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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Bowl XLII - Road Warrior Giants Bring It Home With 17-14 Victory Over New England Patriots

With 2:49 left in Super Bowl XLII it seemed to be yet another perfectly scripted comeback victory for the New England Patriots as Tom Brady connected with Randy Moss for a 7-yard TD completion. However, the Giants went off script as Eli Manning drove the Giants 83 yards for the game winning touchdown.

Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning ended the 12 play 83 yard winning drive when he found Plaxico Burress (17) in the corner of the end zone with 35 seconds to play.

The catch of the drive and the game belonged to the Giant's David Tyree (85) a few plays earlier.
With 59 seconds left, Eli Manning amazingly escaped what appeared to be a definite sack and launched the ball down the field. Tyree lept into the air cathcing the ball high above his head thus winning the jump ball.

The Giants were at New England's 24 yard line and on the verge of doing what seemed impossible only a few minutes before.

Tyree's amazing leap was then followed by New York Giants rookie Steve Smith's (12) catch. The rookie showed the experience of a veteran as he was smart enough to find the first down marker and to get out of bounds and stop the play clock at 39 seconds. On the following play came the TD pass. It was only Plaxico Burress' second catch of the game but probably the biggest catch of his NFL career.

The Plays Belonged to the Giants Offense. But the Day and the Game Belonged to the Giants Defense

Right from the start it was the Giants defense that set the tone of the game. The Giants defense was in Brady's grill the entire night. The pressure defense of the Giants that bought home the
Lombardi trophy and the Super Bowl Championship. New England QB Tom Brady was sacked 4 times, hit 16 times and pressured 23 times.

At the end the Giants defense left Tom Brady and the New England Patriots with 10 seconds and a 4th down with 20 yards to go for the first down. Jay Alford's (93) sack for a 10 yard loss with 19 seconds to play left the Patriots hoping for a miracle. And that miracle never came as Corey Webster (23) broke up the long bomb to Randy Moss. The New England Patriots turned the ball over on posession to the New York Giants with 1 second left on the clock. With one snap and a kneee the Giants were Super Bowl XLII Champions.

Super Bowl XLII: First Quarter

The Giants won the toin coss and elected to receive. Eli Manning and the rest of the Giants
offense started the game on a crisp note putting together a time consuming 16 play drive. However, the Giants had to settle for a 32 yard Field Goal by Lawrence Tynes (9). The drive had started on the Giants own 23 Yard Line. The drive netted 63 yards and 4 first downs. The time of possession was 9 minutes and 59 seconds.

Giants 3 Patriots 0

With 5:01 left in the first quarter, New England Patriots Running Back Laurence Maroney (39) returned the Giants kickoff 43 yards to New England's 44 yard line. QB Tom Brady threw an incompletion on the first play of the drive. But Laurence Maroney came back with two rushes for 9 and 5 yards.

Brady's 2nd pass was incomplete as well. The Brady strung two completions together (Stallworth 7 yards/ Welker 8 yards) and the Patriots were on the Giants 35 yard line. The Patriots earned another 1st down as the drove the ball to the Giant's 17 yard line. Uncharacteristically, Tom Brady
had two incompletions in a row. With 3rd and 10 on the 17, it looked like the Giants had dodged the bullet. However, Giants Linebacker Antonio Pierce was penalized for defensive pass interference in the end zone.

The ball was spotted at the one yard line. Laurence Maroney was stopped for no gain on first down as the first quarter came to an end.

The two total possessions in the first quarter set a Super Bowl record for least posssessions in a Super Bowl quarter.

Super Bowl XLII: Second Quarter

On the first play of the second quarter, Maroney went off the right guard and scored on 1 yard run.
Gostkowski converted the PAT. New England's touchdown drive went 12 plays for 56 yards. Time of possession
was 5 minutes 4 seconds.

Gostkowski ensuing kick-off went out of bounds and the Giants were awarded the ball on the 40 yard line.
On 3rd and 7, Manning passed deep left to Amani Toomer (81) for 38 yards. Toomer's catch of Manning's
lob was amazing as he managed to keep both feet inbounds. Barndon Jacob's ability to pick up the blitz
and block was the key to the play. It seemed as if the Giants were ready for their second score.

