Patterico's Pontifications


Super Bowl {Second Half} Thread

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 5:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Final Score: 17-14 Giants over the Patriots.

1 second left — Giants hold on. Bill Belichick is leaving the field. What’s with that?

If the Giants can hang on … The happiest people will be the Giants’ players and fans and the ’72 Miami Dolphins.

30 seconds left — Now we’ll see the Patriots hurry-up offense.

35 seconds left — Manning completes a slant-and-go to Plaxico Burress in the end zone for a Giants’ TOUCHDOWN. Extra point good. 17-14 Giants.

45 seconds left — Manning to Steve Smith for a first down on 3rd-and-11.

50 seconds left — How many players touched that incomplete pass?

51 seconds left — Giants have to use their last time-out after Manning is flushed out the pocket for no gain.

1 minute left — I’m back. Manning escapes a sure sack (I’m amazed they didn’t call him “in the grasp”) and heaves it downfield where Tyree makes a spectacular catch at the 25. Giants’ fans must be going crazy.

2:30 left — We’ll see what kind of 2-minute game the Giants have. I’m going to watch, too, so I won’t be posting these last 2 minutes.

2:42 left — Brady completed a wide-open touchdown pass in the end zone. The Giants’ defender fell down. 13-10 Patriots. Extra point good. 14-10.

2:49 left — High drama. The Giants defense is tiring and a Giant is going out with an injury on almost every play.

2:49 left — Brady to Moss in the end zone, but it was high & a little outside.

3:12 left — Patriots have a 1st-and-goal inside the 7.

4 minutes left — Patriots rolling. Brady to Faulk at the 13 for a first down.

5 minutes left — Welker again … and again. Patriots have a first down inside the 30 and Texas Tech Red Raider fans everywhere are going Guns Up.

Under 7 minutes left — Patriots run outside (left) and pick up 9. That’s the first good outside run I can recall.

8 minutes left — Brady throws complete to Welker on first down to the 35. Welker has been the one bright spot in the Patriots’ offense tonight.

Still 8:30 minutes left — Bud Light and Will Ferrell. He’s a riot.

8:30 minutes left — Missed a first down by that much. Fourth down.

9 minutes left — Manning scrambles out of a sack on second down and overthrows a wide-open Plaxico Burress. Can you say adrenalin?

10 minutes left — The Giants’ Madison (I think) broke up a Brady pass and the Pats had to punt. It’s really physical out there. The Giants’ return man put a good move on the blocker at the sideline and made 9 extra yards on the return to the 29.

11 minutes left — Brady to Randy Moss for 17 yards to the 28. The coverage was good but Moss has the height and reach that often makes the difference.

What does it say about the Super Bowl commercials when the movie promos are the best part?

11 minutes left — Giants kick off to the Patriots … and there’s a flag on the play.

12 minutes left — TOUCHDOWN New York, Manning to David Tyree. 9-7. Extra point good, 10-7. Manning used at least 4 receivers on that drive and each one had a big play.

13 minutes left — Giants’ ball at the 35. Manning “slings it” over the middle to Steve Smith for a first down at the 15. Two excellent passes in a row. The announcers are right. Manning isn’t playing like a Super Bowl rookie.

15 minutes to go — Manning to Boss for a long pass to the 35. It followed a shot of Peyton Manning in a skybox.

(Near the) End of the 3rd Quarter — Per ESPN, the Giants have 167 total yards and the Patriots have 202 184.

1 minute left in the Quarter — I missed several plays but I did see a good run up the middle and then Wes Welker catching another pass over the middle. It seems like I’ve seen Welker do that a thousand times.

**I have to take a slight food-related intermission.**

3 minutes left, 3rd Quarter — Giants have to kick but pin the Patriots at their 10. Did I mention it’s still 7-3?

4:30 minutes left, 3rd Quarter — Toomer caught another 1st down pass at the 45. He’s made 2 tough catches. Then Manning went for it all in the end zone to Plaxico, who got his fingers on it but couldn’t hold because the Patriots had him triple-teamed.

6 minutes left, 3rd Quarter — Manning threw to Toomer for a quick first down around the 50.

7:20 minutes left, 3rd Quarter — The Giants’ Strahan coming around the right side sacked Brady on a 3rd-and-7. It seems like Strahan has been in the Patriots’ backfield all night.

9:30 minutes left, 3rd Quarter — Patriots have the ball 3rd-and-long at the Giants 35/40 and complete a pass over the right side for a first down.

More commercials: Bud Light still rules (“Wheel suck”) and Bridgestone is, well, I’m not sure. I’ll have to think about it. (Was that a deer, Gene Simmons, and Richard Simmons?)

Commercial break: You have to see it to believe it: Shaquille O’Neal as a jockey. Who would have imagined that the commercials with NBA stars are among the best good?

