interesting nugget from Sunday's Super Bowl that occurred in between "The Drop" by Wes Welker and "The Catch XLVI" by Mario Manningham.

Bill Belichick, talking to the Patriots defense, told them how to handle pass protection. He wanted them to bottle up Giants wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and "make 'em go to Manningham."

"This is still a Cruz and Nicks game," Belichick said on the sideline. "I mean, I know we're right on 'em. It's tight. But those are still the guys. Make 'em go to Manningham. Make 'em go to Pascoe. Alright? Let's make sure we get Cruz and Nicks."

You know how this works out, right? Not well: Eli Manning slung a teardrop towards the Patriots sideline that Manningham somehow managed to real in ... right in front of Belichick. Belichick challenged and lost.

"He caught it," a dejected Tom Brady said in the Sound FX video.

Thought not for any real fault of either Belichick or his defensive backs. Manning got what he admitted was a bad look at Manningham (after he looked to Cruz and Nicks, who were covered) and just made an unbelievable throw into an unbelievably tight window. I can still see the ball in the air when I try to envision it. There's no way he should've completed that pass.

And it's probably a matchup that Belichick would take again.

H/T: Ultimate NYG

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Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2012 1:51 am

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

Nicely said MikeC. Belichick is getting trashed for what was indeed sound strategy based on what the other two WRs had done up to that point. Had Cruz or Nicks caught a bomb for a TD, people would have been screaming at BB for neglecting the obvious game-changers on the Giants. He instead did the sensible thing and focused on taking those two out of the equation. I don't think it was any disrespect, if you will, towards Manningham, it was more of a tip of the cap to the other two.

Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:16 pm

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

ITis what it is and in your face belicheck...lmao

Since: May 7, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:14 pm

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

Great super bowl great throw and catch. Bill B wanted it and they got it !!

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 3:25 pm

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

So basically, Eli Manning made the throw that Tom Brady couldn't and Mario Manningham made the catch that Wes Welker couldn't.  Nice article...if all you do when you write 'journalism' is state the obvious.  Maybe John Madden can get on the CBS blogs as well?...BOOM!

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 3:05 pm

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

It was a perfect throw by Eli and a great awesome catch by Manningham, the rest is history. End of story.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:35 pm

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

I'd call that a sound strategy that took a superior pass and catch to defeat. The funny thing though is that the catch occured right in front of Mr. Bill, like maybe 2 yards away from. I'd call that an "In Your Freaking Face" response to his Manning/Manningham strategy. Advantage Manning(ham). Better luck next time Bill....not.

Since: Jun 4, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:13 pm

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

Great strategy . . . out performed by a superior pass and catch.

But why is everyone going on about too many weapons?  Until the final drive, the Giants offence had produced 13 points.  If they possessed too many weapons, why weren't they marching up and down the field and scoring at will?  If they possessed too many weapons, it should not have come down to an amazing throw into a tight window and an even better catch by the 3rd WR in double coverag tip-toeing along the sideline.

Everything does not have to be so black and white.  Two evenly matched teams played a close game.  G-men made plays on final drive for second championship in 5 years.  However, the Giants, who at 7-7 were thought to be dead and Coughlin headed towards the unemployment lines, are not some unbeatable force.  The Patriots, in their 5th Super Bowl in 11 years (unmatched by any franchise, next best would be Broncos who visited 5 in 13 year period then 49ers at 5 in 14 years), are hardly a disaster.  

Personally, I'd love to see a rematch of these two great franchises in Jersey in 2013.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:16 pm

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

It was a perfect pass and catch.  Obviously, they practiced this over and over, and executed to perfevtion.  Too many weapons is right... 

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:22 am

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

It would be a surprise if Belichick was thinking any other way. Manningham is the 3rd option on that team no matter how you slice it. You make them make a great play by shutting down the top playmakers. It just so happens that they rose to the challenge. The Patriot D played a pretty good game. They contained Cruz and Nicks for the most part and took out the top 2 TE's.

Since: Dec 19, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:32 am


Eli Manning delivered a perfect pass on a design play.
You could tell that those two have practiced that before.

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