However, on 3rd and 5 yards to go, Eli Manning's short pass to the left was
intercepted by Ellis Hobbs at the 10. The bullet pass was intended for Steve Smith.
The ball was catchable but went through Smith's hands. Hobbs returned the ball 23 yards.

The first 2 plays of the drive were to Maroney (reception 8 yards; rush 1 yard). With 3rd and 1
on their own 42, it looked like the Patriots were ready to put some serious space between themselves
and the Giants. But then Butler and Strahan combined to tackle Maroney for 2 yard loss. The Patriots
were forced to punt. At this point it was only the third 3-downs-and-out for the Patriots in the
entire playoffs.

The Giants did not do much on their next posession as they went 3-and-out as well. The Giants defense
came back on to the field and held the Patriots again on 3 downs. The Giants offense faired better on their next
posession, but were forced to punt the ball back.

With 1:47 left in the half, the Patriots had the ball on their own 11 yard line. Tom Brady and the Patriots
were putting together an impressive drive as they drove the ball to the Giants 44 Yard line. However,
with 22 seconds in the half and 1st an 10, pressure from Justin Tuck caused Brady to fumble the ball
which was recovered Osi Umenyiora.

The Patriots started with the ball at their own 21 yard line. It seemed like the Giants
had the ball back after New England's punt. However, New England Patriot's Coach Bill Belichick
challenged the play. Upon review, the Ginats were penalized 5 yards for too many players on the field.
The Giants Chase Blackburn (57) could not get off the field in time. The penalty gave the Patriots a first
down at the Giant 39 yard line.

The Giants defense kept it together and forced the New England Patriots with a 4th and 13 on the Giants
31. Instead of attempting a field goal (or punting), Coach Belichick decided to go for it. On the play,
Brady was pressured into an incompletion.

For the Giants, this defensive stand despite the penalty and the ensuing offensive drive seemed to be the turning
moment of the game.

The Giants started their drive at their own 20 yard line. On the first play of the drive Eli Manning
connected Kevin Boss for a 45 yard gain to the New England 35. A couple of runs by Bradshaw and a 17 yard
pass play to Steve Smith had the Giants with a 1st and 10 on the New England 12. Ahmad Bradshaw's (44)
stong run for 7 yards gave the Giants a 2nd and 3 on the Patriots 5 yard line.

On the ensuing play, Eli Manning connected with WR David Tyree (85) over the middle for a touchdown.

Tyne's PAT gave the Giants a 10 to 7 lead with 11 minutes and 10 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLII.

The Giants 80 Yard touchdown drive took 6 plays while consuming 3 minutes and 47 seconds.

A few more change of possesions between the Giants and the Patriots.

With 7:54 left, New England started with the ball at their own 20. This time the Patriots offense was in synch
and the Giants defense could not stop Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker (83). The Patriots marched
80 yards down the field on 12 plays while taking a valuable 5 minutes and 12 seconds off the clock.

The dirve was capped by a Tom Brady to Randy Moss connection for 6 yards to the right. It was one of the few times
that the Giants secondary was in single coverage against Moss. On the drive Wes Welker set the Super Bowl record for most
receptions in the Super Bowl (11 recpetions in a single Super Bowl game).

With 2:42 remaining it looked as if the Patriots 19 - 0 destiny was well in hand. But their destiny
was disrupted.

Starting at their own 17, the Giants went into their no-huddle offense. The no-huddle had suited
Giants QB Eli Manning well throughout the year. Amani Toomer's catch for 11 yards was good for a first down
at the 28. On 3rd and 10, Amani Toomer caught another pass for 9 yards falling short of a first down.
It was 4th and one with 1:34 left to play and the Giants had no choice but to go for it.

Brandon Jacobs banged up the middle and stretched out his right arm and the ball for 2 yards
and the 1st down.

Tyree's amazing leap was then followed by New York Giants rookie Steve Smith's (12) catch. The rookie showed
the experience of a veteran as he was smart enough to find the first down marker and to get
out of bounds and stop the play clock at 39 seconds. On the following play came the TD pass. It was
only Plaxico Burress' second catch of the game but probably the biggest catch of his NFL career.

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