Giant Strides Made in Super Bowl XLVI

After the first Super Bowl meeting be­tween the New England Patriots and New York Giants, it was obvious that Tom Brady and his crew would love nothing more than to exact revenge on the team that soiled their perfect season. Unfor­tunately, they made too many key errors and basically lost the game on their own.

When I say that, I am not taking away anything from the Giants; in fact I think the Giants played a very complete game. Almost every position player for the Gi­ants lived up to their expectations and did exactly what was asked of them – from Eli Manning, who went 30-for-40 for almost 300 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, to Justin Tuck who had two huge sacks and forced the grounding call for the safety, to Steve Weatherford whose punts gave the Patriots tough field position all game.

The Patriots had their chances to win this game but failed to capitalize on them and that was their downfall. Everyone, including Gisele, knows about the three drops Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez had late in the game, especially the two on the final drive af­ter Ahmad Bradshaw basically handed the Pats a final chance to win the game.

What I’m talking about are other mis­takes. The Giants put the ball on the ground twice, but they also recovered both fumbles. In fact, they really fumbled three times, but a 12-men-on-the-field penalty negated the one by Victor Cruz, which led to him scoring a touchdown later on that drive. Linebacker Chase Blackburn’s interception of Tom Brady was also a huge game-changing play, as it led to the momentum shifting away from the Pa­triots and back towards the Giants. That play more than any other allowed them to come back and take the lead late in the contest.

Ultimately, the Hail Mary at the very end of the game seemed like a microcosm of the game as a whole. Many people have said that if Rob Gronkowski was 100 per­cent healthy, he would have caught the tipped ball before it fell to the ground. No matter how you look at it, however, he and the rest of the Patriots team fell just a little short.

The Giants, on the other hand, have now claimed two rings in five seasons and are tied with last year’s champions, the Green Bay Packers, for the fourth-most Super Bowl victories of any franchise in NFL history. Who would have thought that Eli Manning would actually get the job done when it counted most back in 2005? There were not a lot of believers back then, but you can be sure the Man­ning faithful are in bountiful supply in 2012.

The 2012 season as a whole was an extremely entertaining, and at times frustrating, one. From the lack of train­ing camp, to the revival of the San Fran­cisco 49ers franchise, to the intense of­fensive powerhouses of the NFC, there are a lot of memories to take away. I’m always rather bittersweet after the Super Bowl – upset that the season is over, but excited about next year. Hopefully, the NFL will continue to surprise and keep fans glued to their seats all season long. At least we know there won’t be a lockout.

Contact Albert Raminfard at [email protected].