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Tag:Super Bowl XLIV
Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:08 am
 

Brady told O'Brien he threw ball away on safety

Hard to blame Brady for throwing it away. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Much ado's been made about the safety on the first Patriots offensive play of the game in the Super Bowl last Sunday -- Tom Brady threw the ball to no one while standing in his own end zone. But was intentional grounding the right call? And did some receiver mess up a route that caused Brady to throw the ball where he did?

Turns out, no. Brady actually was throwing it away. On the Sound FX portion of NFL Replay, NFL Films caught Brady telling (former) offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien that he did in fact throw it away after first trying to find Rob Gronkowski, then Wes Welker and finally feeling heat from Justin Tuck.

"I looked to Gronk, I looked to Wes, he dropped and then I felt [Tuck]," Brady said. "I had no place to throw it away. I threw it over his head. I didn't want to throw an interception."

So it's a pretty clear case of intentional grounding, provided Brady was in the pocket (he was) and therefore a clear safety provided Brady was in the end zone (he was). That didn't stop Bill Belichick from arguing the call with referee John Parry through.

Sound FX picked up Belichick calling Parry over and saying "The intentional grounding call ..."

"What's the problem with it?" Parry replied.

"He had a guy coming in there -- he didn't throw it to him. But he had a guy that was coming in there," Belichick said. "I mean, damn."

There are four parts up on NFL.com (if you don't have NFL Network) and all are worth watching. As we noted earlier on Thursday, one clip shows Belichick telling his defense to stifle Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and "make" the Giants find Mario Manningham on their final drive.

Unfortunately for Belichick, that worked out about as well as his attempt to argue that Brady didn't throw the ball away.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:17 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 9:44 am
 

Belichick at SB: 'Make em go to Manningham'

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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Posted on: February 5, 2012 9:30 pm
 

Jake Ballard out for Super Bowl with knee injury

Ballard's day is done after he suffered a knee injury. (AP)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jake Ballard suffered a non-contact knee injury in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI and is out for the remainder of the game.

On a second and eight, Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz for seven yards, but the next play was delayed as Ballard lay on the ground in pain, clutching his knee. He was helped up and walked off the field. As he approached the Giants sideline, he winced in obvious pain.

Ballard later tried to test his knee out on the sideline and things didn't go well; the Giants, unsurprisingly, ruled him out for the rest of the game.

The Giants are now down to one tight end -- Bear Pascoe -- with Ballard done for the day.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 9:09 pm
 

Tom Brady hurts left shoulder, stays in game

Brady's shoulder was banged up when Tuck smushed him. (AP)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's only something to watch right now, but it's not good news for the Patriots that Brian Hoyer began warming up after Tom Brady took a nasty sack on third down with just under six minutes left in the third quarter.

Brady came to the sideline, and indicated that his head and shoulder -- the left one that's bothered him previously -- were banged up. He began talking to doctors, Hoyer threw about three passes and then the doctors left him alone.

The Giants brought a three-man rush on the play in question, got pressure on Brady and the Pats quarterback started to take off and run for the first down. When he realized that wasn't happening, he tried to drop back in the pocket but Justin Tuck took him down in a crumpled heap.

On the previous play, Brady threw his first interception in 16 attempts, leaving his Super Bowl record at 16-straight completed passes. (He'd previously broken Joe Montana's mark of 13.)

We don't want to presume too much, either, but on the next drive, Brady threw an interception when he badly underthrew Rob Gronkowski on what would've been a New England touchdown.

It's hard to imagine a totally healthy Brady missing that throw.

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