The Giants Rock!
In no small way Peyton Manning deserves kudos for not being seen at all on camera last night. It was a class move by Eli’s older brother, and as Eli gave all the right answers to the throngs of mentally impaired media who continued to ask incessant “what about being in Peyton’s house” questions after the game, it occurred to me that even after that extraordinary no nonsense smash mouth New York Giant style football game which at the start of the fourth quarter was earmarked for yet another bottom of the ninth down by two runs come from behind all in get it done victorious methodical march down the field to score the winning TD epic finale, the sports media covering the Super Bowl are still a bunch of morons. I am as proud a Giant fan as I have ever been in my life.
The game was, (from a Giants/Patriots fan perspective), unbelievable. The only word to describe what I saw is “again”; if you are a Patriot fan it sounds like, “again?” If a Giant fan it sounds like, “AGAIN!!”
Again in the fourth quarter, again with the game, championship, and legacy on the line, again with spectacular quarterback/wide receiver play making, again with two weeks for Belichik to prepare, again with a great D-line, again with the younger, no charisma, brother to Peyton, again after losing for the last time in a season to the only undefeated team in the league, again with a field goal in overtime in the NFC Championship game, again Coughlin beat Belichick. And yes, again it is Eli, not Brady (or Peyton), who got the MVP.
The deep sideline throw and catch was as spectacular a play in a Super Bowl as there has ever been, but for me, the Blackburn pick against Gronkowski was the play of the game. I knew at that moment with our middle linebacker chasing (yes Chase was chasing) in the deepest part of the field their (albeit hurt), key playmaker, and “finishing” his assignment by picking off the great Tom Brady, we were going to pull it out. Chase finished the play, he didn’t give up, even when the guy broke off his pattern and was so far down the field. That play exuded a discipline that must have been preached all week in team meetings; you heard the players recall during post-game interviews that the coaches had a plan; they knew they could play with these guys.
There is no doubt who was the better team last night.
These are the cardiac Giants. I (selfishly) yearn for a no sweat fourteen and two roll through the regular season and easy playoffs to a world championship, but I guess this road, with its trials and tribulations, struggle and perseverance, makes the taste of victory sweeter.
New England (Belichick’s plan) did a great job playing deep-cover-two while giving the New York offense only run and pitch opportunities. But Gilbride was equal to the task and Manning, Cruz, Hicks, Manningham, Ballard, Pascoe, Hynoski, Bradshaw and Jacobs were ready for it and knew what needed to be done. The Giants created their own destiny by falling on two fumbles, and made every other play count. Two extremely bad officiating blunders (holding on Boothe and the interference no call) stalled two offensive drives; otherwise the game might have been in the Giants hands earlier.
The Giants D played great and contained and re-contained an otherwise prolific scoring offense. Tom Brady got hurt on that Tuck sack and did not have receivers making clutch catches. I thought he rushed the throw to Branch (deep crossing pattern) on the last drive; otherwise they would have probably made it to a field goal attempt.
The Welker “drop” was a tough catch, but I don’t think it was the dagger the analysts are claiming it was. The Pats O-line played well enough to keep the rush at bay at times and they are collectively responsible for the two TD drives.
I love Eli Manning; we are in some ways the luckiest team in the league to have that guy running our offense – I was an Eli detractor from way back, but I have seen the light, and I am proud to be a dyed in the wool Eli fan for life.
This was an especially satisfying championship because it proves something that I truly believe; we create our own destinies. Sorry Tim Tebow, and may Myra Kraft rest in peace, but divine intervention does not win football games; teamwork, coaching, and playing as a team with players making great plays, does. Tom Coughlin, Eli and company are a great team.