Keys to the game.
- The acrobatic Manningham catch. Was a great catch. It helped move the Giants down the field for a score. Now I get that we want to compare it to the Tyree catch in the last Pats/Giants Super Bowl , and it does have a wow factor to it, but let's not get carried away here. It wasn't 3rd down or even 4th down. It was 1st down. No desperation in this throw or catch like the Tyree catch. Don't get me wrong......Great catch....just not as great as Chris Collinsworth was making it out to be. It didn't win the Super Bowl, it was just part of the win.
- Welker dropping a tough but catchable ball deep into the 4th quarter. Ouch. He usually makes those catches. I hate that little bastard.
- To me the biggest keys to the game were the 2 NY fumbles that were recovered by Giants players. If those are lost fumbles, the Patriots win this game, especially since the one by Bradshaw came in the 4th quarter inside the 20 yard line. That's a short field for the Patriots and sure score.
- The bounces didn't go the Patriots way this time and I'm not sure if the universe was trying to correct itself due to the breaks going New England's way in the AFC Championship game (when Baltimore should have won that game) or if it was because I spent a little extra time on the details for my matching set of Brady and Belichick voodoo dolls. It's all in the details.....and the right kind of pins.
So now we get to hear a ton of debate about whether Eli is better than Payton Manning. Please. Eli was pretty good in this game. Not great. Pretty good, and really good on the final drive. But for his career? I don't buy it. Payton Manning kept the Colts in the Super Bowl hunt for years....pretty much all by himself. His owner never surrounded him with any kind of defense. Eli has won 2 Super Bowls where his defense has been critical for the success of the team. Give Payton some of those Giant defenses and we'd be talking multiple rings for him too. Now I'm not saying that Eli can't still surpass his big brother. He has time. H'e'll never have the passing records Payton has but as you saw this past season, younger brother can throw the ball pretty well when he's asked to do it a lot. He seems to be getting better and if he wins more championships then it will be fair to ask this question again.
I was prepared to mope and mourn again after a Patriot win but thankfully the football gods decided otherwise. I'm happy for the Giants but I would much rather have seen the Saints or the Packers win the whole thing. That's the only downer for me in this playoff season. However, from now on if New England is is ever in the Super Bowl again, I know who I want facing them. NY has their number.