Wes Welker (Go Tech!) catches a pass over the middle on 2nd down and pays for it, but the Giants hold on 3rd down.

Barely in the second half and the Patriots make a hard-fought first-down on 3 plays. The Giants are only rushing 3.

Second-half kickoff — Giants kick off to the Pats who move it back to the 20. Nothing there. (Welcome, Marv!)

The Daytona 500 commercial makes me want a muscle car and I’m not even a muscle car fan. That’s effective advertising.

Halftime — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I like them but is this the trend in Super Bowl entertainment, to bring back aging rock stars? My family’s theory is that today’s rappers and other stars are too prone to profanity and wardrobe malfunctions to risk putting on.

End of first half — This is fun even if I am the only one here. (Update: And Scott Jacobs! Thanks, Scott.) In the second half I’m going to add to the main post with the oldest entries on the bottom and the newest ones on top.


96 Responses to “Super Bowl {Second Half} Thread”

  1. I dunno… I’d have worried about Prince, frankly…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  2. And really… The fireworks… I can’t believe they do that.

    Even if they go out before they land, you’d think someone would end up getting hit by one…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  3. Oh, you’re not alone here…we’re the silent majority busy eating wings and sippin beers….

    But I don’t think the commercials are as good as in past years :-(

    Marv (268080)

  4. The commercial suck wang this year…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  5. Ok, the WALL-E commercial was funny…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  6. I agree. The Pixar commercial was good but overall there isn’t the cute, sly or subtle humor there used to be.

    DRJ (517d26)

  7. And these bud-light commercials aren’t even new…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  8. Re: Too prone to profanity and wardrobe malfunctions. Correct. Also, they suck.

    brobin (c07c20)

  9. looking like I should have taken some of that 12-point action…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  10. I know but I think the Giants’ defense is going to tire, the way they’ve been playing.

    When did the Patriots go for it on 4th down? I missed that.

    DRJ (517d26)

  11. possession before last…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  12. NICE play!!!!

    Lucky stop for the Pats…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  13. And ANOTHER!

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  14. Giants defense is getting a nice rest here…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)


    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  16. Who needs a 12 point spread when you finally find your offense?

    DRJ (517d26)

  17. well THAT gatorade commercial was crappy.

    The baby commercials are cute. Loved the one with the clown…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  18. and is it just me, or is the volume a lil screwy when the announcers are on screen?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  19. DRJ likes Will Ferrell?

    Oh, say it ain’t so, DRJ. Say it ain’t so…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  20. yeah!

    Marv (268080)

  21. I have no choice, Scott. I have a son in college. Is there any college boy that doesn’t think Ferrell is funny?

    DRJ (517d26)

  22. Not an impressive set of offenses IMO.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  23. Just because HE finds Ferrell’s idiocy funny doesn’t mean you have to…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  24. On the contrary. I think there’s a rule that teenage/college sons rule the family remote and the humor quotient.

    DRJ (517d26)

  25. Well, it looks like Eli Manning will be the hero in a few seconds.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  26. Suck it, Brady. Too bad, so sad!

    WAY TO PLAY Eli… He had a HELL of a game…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  27. Have any brothers have won back-to-back Super Bowls? I’m sure there haven’t been any that did it as quarterbacks but there may be some who did it at other positions.

    DRJ (517d26)

  28. Repeated from the other thread

    Well, Scott, you got your wish…Upset of the Century.

    Now the obnoxious 1972 Miami Dolphins can finally pop the corks on their champagne.

    Paul (a46bb9)

  29. I wonder if Eli will be MVP like Peyton was last year.

    DRJ (517d26)

  30. Thank you, DRJ.

    nk (12118a)

  31. I think he will. He really did an amazing job. Played like he was an old hand at QBing superbowl games…

    That scramble during their last TD series was simply amazing…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)


    Celebrate, South Florida. Party like it’s 1972. New England’s stunning 17-14 loss to the heavy-underdog Giants Sunday night in Super Bowl XLII ensures Miami’s 17-0 remains the only Perfect Season in the NFL’s 88-year history.

    aunursa (e6ac26)

  33. Sure thing, NK. It was fun.

    I’m not saying this to take anything away from the Giants because the Giants’ defense played as tough and physical as the classic defensive-minded teams of yesteryear and the offense never quit. But: Except for Wes Welker, I thought the Patriots’ offense was flat.

    DRJ (517d26)

  34. I agree DRJ, I thought both offenses were flat. The Giants’ defense kept them in the game until the last minute when the Giants offense finally held up their end.

    Not a pretty game – a game of matching failures to the end.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  35. Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning says he never had any doubt they would go 82 yards with 2:30 left. As a player at this level, I know he has to have a positive attitude. Someday, though, it would fun to hear someone say, “I was as surprised as you were.”

