Just some thoughts on last night's Super Bowl victory by the Giants:
*Did anyone else share the opinion that maybe the Giants and Patriots weren't the two best teams in the NFL? It was an exciting game, don't get me wrong, but it just didn't have that magical feel that most Super Bowls have. It sort of felt like the Finals of the NCAA Men's tournament, where, often-times, the two teams that make it aren't always the two best teams in the country.
*After about a quarter or so, I realized that these weren't your 2007 New England Patriots, and I sort of felt bad rooting against them. I mean, I wanted them to lose and all, but it felt like punching the 2007 team in the head while it was already knocked out. The Patriots basically had one good segment the entire night, divided into two parts--the 96-yard touchdown drive at the end of the first half, and the 79-yard touchdown drive to begin the second half--other than that, I thought the Giants were the better team the entire night.
*Why were the Patriots favored by 3-points?
*Maybe it's just the parity of the NFL, but has an NFL team ever won two Super Bowls in half a decade the way the New York Giants have? In 2007, they barely made the playoffs as a wild card team and had to win three-straight road games in the postseason just to make it to the Super Bowl. In the Super Bowl, they were huge underdogs to the 18-0 New England Patriots, but pulled off the incredible upset. The next year, they were one and done in the playoffs. The next two years, they didn't even make the playoffs. And this year, they were 7-7 after 14 games before winning their last two games to get into the playoffs as the NFC East Champions. And with the exception of having one home game in the first round, they pretty much followed the same '07 path to the Super Bowl and won it again over the Patriots. I used to laugh when players on wild card teams would say, "hey, once you make the postseason, anything can happen." Well, after the way the last seven seasons have gone--five of the past seven Super Bowl winners started their playoff journey in the wild card round--I am no longer laughing.
*The Giants finished the year dead-last in rushing the football. I guess that puts more dirt on the "You need to run the football in-order to win championships" sentiment.
*Eli Manning has engineered two Super Bowl-winning touchdown drives in the final minute. Has any other NFL quarterback done that? I know Tom Brady led the Patriots on two Super Bowl winning field goal drives, but both games were tied. In Manning's case, his teams were behind each time. I can't think of any NFL quarterback who's done that more than once.
*Is Eli Manning elite? Who cares? All I know is he's pretty damn elite in fourth quarters of Super Bowls.
*Eli Manning winning the Super Bowl in the house that his brother built? I can't believe it's not a bigger story. Before the year, everyone wondered if Peyton Manning would be able to lead his team to the biggest homefield advantage in Super Bowl history. Who could have predicted that Eli would be the Manning leaving Lucas Oil Stadium with the Lombardi trophy?
*When the Giants took over at their own 12-yard line with three minutes and change remaining, was there any doubt that Manning would lead the Giants to a winning-score? When Eli hit Mario Manningham with that perfect 38 yard pass down the sideline, and when Manningham did his sideline version of David Tyree, I knew the Giants were winning that game.
*Bill Belichick letting Ahmad Bradshaw score the go-ahead touchdown in-order to preserve time on the clock? Absolutely the right thing to do.
*Bradshaw not being able to stop himself at the one-yard line to take more time off the clock? Come on, man, seriously? You couldn't stop? What are you, like one of those pro wrestlers who can't "stop" himself when another wrestler throws him into the ropes?
*How's Bradshaw going to tell his grandchildren that story in the future? "Oh yes, I took on three tacklers and bulled my way into the end zone for the Super Bowl winning touchdown. Nope, I lost the video. Sorry, kids."
*If the Steelers were in a similar situation, and the opposing coach decided to let them walk into the end zone in-order to save time, do you think Chris Kemoeatu would still get totally owned by the defensive lineman?
*Remember the old days when every Super Bowl was a blow-out? We haven't had one of those in a long time.
*At 65 years and however many days old, Tom Coughlin became the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl. I can't believe his Giants players gave him a Gatorade bath. He could catch pneumonia.
*Like most Steelers fans, I always want Brady to get his, but that intentional grounding call on a forty yard pass that resulted in a safety was kind of bogus. I mean, how can anyone definitively say that he was throwing it away to avoid a sack on a pass that long?
*Anyone bet money that a safety would be the first points in the Super Bowl? How much did you win?
*Before Spygate surfaced, the Patriots were 12-2 in the postseason, including 3-0 in Super Bowls. Since Spygate was snuffed out, the Patriots are 4-4 in the postseason, including 0-2 in the Super Bowl. Mean anything?
*Spygate or not, five Super Bowl appearances in 11 seasons by the Patriots is pretty damn impressive.
*I was going to mention the halftime show and the commercials, but I forgot to care enough to pay attention to either entity.
*Welcome to the offseason. :(