Congratulations to the New York Giants, the 2011-2012 Super Bowl Champions. Eli Manning and Company went into big brother Peyton’s town and captured Super Bowl XLVI title, outlasting familiar foe in the New England Patriots. It’s the second time that Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning have bested the duo of Brady and Belichick.
The Giants were the best team on the field on Sunday. They had a great defensive line, proving enough pass rush to keep Brady under pressure, a stellar wide receiver corp, a terrific pair of running backs and of course a franchise QB in Eli Manning. The Giants exploited the Patriots’ weaknesses in the secondary to make just enough plays to get the job done.
The G-men commanded the game from the beginning. Despite faltering on their opening drive, they pinned the Patriots deep and recorded a safety on the Pats’ first play from scrimmage when Tom Brady intentionally grounded his first pass attempt while in his own end zone. The Giants took the free kick and marched the ball down again to secure a 9-0 lead before Brady and the Pats had broken a sweat.
Despite seeming to command much of the first half, the Patriots actually took a 10-o lead into the halftime locker room, thanks to a Brady hookup with tight end Aaron Hernandez late in the second quarter.
But the Giants had too much. Their receivers in Mario Manningham, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks proved to be too much for the Patriot secondary, ombining for 19 catches and 207 yards. The Giants’ running tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs chipped in 109 of their own, including Bradshaw’s 6 yard TD run that proved to the be the clincher, in a play that almost never was.
With the Giants down 2 late in the 4th quarter and well within field goal range and trying to chew up the clock, Bradshaw busted through from the 6 yard line, trying to kneel down just before reaching the goal line to essentially kill the rest of the clock and keep the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands, he couldn’t stop himself in time before going into the end zone. Watch it here.
With the Giants up 4 and 57 seconds left, there was still time for Tom Brady to work his magic. He guided the Patriots to the 50 and took a last gasp shot at the end zone that fell just short of a Hail Mary, falling just out of the grasp of Rob Gronkowski.
It was a strange game from the Patriots. They were uncharacteristically out of sync, with numerous un-Patriot-like gaffes and errors like an illegal grounding from Brady in the end zone and a costly too many men on the field penalty led to the Pats’ demise. But give credit to the Giants, your Super Bowl champions, for making the plays they needed when they needed them.