    DRJ (517d26)

  36. “Holy shit, I can’t believe that happened… We toatlly pulled that out of our ass…”

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  37. Now the obnoxious 1972 Miami Dolphins can finally pop the corks on their champagne.

    Yes! This is the ONLY reason I had to root for the Pats, just so those old men would move on with their lives. It was so creepy, how they cling to that season, like life support. The funny thing is, even at 17-0, they do not top most people’s list as the greatest team of all time (I think it’s the 1985 Bears).

    Linus (ea9859)

  38. Love Da Bears.

    DRJ (517d26)

  39. But love the old Cowboys more.

    DRJ (517d26)

  40. The reason the offenses were flat was that the defenses played great football. When in recent memory has Brady been pressured so much? Romo? Favre? The Giants defensive line domminated New England, just as it dominated the Bucs, the Boys and the Packers.

    I was surprised, but it did happen.

    vnjagvet (d3d48a)

  41. Maybe so but I thought it was more than that. However, if I had been voting, I would have named the Strahan, Tuck, and the Giants D as MVP.

    DRJ (517d26)

  42. Am I the only one who is wondering why Chris Myers didn’t ask Belichick about not staying on the field with his team for the last play? Or, was that just Belichick just being the jerk he wants us all to think he is???

    reff (99666d)

  43. I’m not sure why Myers didn’t ask but I certainly wonder why Belichick left. It made him look like a very poor sport.

    DRJ (517d26)

  44. Belichick left because he had already congratulated Tom Coughlin. Remember, they had trotted out to midfield and spoke while the refs were trying to clear it when there was still one second left on the clock.

    Paul (a46bb9)

  45. If you’re talking about the :01 left on the clock bit, it’s because he had to. If this is AFTERthe last second had played, he HAD already congradulated the other team. Doing it again would have been… Demeaning…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  46. The funny thing is, even at 17-0, they do not top most people’s list as the greatest team of all time (I think it’s the 1985 Bears).

    Absolutely. The ’72 Dolphins had arguably the softest schedule of any NFL championship team.

    As opposed to the ’85 Bears, who faced many quality opponents, and beat them all…except Miami.

    Paul (a46bb9)

  47. If you’re talking about the :01 left on the clock bit, it’s because he had to.

    Everybody on the field thought the game was over except the refs, which is why Coughlin got TWO Gatorade baths before he met Belichick at midfield.

    Paul (a46bb9)

  48. With 1 second left, it looked like the refs were going to make the Giants run one more play and yet Belichick left. As far as I could tell, he was the only one who left at that moment. It looked bad.

    DRJ (517d26)

  49. I don’t think he “had” to leave; you go back to your sideline, and wait with your team. Then, since you’ve already congratulated Coughlin, you run to the locker room. A coach should stay with his team. The “reff” moniker is appropriate for me, and one thing I hate in dealing with coaches is when it is obvious that one doesn’t want to be there when his team is losing, so he gets himself/herself kicked out. When I heard he “was in the tunnel” that was the thought that came to my head, that he didn’t want to be there to see the end. If there is anyone in the league that knows the rules it is Belichick, and he knows they will run one play if there is time on the clock.

    reff (99666d)

  50. Yeah, but that last second was pointless.

    He’d coached the game, and congradulated the other team. Honestly, I likely would have left too. Staying would have been rubbing salt in the “we weren’t supposed to lose this game” wound.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  51. Respecting your opponent and abiding by the rules of the game is the essence of good sportsmanship. Leaving early because you’re disappointed you lost is not.

    DRJ (517d26)

  52. But he had already respected his opponent. He went and acknowledged the loss.

    Why would he need to hang around?

    And honestly, I think he told a ref or two “Just run it, it doesn’t matter, we got beat”. Was rather stupid to make the teams “play” that last second…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  53. 1) Rules are rules. The refs were right to run the last play. Belichick should have stayed on the sidelines. But I’m not surprised, his personality is never better than petulant at best. It goes right along with his making a farce of the NFL injury rules by listing Brady every week for the last four years as probable.

    2) The Patriots seemed to run only two plays all night…either a pass across the middle to Welker or a screen into the flat.

    3) The Patriots had the better players, but they were not the best team, and I have been saying that for weeks. The better team won.

    gahrie (56a0a8)

  54. Scott, tell that to the Giants who lost a game on the fumbled handoff years ago…

    The NFL runs the last play so that no one can say they didn’t. The rules protect the sanctity of the game.

