I really enjoyed the Super Bowl. I had no rooting interest per se. I do have a man crush on Michigan alum Tom Brady so going into this game I wanted to see him grab ring number four. I stated to friends that New York was the better all-around team and gave the edge to the Giants in this game. Their running game was healthy, they were peaking in the playoffs, the defense was playing very well and Eli was a stud this year. On the other hand I woudln't make a career of picking against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
New England was no slouchin this game but they did themselves in with mistakes. Tom Brady started it off with the intentional grounding call. You just had to know those two points would be critical in this game and they were. Then a critical 12 men on the field penalty by the Pat's defense on third and three at the New England 11 was huge. NY fumbled though it might have been overturned but still three points would have been better than the eventual touchdown the Giants got. Huge mistake. Then Brady threw the interception on first down. He basically threw it up for grabs. I don't understand that when it was a first down play. On third down maybe as you'd have to punt if it didn't work for you. Last but not least the Patriot's receivers dropped some passes on New England's final drive. As good as the Patriots are I have to believe they will drive themselves crazy all offseason thinking about what could have been.
New York on the other hand won this game. They played very well on both sides of the ball. With zero turnovers they played the game they had to play to win. Eli had a wonderful game completing 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and one touchdown. Add to that another signature moment hitting Mario Manningham on their late fourth quarter touchdown drive for 38 yards and this team was meant to win. New York added 114 yards rushing keyed by a healthy Ahmad Bradshaw and his 72 yards. The MVP though should have been punter Steve Weatherford. He had four punts and three of them were inside the New England 10 yard line. Wow. I thought this was huge to the game making the Pats go 90+ yards putting them at a disadvantage. His fourth punt also had a chance to be downed inside the 10 but the New York Giant player downfield was unable to make a play on the ball.
Some seemed critical of Tom Brady and wonder if his star is fading. What? This was his fifth Super Bowl and he has won three. Add to that this year's 13-3 season and he has no reason to hang his head. That kind of talk is ubsurd. He is one of the great quarterbacks of this era hands down. On the other hand it may be too early to start the bust in Canton for Eli Manning but I will say you must start the discussion. While his career hasn't been marked with greatness he is only 31 and if he adds some addtional years like this one (Super Bowl ring or not) I think he'll have to be in the disucssion. Very few quarterbacks have two Super Bowl rings to their name so it will be interesting to see which side of the argument he lands on when his career is over.
I thought this was a very good game. New England players and fans will think they were one catch or non-mistake away from winning the game. I think New York just won it. They capitolized with a touchdown after the 12 men on the field penalty and made the long touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. That is winning football. Congratulations to the New York Giants. Now I can't wait for next season!