I’d been bummed ever since learning that the hard-working San Diego Chargers were put to the sword by the New England Patriots who completed their 18-game winning streak and ensuring a perfect 100% win record this season. Then major disappointment as the stupid Favre-led Green Bay Packers fell to the about average New York Giants. The Pats are going to wipe out the Giants at the Superbowl XLII in Arizona I though. Boy was I wrong.
So yup. The Patriots lost out to the Giants in a thrilling final 35 seconds.
The warning signs were already there in the final 2 games for the season with the Giants beating Buffalo and then going on to narrowly losing out to today’s runner-ups, the blueboys from the North East.
In the Play-Offs, the wild-card Giants beat the offense heavy Jeff Garcia’s Tampa Bay in Tampa Florida, 24-14. Then they went out to beat Jessica Simpson’s boyfriend’s team, Dallas Cowboys in Dallas, 21-17. The final shocker was beating the all-rounder/excellent Green Bay Packers out in Green Bay in a closely contested gam, 23-20.
So the marking was up on the wall. Peyton Manning’s lil brother Eli could play thanks to a deadly combination of time-management and pushing out a rush play through Brandon Jacobs and the rookie Ahmad Bradshaw. While the former was all strength and tall steel, the latter was courage and intelligence. This in addition to the long-armed Plaxico Buress’ sticky hands who plays better than his look-alike Akon can sing, and the Giants are a pretty decent team. The trick was to figure out how to stop Eli before he threw the ball.
Their running game is excellent but they’re vulnerable in the short-pass category. The Pats defense couldn’t keep up with this formula despite an excellent game in the offense for the dimunitive Wes Welker. So they lost and in the process sent shockwaves throughout the nation. The team nobody thought could make it to the Play-Offs did it as a Wildcard team, then going on to take on much stronger opponents. Brady’s sacking was a special sweet moment for me to savor.
Overall, the Giants played with so much passion, the Patriots were left in the dust and the better team won in the end. In the closing stages just when we thought the Giants were out, Eli was able to keep their offensive drive alive by tearing away from the clutches of 2 opponent players. We thought he was sacked but he got the ball out somehow and their 2nd string wide receiver Tyree made an unbelievable catch with his helmet.
Burress managed to grab the game-winning touchdown pass from Eli Manning with 35 seconds on the clock with a dummy and a slant to the left corner. All this from a team that got beat in late November by Minnesota 41-17 back in the Giants stadium in New York. The coach was about to get fired, Eli looked like the worst quarterback in history, and the team was a joke. The Patriots were pleasantly beaten to open a new record – first in history for an NFC wildcard team to win the Super Bowl.
PS: Fox’s 720p HD coverage of the game was bad. There were a lot of pixelated spots all over the broadcast but that was noticeable only if we looked up close to the screen. Maybe done to ensure a smoother broadcasting.