    Finally, you’re the coach, the leader, and you left your team on the field alone. Would you do that?

    reff (99666d)

  55. As opposed to the ‘85 Bears, who faced many quality opponents, and beat them all…except Miami.

    True. I’m often annoyed by the terms “best” and “greatest”, because they never mean the same thing to different people. I remember a high school game where we beat our cross-town rivals in thrilling fashion, our QB running a bootleg for a touch down with 7 seconds left to win by 4. And one of my kind-of-buddies from the other school saying “we’re still the best team!” What does “best” even mean in that context?

    Comparing teams within a season, “best” has to mean “who won the game”. Comparing teams across seasons, it just means “who do I think would win the game 51% or better of the time if they played 100 hypothetical times.” And I have no doubt the 85 Bears would beat the 72 Dolphins maybe 85-90 times.

    And yes, that’s WAY too much depth of thought for this type of topic.

    Linus (ea9859)

  56. I just noticed that my comment above was #53. That was my number in football. That’s kinda cool…..

    gahrie (56a0a8)

  57. Well folks we were treated to a SUPER ball game! First and foremost that is what we all desire, who wins is to most secondary, to a bunch of course it means allot.

    This is a game I could not lose at all, I kinda sorta wanted NE to win just so they could lay claim to dynasty of a 19-0 season. But I really was rooting for the giants, as a P.Manning/E.Manning SB winners back to back, yeah baby, carries some intrigue as well.

    I feel only for Junior Seau. The man is a monster and deserving of a ring, not sure if he will get one at this point, but then he would not be alone on that particular bench either.

    Even though Golden Boy was/is a POS, he must have married a good woman to raise a couple strong minded football players and future real men.

    Young Manning has been fun to watch, he has had Peyton on his back for years, and he is of course aware of it. Seems all season it’s been well which Manning is going to play today? (with good reason as well).

    Took him a bit longer, but he is younger, and Eli came of his own this year. It was fun to watch, it always is fun to watch these kids grow and go on to excel! He gets better with each and every game he plays.

    Anybody remember John Elway’s first game? How about his last?

    This one goes down as one most excellent game and the Giants earned their place in history today!

    TC (1cf350)

  58. Oh and the half time has gotten WAY better since we got rid of miss silver tips and those that promote such bunk and call it entertainment.

    It’s about time they figured out it is NOT 14 yr olds that purchase tickets!

    Half time was very nice and enjoyable, probably cost 1/3 of what silver tips did as well.

    TC (1cf350)

  59. To add to the list of things I’m sick of, the “I want to thank god for the win…” stuff.

    As a wise man recently said, Jesus isn’t off trying to beat the spread in Vegas.

    Just once I’d like to hear from the losing team something like “Fuck Jesus. God made me fumble” or from the winners “I’d like to thank my Dark Lord, Satan… Hail Satan, Prince of Lies!!”

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  60. I blame Giselle Bundchen. Brady played like a guy who’d expended his energies elsewhere before the game.

    Beldar (3df1f4)

  61. The refs blew a very important call in that game that will have a lot of downside. It’s very likely what Belichick was fuming about.

    There’s a very good reason to blow the play dead as quickly as possible once a QB is in the hands of the pass rushers. Injury to the QB can end a season for a team, not just a game. The problem with not blowing that play dead is the pass rushers relax a bit when they get the QB in their grasp. They’re used to quick whistles in that situation, not having to throw the QB down.

    Maybe the Patriots relaxed when they grabbed Manning, maybe they didn’t. I haven’t seen a good replay of it yet, but it did look to me like more than one Patriot had hands on him. Maybe the Giants would have made the down on the next play anyway. Manning pulled away, and the rest is history.

    Every team saw it and the implications to a historical season though. Expect every QB who the pass rushers or blitzers get their hands on to get thrown down HARD next year. Won’t be just holding him until the whistle blows for a bit.

    Very good ball game, but I think the most poorly officiated Super Bowl on the line and in the backfield that I’ve seen.

    Just Passing Through (d3bdce)

  62. With all due respect, as a Raiders fan, I don’t think the Patriots are in position to complain about a questionable call, particularly involving the pass rush on an opposing quarterback in the final two minutes.

    aunursa (e6ac26)

  63. Expect every QB who the pass rushers or blitzers get their hands on to get thrown down HARD next year.

    Likewise respectfully, only if the pass rushers or blitzers have a very bad coach. The players know how short-lived their careers are and that they could be the next Darryl Stingley. They’re not going to hurt another player anymore than they have to.

    nk (12118a)

  64. Just, the “grasp and control” rule has always been enforced rather fluidly. John Elway used to benefit from a lot of non-calls that would have gone the other way for no-name quarterbacks.

    Had the Patriots played better, they wouldn’t have been in a position where one borderline call cost them the game.

