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Tag:New England Patriots
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 6:47 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 6:55 pm
 

Safety the first score of Super Bowl XLVI

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By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you wanted a spicy start to Super Bowl XLVI, you got it, as the Giants drew first blood when a Tom Brady throw from his own end zone drew a flag, a penalty for intentional grounding and a 2-0.

For those of you scoring at home, betting on a safety as the first score in the Super Bowl was a 75:1 bet at Sportsbook.com. In other words, it's not likely to happen, but it did. (And they're saying someone won $15,000 on a $200 bet.) The only time a safety was the first score in an NFL championship, with a safety happening in Super Bowl IX as well.

[CBSSports.com Super Bowl Live Chat]

The stranger occurrence was the Patriots defense managing to wake up and get pressure on Eli Manning after the Giants quarterback looked poised to carve them up in the early going. Manning went 4/4 for 40 yards on the first drive and pushed the Giants into Pats territory.

Then he held the ball to long and Brandon Deaderick sacked him for negative-two yards. Ahmad Bradshaw was stuffed on second down and Mark Anderson came flying in to sack Eli for negative-six yards on third down.

That play resulted in a Giants punt, but Steve Weatherford stuck the ball tight near the goal line and Brady was forced to throw from his own end zone on the Patriots first play of the game.

It's a weird start to the Super Bowl, but if this is the type of spice the teams are bringing, expect lots of excitement.

Oh, and that's the second 2-0 score in a game this postseason for the Giants. Weird stuff, man.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:59 pm
 

Gronkowski not limping, doesn't look 100 percent

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By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- With the most famous left ankle in Super Bowl XLVI, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski emerged from the locker room with Aaron Hernandez for warmups, jogging up the left sideline and showing little effect from the high-ankle sprain he suffered two weeks ago.

He didn’t have a noticeable limp, but he also didn’t quite look 100 percent. One Boston-area reporter called him “jittery,” but it seems pretty clear Gronkowski will have some kind of role vs. the Giants.

So, we’ve established he’s "definitely" playing and that he looked decent enough in warmups.
 
The next (and perhaps final) questions in determining what kind of impact Gronkowski will have today will be this: what happens when he gets hit  for the first tmie and what happens if the Giants go after his legs and ankles?

Stay tuned.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:45 pm
 

Chad Ochocinco drops several balls in warmups

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By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's this pervading sense that Chad Ochocinco, who's active for Sunday's game, is going to be the dark horse hero. Based on warmups, that seems unlikely: Ocho dropped several balls that were squarely in his breadbasket.

These weren't tough to pull off passes either. Ocho got one pass from Brian Hoyer that hit both his hands and fell to the ground. Then he ran a medium out, Tom Brady pegged him squarely in the hands and the ball fell to the ground in Lucas Oil.

They were the only two balls I saw dropped during the Patriots warmup.

The wideout is currently rocking red shoes and red gloves; he's the only Patriots wide receiver or tight end who's doing so. (You can read between the lines and determine what that means within the context of how the Patriots operate.)

He also reportedly put his gold teeth back in, trying to go back to "the old Chad Johnson."

Maybe his performance in warm-ups is just another red herring from the Patriots. But that looks pretty unlikely: the only mind-games being played with Ochocinco, given the easy passes he dropped from Brady, is going on in his own head.

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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

Faulk

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:

Patriots

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

Giants

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 1:19 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 1:23 pm
 

Belichick tells reporter Gronk WILL play in SB

Gronk should get plenty of questions on Friday as well. (AP)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- All week long, the buzz here has been whether Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski would play and, if so, how effectively he would perform. We now have the answer to that first question at least.

Latest from the Super Bowl
Coach Bill Belichick told the NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan that Gronkowski “will definitely play.”

He also said he’s not sure how much playing time Gronkowski will get because Belichick hasn’t seen him perform at full speed in nearly two weeks.

The announcement isn’t a surprise -- the Giants have said all week they fully expected Gronkowski to play, and the fact the Patriots released receiver Tiquan Underwood on Saturday was another indication the Patriots were comfortable with their pass-catching units.

But until we have an answer to the second question, it’s still unclear just how much Gronkowski can help vs. the Giants.

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