Super Bowl XLVI

Posted: February 7, 2012 by Kodi in NFL

One of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history and it just happened to be another New York Giant

The rematch between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots

A battle between Tom Brady and Eli Manning

Super Bowl XLVI turned out to be as interesting as NFL fans could have hoped, unless of course you are a Pats fan. The New York Giants capped off an unbelievable playoff run to win their 2nd Super Bowl in the last 5 years. Tom Brady and the Patriots were up early but in the end they gave the ball back to Eli and the Giants so that he could yet again mount a late comeback. The game was full of memorable moments like Madonna’s halftime show, a safety to open up the scoring, a key dropped pass, missed opportunities, quotes from supermodels and a QB sealing his place in the history books. But the most memorable moment will be a great pass by Manning to his WR Mario Manningham in a key drive late in the fourth quarter that ended with a miraculous catch.

The problem in gauging the Pats/Giants games is determining whether or not they are going to be shootouts or defensive struggles. In the regular season the games are always high scoring but each time the two have met in the Super Bowl it is a close game that has ended in the final moments. The Patriots and Tom Brady gave the Giants 2 points on the very first play of New England’s first drive after Giants P Steve Weatherford pinned the Pats on their own 6 yard line. The Golden Boy QB was pressured in the pocket in his own end-zone and threw the ball to an imaginary receiver but it’s difficult to determine whether a route was run incorrectly or if TB just panicked. The officials got together and determined that Brady’s throw was intentional grounding resulting in the officials’ calling a safety.  They called the first safety in a Super Bowl since the Jeff Hostetler was sacked by the Bills in Super Bowl XXV, however this was the first safety to be called due to a penalty.

New York got the 2 points and the ball back and the Giants went downfield and scored the game’s first touchdown when Manning hit Victor Cruz on a 2 yard touchdown pass. The Pats responded with a field goal drive cutting the game to 9-3 but the next fireworks didn’t come until moments before halftime. Brady and New England were once again pinned deep in their own zone, their 4 yard line to be exact, and they had just over 4 minutes left in the half. With the safety looming in Brady’s mind he quickly worked his offense down field and would eventually score a go ahead touchdown when lil’ Danny Woodhead slipped in to put them up 10-9. The Patriots had gone 96 yards and left New York 8 seconds on the clock but Brady’s miraculous drive came in the final moments of the first half not the second.

The Madonna halftime show was odd to me but I know that many people enjoyed it, especially those at the Super Bowl party I was attending (actually it was the most excited they got all game) but that is to be expected. It seemed like the near 60 year old performer was bringing out all the young hip acts during her performance to persuade people that A. she was still relevant B. hip as ever and C. worth her asking price of $300 a ticket. I don’t know why I hated it so much but to me the halftime show has become a mockery, like the Pro Bowl, and we need to get back to focusing on the football not the spectacle surrounding it.

New England came out of the locker room and scored a quick touchdown to put the Patriots up 17-9. When Brady hit TE Aaron Hernandez he ferociously celebrated but it was a little too early with 11:20 on the clock in the 3rd quarter. It happened to be the last time the Pats scored and although Brady had completed a Super Bowl record 16 straight passes he didn’t have it late. In the fourth quarter the Pats had a 17-15 lead and the chance to put the game out of reach with a touchdown. Brady was driving his team until one play completely took the wind out of the Pats offense.

Brady has struggled with his accuracy in the latter years, especially on deeper throws, and that came back to bite them in the ass. He was trying to hit a wide open Wes Welker but threw the ball to the wrong side of his WR’s body. Welker was able to get his hands on the ball and should have caught it but because he had to contort his body Welker was unable to pull the ball in. Brady’s wife and famous super model Gisele Bundchen had been scrutinized before the Super Bowl because of an e-mail she had sent out asking for her friends and family to “pray for Tom and his teammates.” After the game she was quick to throw Wes Welker under the bus saying “my husband cannot fucking throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time!”