    Steverino (e00589)

  65. Is it just my opinion or will the play I dub “the great escape” become known as the greatest play in football history. Now, I’m not a Giants’ fan, they defeated my Broncos to stop their progress at the perfect season, but I really don’t see any plays that compare. I’m indifferent to Eli, considering him as the consummate little brother, even though I did find his using of his father and Peyton to leverage his way away from the Chargers a slap in the face of the game, but “God” Elway done the same to the Colts, so I can’t harp on it that much. Before I start giving this play a hannie, I must say that they aren’t supposed to be in the playoffs, much less winning against the greatest team (I still think so) of all time. They (Patriots) did seem to taper off at the end, but I think it was the weight of history holding them down. Additionally, Eli should’ve opted to share that vehicle with the NY front seven, since they had the most defunct secondary I’ve ever seen win it. That defense broke the near Mt. Rushmore of modern QB’s (Garcia, Romo, Farve, and then Brady “The One”). I also want to rank the defense, it’s been pretty good for a few years now, and I think this performance beats that of the Ravens, but maybe not quite the Bucs.

    Back to the greatest play of Super Bowl history. The first thing that makes it great is the timing of the play. It was 3rd and long, and they easily could have tried running to trick the defense. They put the hands in the increasingly accurate Eli’s hand and they nearly paid for it, as the Patriots dialed up one of their mega-blitzes, built as a prevent breaker to trick the offense in to a false lever of security. Eli, with just a little more mobility than his brother, breaks about three near-misses and two actual tackles to still have a read on Tyree 45 yards down the field. David Tyree, against future Hall of Famer Rodney Harrison, muscles his way into the air against a HGH user to catch the ball by leveraging it into his helmet and as Harrison yanked, still regained control and never even let the ball touch the ground. Superhuman wasn’t the word for it. When I saw this, even though I was pulling for history, I knew something had just started that had the finish I feared. Because of what happened before hand, especially the near-pick by Asante Samuel, coupled with the weight of his heredity on his back, I call his moxie the greatest play in Super Bowl History. Any haters, start chirping.

    fallensephiroth (c37859)

  66. nk said – Likewise respectfully, only if the pass rushers or blitzers have a very bad coach.

    Then Couglin is a bad coach, because the Giants were throwing Brady down HARD all game. Several times calls could have been made for the second tackler and would have in the regular season. Were the Giants smarter than the Patriots in reading that way the officiating was going in the backfield? Could be. Shouldn’t have been either. The Patriots have been in the SB before.

    steverino said – Just, the “grasp and control” rule has always been enforced rather fluidly. John Elway used to benefit from a lot of non-calls that would have gone the other way for no-name quarterbacks.

    Had the Patriots played better, they wouldn’t have been in a position where one borderline call cost them the game.

    Agreed and agreed.

    With all due respect to the responser’s to my post, and knowing full well that the game is done and replaying it is always a zero sum pursuit…but you’ll see this subject discussed a lot this week. fallensephiroth has it right. I will be a highlight and can’t help but be examined closely. The play will be examined closely and eventually the talking heads will agree that it was a blown call. Several officials will not be seen again in post-season after Sunday’s game.

    Do not misunderstand me either – the Giants were driving hard. There’s no reason to think they wouldn’t have made the first down the next play. Maybe not with the yardage the pass gave them, but they were driving. Nevertheless, Belichick had reason to be angry. If grasp and control were not a subjective call I suspect he would have thrown in the the challenge flag for the second time in one game.

    Just Passing Through (d3bdce)

  67. I think the officials and the teams realize that in the Super Bowl, the game is not going to be officiated as tightly as in a normal game. The idea is to let the teams decide the game, not the officials.

    This obviously is a disadvantage to less physical teams. In the past, the Patriots have benefited from this. This year it benefited the Giants because they played a more physical game, especially on defense. The officiating, the old-style NFC defense, and even Manning’s escape were reminiscent of the way all the games were played in the 1970s and 1980s. Remember scrambling Fran Tarkenton and Roger “the Dodger” Staubach?

    DRJ (8b9d41)


    The Giants fuckin’ WON! HALLELUJAH!

    I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a more intense two-minute time period… and the moment I realized that the Giants had actually won was pure bliss.

    For a kid like me… well, let’s just say I’m going to remember that moment for a long, long time.

    Mike Strahan gets a Super Bowl ring after a long and illustrious career, Eli Manning spreads his wings and flies out from under his brother’s shadow, and the Patriots get stuffed. An absolutely beautiful ending to the season. I’m ecstatic.

    Leviticus (78790e)

  69. I think the officials and the teams realize that in the Super Bowl, the game is not going to be officiated as tightly as in a normal game. The idea is to let the teams decide the game, not the officials.

    This is a problem with pro sports. For example, the New Jersey Devils won several Stanley Cups by leveraging what you point out. Barely making it to the post-season. Once there, late hits, interfering and holding to a point where they would have played an entire regular season game short handed. Yet in the playoffs, the same practice was unpenalized and neutralized faster, better teams. As in this weekends SB, the rest is history.

