February 2, 2012

THE HIGH COST OF ARROGANCE:

The days the Giants beat the perefct Patriots (Paul Oberjuerge, Feb 3, 2012, The National)

For three quarters, the game was a 7-3 affair led by the Patriots, the 12-point favourites to win. What few appreciated was the damage the Giants, better in both lines, were doing in the battle of big men, softening up the presumptive champions. When the fourth quarter arrived, the best Super Bowl erupted.

The Giants sprinted 80 yards in six plays for a go-ahead touchdown pass from Eli Manning to David Tyree. That was not the biggest play those two would produce.

The Patriots responded with an 80-yard drive of their own, regaining the lead at 14-10 on a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Randy Moss with two minutes, 42 seconds to play, and that appeared to be that, the more accomplished team doing what they were supposed to do. Thanks, New York, for keeping it interesting.

The Giants, however, stunned the 70,000 in the University of Phoenix Stadium and nearly 100 million watching the game on television with an 83-yard drive that included the most amazing, astounding, ridiculous play in the history of the game.

On third-down-and-five, with the Giants still in their own half of the field and the punt team getting ready, Manning escaped heavy pressure (his jersey was nearly ripped off), rolled to his right and threw a long, desperately improvised pass towards Tyree, who was shadowed by Rodney Harrison, one of the finest defensive backs in the game.

Both men leapt for the ball. Tyree got his gloved hands on it, but one hand came off the ball as Harrison yanked at his right arm.

Tyree contrived to keep possession by pinning the ball, with his right hand, against his own helmet, something few have seen at any level of the game, and by the time he was on the ground he had secured it with both hands. (Replays showed the play to be even more remarkable than it appeared in real time.)

Four plays later, Manning threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds to play, and a superior Super Bowl was in the books.

What made that game peculiar was that, despite nearly losing to the Giants during the regular season, the Pats--or, more accurately, Josh McDaniels--demonstrated a complete lack of respect for their opponents, starting with their first play from scrimmage, a bizarre fake end-around.  Happily, everyone is on board the Giants band wagon this time around and talking about the Pats even being blown out.
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Posted by at February 2, 2012 3:41 PM
  

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