After the failed drive New England would be forced to punt the all and Eli Manning went to work but the Pats got a great punt and the Giants started from their own 12 yard line. There was 3:46 left on the clock while Manning and the rest of the Giants came onto the field. This was similar to Manning’s Super Bowl XLII drive against the Pats just 5 years ago. In XLII Manning was 9-14 in the 4th quarter for 152 yards, passing for 7 first downs and the go-ahead touchdown to Plaxico Burress after a extraordinary catch by David Tyree. Manning was 10-14 for 118 yards and 7 first downs in the 4th quarter of SBXLVI and this soon to be game-winning drive was highlighted by yet another phenomenal catch. Manning hit Mario Manningham for 38 yards and the WR did a fabulous job catching the ball and getting both feet down in bounds but it was Eli’s uncanny ability to put the perfect touch on a ball that dropped perfectly between two defenders. Manning his Manningham again for another 16 yards and the Giants were already in field goal range.

Manning had done this 5 years ago on the same stage against the same team but this time Eli was coming off of a regular season where he led 6 comeback victories, 7 4th quarter game winning drives and set an NFL record with 15 4th quarter passes. Eli had started off the game with 10 straight completions but would finish the game 30-40 for 296 yards and 1 touchdown. Eli’s 4th quarter drive was epic but when RB Ahmad Bradshaw attempted to stop on the 1 yard line but fell into the end-zone the Giants were up 21-17. The Giants had an opportunity to stop near the end-zone, kill the clock and kick a Super Bowl winning field goal shorter than an extra point attempt but Bradshaw’s momentum pulled him in for the score. This was a problem because New York had used up just over 3 minutes of clock and they were giving Tom Brady the ball back with a timeout and 56 seconds left to charge down and score the go-ahead touchdown.

Brady tried admirably but the magic just wasn’t there and the Patriots had a few more dropped balls and missed opportunities. With 9 seconds on the clock the Pats were near midfield and the Hail Mary was their only choice. The Pats ran the play which would eventually fall incomplete but the Giants were called for 12 men on the field. New England would replay the down but at this point it wasn’t the down that mattered rather the amount of time. So here is my question: Why the fuck isn’t the time put back on the clock if you are replaying the down? It makes no sense to me but even then the Pats still had a final chance and Brady chucked yet another Hail Mary. The ball was flying in the air with no time on the clock and it was nearing a cluster of players, both Giants and Patriots, but a tipped ball fell just beyond the outstretched hands of TE Rob Gronkowski and the game was over.

This was a QB battle and Eli won with great play from his young receiving corps while Brady struggled without his biggest offensive threat. Gronk went without notice nearly the entire game and the Pats running game was all but forgotten. Brady relied on Hernandez and Welker but the biggest factor in any football game is the turnover margin and Tom was intercepted by a substitute teacher while Manning was nearly flawless. Brady finished the game 27-41 for 276 yards, 2 touchdowns and the 1 interception to LB Chase Blackburn.

Manning hit his favorite postseason target WR Hakeem Nicks 10 times for 108 yards in SBXLVI helping the young receiver post the 2nd most receiving yards in playoff history. Nicks pulled in 6 balls for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Falcons in the Wild Card round, 7 catches for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Packers in the Divisional round, 5 balls for 55 yards against the Niners in the NFC Championship game and added this Super Bowl performance. He finished the postseason with 28 catches for 444 yards and 4 touchdowns which was just behind Larry Fitzgerald’s dominant postseason in 2008-09, but Nicks is getting a ring.

In the end Manning was named SB XLVI MVP for the 2nd time putting him in an elite group, including opponent Tom Brady, and hopefully people will stop questioning Eli’s ability. Tom Coughlin was maybe a loss away from being fired as Head Coach, similar to his situation in ’07, but once again when his back is against the wall he coaches his way out of it. Now Coughlin is part of a small group of Head Coaches who have won 2 Super Bowls and he has most likely etched his name into the NFL Hall of Fame with this victory. This Giants team was 7-7 in the regular season and forced to win their last two games to get into the playoffs. New York has won 6 straight games, the final two games against the Jets and Cowboys and continued to win the next 4 games in the Playoffs to become Super Bowl XLVI Champions. Congrats.

 

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Comments
  1. Annie says:

    Another great job, Kodi!! And I totally agree with you about the half time show!!

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