    To many fans of the game – any professional game – the philosophy that you point out makes a mockery of officiating. Non-calls in the spirit of ‘let them play’ should not decide a game. It’s not quite the same thing as the officials deciding a game by making calls they should not. Same outcome, and neither is within the rules.

    Credit to the NBA – they call post-season games as close if not closer than regular season games.

    I had no team on Sunday, BTW. It was the 3rd NFL game I watched this past year and all of them post-season.

    Just Passing Through (d3bdce)

  70. TC – “We were treated to a SUPER ball game!”

    Absolutely! Just a great game.

    Does anybody else feel that all the hype I see this morning about the Huge Upset/Greatest in History is bogus. Didn’t those people see the tough, furious 12/29 game between these two teams that the Patriots managed to just pull off by 3 points (38-35). If you saw that game, why would you think the Pats would cakewalk over the Giants this time? I thought the Pats would win, but was not surprised at how well the Giants played, and only a little surprised that they pulled off the win.

    JayHub (0a6237)

  71. “Didn’t those people see the tough, furious 12/29 game between these two teams that the Patriots managed to just pull off by 3 points (38-35). If you saw that game, why would you think the Pats would cakewalk over the Giants this time?”


    Seriously. The Giants’ defense was unbelievably scrappy in both games. I’m sure the Patriots were a little uneasy playing them in the Super Bowl after the 12/29 game; they must’ve known the Giants would be out for blood.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  72. aunursa wrote: With all due respect, as a Raiders fan, I don’t think the Patriots are in position to complain about a questionable call, particularly involving the pass rush on an opposing quarterback in the final two minutes.

    Amen to that. The legend of Tom Brady began with the “tuck rule,” which led to the Pats’ first SB victory, which the legitimacy of which is now being questioned.

    I don’t believe in karma. But if I did, that play might have reinforced it.

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  73. A funny thing happened on the way to Belichik having the Lombardi Trophy renamed after himself…

    Someone on another thread said that on paper this was the mismatch of the century. The century’s a bit young, but nevertheless, it’s unfortunate for the Patriots that the game wasn’t played on paper.

    There’s a guy at my office who’s been railing for weeks that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback ever. (I vote for Johnny Unitas, and this guy is old enough to have seen him play.) Today, he’s making excuses: Brady must have been sick, Brady wasn’t on his game, etc.

    I’m sure he would have made the same excuses for Eli Manning had the Giants lost, right?

    Steverino (e00589)

  74. Then Couglin is a bad coach, because the Giants were throwing Brady down HARD all game.

    Those are called “tackles”. They are supposed to do that. It’s what the Blitz is for.

    But man, they ran rough-shod over the Pats Offensive line. There was NO protection for the man. I loved it.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  75. “But man, they ran rough-shod over the Pats Offensive line. There was NO protection for the man. I loved it.”

    – Scott Jacobs

    Hell yeah, they did. New nickname for Tom Brady’s offensive line: “The Maginot Line”.

    I wonder if those clowns went home and shaved their beards. BWA HA HA!

    Leviticus (3b98a1)

  76. Then Couglin is a bad coach, because the Giants were throwing Brady down HARD all game.

    Those are called “tackles”. They are supposed to do that. It’s what the Blitz is for.

    Completely missed the point being made, Scott.

    The “grasp and control” rule is to prevent injuries to QBs. And it’s a good rule. The Giants made sure that every time they had Brady in their hands he went down hard. As you say, the Giants tackled Brady. They did so even in situations where “grasp and control” should have been enough. The Giants played as if that rule did not exist and basically beat the shit out of Brady.

    Nk’s comment #63 was made as a claim that good coaches and teams will expect that rule to be enforced and act accordingly. I say that there isn’t a coach that didn’t note what happened and resolved that they won’t allow it to cost them a post-season game next year. The “grasp and control” rule in post-season just went out the window. Probably in the regular season too. Hence my comment in response to nk that noted that I wasn’t saying that Coughlin is a bad coach, but pointed out that accepting nks comment at face value does.

    If rules aren’t going to be enforced in post-season play as rigorously as it’s enforced in the regular season, then the post-season rulebook should be so noted.

    Watch the replay. At least one Patriot had Manning wrapped and let him go. If they show it in context, watch Belichick on the sidelines. He was stunned. Probably at the stupidity of his linemen.

    Just Passing Through (d3bdce)

  77. In the grasp? It takes more than a handful of jersey to be considered in the grasp. That rule is almost always enforced in a manner when someone has a hold of the QB in such a manner that the QB is defenseless to a hit from another player. That certainly was not the case in Eli’s play.

    FWIW – Being a Colts fan, I feel bad for being such a lousy sport, and rooting against the Pats. But, Bellicheat is an insufferable prick, and it was a joy to watch their dreams fall ever so short.

