Tag:New York Giants
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:08 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 10:08 pm

Brady's play was night and day after Tuck sack

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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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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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Posted on: February 5, 2012 8:15 pm

Sloppy Pats somehow lead 10-9 at half

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS --  The Patriots should be absolutely beside themselves with relief right now. They weren't dominated by the Giants in the first half, per se, but they made a slew of mistakes that could've led to a lot more points for New York. Instead, a 96-yard drive -- tying a Super Bowl record -- by Tom Brady resulted in a 10-9 New England lead at the half.

The biggest mistake from the Patriots was an inexplicable Brady throw away from his own end zone that handed the Giants two points when he drew a safety. (Whether or not a receiver was supposed to be in the area remains to be seen.)

New England later recovered a Victor Cruz fumble, but it was negated by a penalty on the Patriots for having too many men on the field. Two plays later, the Giants scored.

In a game where the biggest advantages for the Patriots are supposed to come at quarterback and coach, it's unfathomable that the Patriots would make those kind of mistakes, particularly in a Super Bowl.

And yet, somehow, they're still leading at halftime. That's partially on the Giants too, of course, because they didn't convert on the chances the Pats offered. But that wasn't a Belichickian performance for most of the first half.

The good news is the Pats managed to get Rob Gronkowski involved on the final drive as well, when he caught a 20-yard pass that sparked the Patriots offense and pushed them to the 35-yard line. If Gronk's a factor at all in the passing game (he wasn't until that catch), it drastically changes the dynamic of what the Giants can do on defense.

But more importantly, the Pats need to clean up the sloppy play. If they make those same mistakes in the second half and the Giants take advantage, they second half won't have the same result as the first.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 7:32 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 7:40 pm

Giants TE Travis Beckum tears ACL

T. Beckum (AP)By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- While the Giants tight ends aren’t nearly as prolific as those from New England, New York lost a component of its team in the second quarter when tight end Travis Beckum tore his ACL.

After Beckum injured himself, he stayed on the turf for several minutes, and when trainers got him off the floor, he clearly couldn’t put any weight on his knee. His injury was announced a few minutes later in the press box.

Beckum, in his third season (all with the Giants), played 13 games this year, recording five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. But with a weak Patriots secondary having to cover Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham, the Giants figured they might have success tonight by throwing to their tight ends and fullback.

Midway through the second quarter with the Giants leading 9-3, those units had combined for five catches.

“Our tight ends aren’t going to get doubled Sunday,” Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said earlier this week. “They’re going to get single coverage. If they can beat a linebacker in most instances, they’ll have a chance to get the ball.”

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 4:53 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 4:55 pm

Faulk, Herzlich among Super Bowl inactives


By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS – We’re less than two hours away from kickoff, and the inactive lists have been released. Among them are Patriots running back Kevin Faulk and Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich.

Here are the lists:


Ron Brace, Ryan Mallett, Shane Vereen, Donald Thomas, Gary Guyton, Kevin Faulk, Nick McDonald


Ramses Barden, Da’Rel Scott, Mark Herzlich, Jim Cordle, Justin Trattou, Jimmy Kennedy, James Brewer

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 4:03 pm

StubHub: Super Bowl tickets down leading to game

Ticket prices are dropping faster than the zipline in Indy. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Super Bowl is the hardest ticket to get in all of sports, but two teams from major markets squaring off in Indy for Super Bowl XLVI, ticket prices are actually quite reasonable (relatively speaking) in the secondary market.

According to Stubhub, the top online secondary ticket broker, the prices for Super Bowl tickets have been steadily dropping since the Patriots and Giants clinched a spot in Indianapolis.

"Prices have been fluctuating," Joellen Ferrer of Stubhub told CBSSports.com on Friday. "As you can imagine, prices were at their height during conference championships. But since then, they're down about 20 percent. But that's typical of all events in every market. The Monday immediately following the Conference Championships prices started at $2,500 a piece and now they're actually down to about $1,800 and closer to $1,500 price point."

And the prices kept dropping throughout the weekend: as of 4:00 p.m. on the Sunday of the Super Bowl, the cheapest ticket available on Stubhub was $1,100.00. (At 3:45, that same ticket was $1,205.00, so the slope is getting steep, quickly.)

The prices for this year are much lower than last year, which is somewhat surprising. Patriots and Giants fans aren't exactly "not rabid."

"Ticket prices are about 10 percent lower than last year," Ferrer said. "Which is interesting because you've got Boston, you've got New York and you've got rabid fans. The economy's a little better but I think a couple factors play in: you've got Indianapolis, which is not exactly the easiest city to go into and it's not the destination city that, say, New Orleans or Miami could be."

Indy's done a heck of a job putting on Super Bowl XLVI, though, and Stubhub added a little bonus for anyone coming into town with a ticket purchased through their site: a party right near Lucas Oil Stadium to get ready for the Super Bowl.

"We actually rented out an ice skating academy across the field from Lucas Oil Stadium, and we've taken over two Olympic-sized ice-skating rinks and we're throwing a huge party for everyone who purchased tickets on Stubhub," "So about 5,000 people are going to walk through and pick up their tickets, because we won't ever mail that expensive of a ticket."

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:26 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 12:29 pm

Chris Canty predicts 28-17 Giants win on Twitter

Does a prediction count as a guarantee? (Twitlonger.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's nothing better than when an athlete guarantees a win. That's mainly because it almost always backfires, but whatever. But here's a strange one: Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty predicted a final score of the game on Sunday afternoon.

Jason Romano, an ESPN producer, asked his Twitter followers for a prediction on the final score of the game. Whoever got the closest win a book as a prize. Canty retweeted him and added "Giants 28, NewEngland 17."

Canty is totally within his legal NFL rights to tweet on Sunday morning. In fact, he can spend all day on Twitter if he wants, up until 90 minutes before kickoff of the Super Bowl. That's probably not the best way to get prepped for a game, but, hey, to each his own.

The questions is whether or not this counts as a guarantee. Technically, it doesn't, because it's just a prediction. But it does mean that Canty firmly believes the Patriots and Tom Brady can't score more than 20 points against he and the rest of the Giants defense. It means he thinks the Giants are more than 10 points better than the Patriots.

It means, ultimately, that he thinks the Giants will win Super Bowl XLVI pretty handily. And since plenty of Patriots are on Twitter, there's a pretty good chance they'll see this and figure out a way to use it as motivation.

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