    JD (fc7319)

  78. Nobody had Eli in control, which is what your equation is missing, JPT.

    JD (fc7319)

  79. Just passing through….an NFL rules expert who said himself he only watched three NFL games this year….

    Make you a bet: the members of this crew will be in the playoffs again next season?


    reff (99666d)

  80. Jd,

    Watch it again.


    I don’t claim to be an NFL rules expert and the number of games I watched this past year is irrelevant. It’s an asinine thing to say. You added nothing.

    BTW: I never bet except on my own skill. Which limits my betting to card games.

    Just Passing Through (d3bdce)

  81. JPT – I have watched it repeatedly today. It was a great play, a clutch play. It was not in the grasp. Had you watched more than 3 games this year, you might know how incredibly infrequently that is called, and for what reasons it is called. This was not a case of being in the grasp.

    JD (fc7319)

  82. You don’t claim to be a rules expert, you just made two extensive posts disecting the ‘grasp and control’ rule, saying it was a blown call, and saying the officials would not return to the playoffs. I’ve watched two different sports networks, ESPN and FSN, for two nights, and heard NO ONE say it was a blown call. Then, you tell us you only saw three games this year, which easily is interpreted to mean you don’t know how the rule is being called this year.

    You made statements that have no backing, while putting your “opinion” out there for all to disect. My addition to this conversation:

    You’re opinion, like you, is full of crap. I’ll even go further: it’s wrong.

    Now, use your own logic to refute the points I just made here, about your posts. Show me where I am wrong.

    reff (99666d)

  83. Officials are to blow the play dead as soon as the quarterback is clearly in the grasp and control of any tackler, and his safety is in jeopardy.

    Direct from the NFL rulebook. Now, if you knew your football rules, and had watched more than 3 games, you would know that the play in question did not fit this criteria, as 1) he was not in the control of a defender, and 2) his safety was not in jeopardy.

    As this rule has evolved, it has come to be called in situations only where the defender has the QB’s legs wrapped up, and they are still upright and vulnerable to another defender coming up an plowing them.

    To call the play that Eli made “in the grasp” shows a remarkable lack of understanding of the rules.

    JD (fc7319)

  84. I hate to show my ignorance but I think the “in the grasp” rule is difficult to analyze. When I blogged about that play, you may recall I was initially surprised the officials didn’t call Manning “in the grasp.” I think different officials call the rule in different ways, and I also think officials in big games are more likely to hold back on a call because they don’t want the officiating to decide a game. However, it may also be that I don’t understand the rule well enough to know “in the grasp” when I see it.

    In any event, the following analysis by former NFL official Jerry Markbreit is interesting (question 8):

    “QUESTION: As a current employee of the NFL (right?), I’m sure you can’t comment on any rules you wish were different. But have there been any rule changes during your time with the NFL that you were particularly happy to see instituted? – Greg, Cleveland

    ANSWER: The “in the grasp” rule was the most difficult for me to officiate. The referee was to blow the ball dead whenever a defensive player had a solid hold on the quarterback. In many cases, the ball was knocked loose by the defender when the referee blew the whistle because he, the referee, was not in a position to see the front of the quarterback. The rule was put in to protect the quarterback. The quarterbacks are strong and able to escape the defensive attack. The rule hurt the quarterback for this reason. The rule was changed a number of years ago and I, for one, was glad to see it go. There is a version of the rule that exists. It states that a quarterback in the grasp of a defender with another defender bearing down on the quarterback constitutes cause for an “in the grasp” call.

    DRJ (517d26)

  85. I’m not saying it is easy or hard to analyze, but, those with more knowledge than we here haven’t had any question at all about the call. No one in the football world is complaining about the call, with the possible exception of jpt…

    reff (99666d)

  86. It states that a quarterback in the grasp of a defender with another defender bearing down on the quarterback constitutes cause for an “in the grasp” call.“

    That has been the big distinction in how this rule has evolved, in practice, DRJ. Essentially, it has evolved to a stoppage of forward progress rule. Having a handful of jersey could be considered the “grasp” part, though the rule envisions not only in the grasp, but also control. Not for a fleeting moment was Eli controlled by anyone. His ability to move freely was not hampered.

    The evolution of the QB position precipitated the evolution of this rule. Guys like Vince Young, and Donovan in his younger years, made this rule difficult, if not impossible to put into practice, given their great strength and ability to run. As such, it evolved to where it is today, where it is essentially used to protect a QB from a free shot by a defender when they are unable to defend themselves.

    JD (fc7319)

  87. I agree with the non-call but they are talking about it, such as here at

    It was a play that began from the Giants’ 44-yard line with 1:15 remaining. Defensive end Jarvis Green burst through the Giants line and grabbed Manning by the jersey, trying to pull him backward and down. Two other defenders had a shot at Manning. No one would have been surprised if referee Mike Carey blew the whistle and ruled an in-the-grasp sack.

    But Carey did not blow the whistle, and Green did not get Manning down. Manning got free of Green’s grasp, escaped, circled back to his right and heaved the ball through the heavens and down the field.

    It even sounds like Giants Coach Coughlin feared Eli might be “in the grasp”:

    “Manning dropped back to pass and faced a heavy rushed. Seemingly about to be sacked, he somehow escaped, steadied himself and fired a pass down the middle of the field for Tyree, who was closely covered by safety Rodney Harrison. Both players jumped for the ball, which somehow landed on top of Tyree’s helmet. But the receiver wrestled the ball away from Harrison for what may well be the greatest catch in Super Bowl history. The 32-yard gain gave the Giants a first down at the New England 24. The Giants called a timeout with 59 seconds remaining.

    “That play alone took a few years off my life,” Strahan said.

    “It looks like (Manning) is in the grasp or on his way down,” Coughlin said. “All of a sudden Eli is able to shake that off. He steps up in the pocket and fires the ball down the field. It’s a contested catch. It’s not like the guys is sitting there in center field by himself. Two people go up. Two people come down with the ball. David wrestles the ball away. I don’t know that there’s ever been a bigger play in the Super Bowl than that play.”

    DRJ (517d26)

  88. DRJ – I think Coughlin was speaking of the fear of Eli going down, rather than stating a fact. I agree that it is a grey area, but in practice, this seems like precisely the kind of play where it should not be called.

    JD (fc7319)

  89. The play is here on the NFL video…the only concession I’ll make here is that Mike Carey appears not to see the jersey grasp from his angle, but, no one was coming at Manning while his jersey was being held. I’m with you DRJ, this is a good no call, and that’s the best kind of call an official can make.

    reff (99666d)

  90. Great link. That play is fun to watch from start to finish and I like the Marines ad, too.

    DRJ (517d26)

  91. The Marines ad was an added bonus….

    God, I love the Corps…Semper Fi…

    reff (99666d)

  92. This has been beat to death, sorta like Brady during the game. :)

    When in the grasp first came on the rules, it was a travesty, as many GREAT play got thwarted by early calls. It’s better today, But even with such, the reff was probably inhaling prior to blowing it, when Manning popped out and threw the pass.

    Which resulted in the #1 catch of all time in a Superbowl. 42 teams have taken the field and done all sorts of things that were great. “The Catch” stands as #1 and it should!

    JayHub, I do agree with you, anybody NOT thinking the Giants were a valid contender, wither did not watch the game or paid no attention to is as they really wanted NE to go 19-0 so bad they lost that the Giants were still in front of such a claim.

    As far as general officiating goes. Hell I saw a bunch of missed calls and they went both ways. Somebody mentioned that this game needs to be decided by the players, it was reffed the same way. Honorably, and to the level of the teams as well.


    Seems as though Belecheck is getting a bunch of crap for having to take a dump a second before his team formally took theirs. Such is rather sad, the pats have nothing to be sorry for to the public. To themselves? Such is another matter.

    TC (1cf350)

  93. Getting a kick out of this.

    I’ll restate my point succinctly:

    grasp and control went out the window. No one will anticipate a whistle, especially in the post-season. Every QB is going down hard from now on.

    No one in the football world is complaining about the call, with the possible exception of jpt…

    Horses**t. On two levels. I think they blew the call. My opinion. Hasn’t changed. But never my point.I was not complaining about the call per se, but what it portended in future games. And it is being complained about. You need to find new sources of information, or at least understand what you read before spouting off like some dime a dozen jack**s in a sports bar.

    Just Passing Through (d3bdce)

  94. You say it is being complained about. I stated my sources, the two major sports networks.

    “I think they blew the call.” They guy who has watched three games this year. The guy who cannot say who is complaining about the call.

    By the way, the “reff” name: It is what I do. I have experience in the “call” you are referring to. I’ll get more this coming summer, and see and hear the call discussed by the officials who make those calls. My opinion: a great no-call, and it won’t change how the NFL calls it in the future.

    Now, refute this post again. You failed last time.

    reff (99666d)

  95. what it portended in future games.

    It portends nothing in future games. He was not in the grasp and in the control of another player, with another defender having a shot a him. Period.

    That you keep arguing that he was, despite the actual rule from the NFL, and the interpretation of the rule from a respected NFL official, suggests that your emotion is getting in the way of common sense. Had you paid attention in the last few years, you would not find that play being blown dead, and in fact, would find that plays like that are not to be blown dead any longer.

    JD (a11194)

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    adennaglype (8d7e5e)

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