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The Best Team Won

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  • George
    By way of introduction of my comments, I will tell you that I turned off the TV just as Bill Belichick stepped onto the field to congratulate Tom Coughlin. I
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2008
      By way of introduction of my comments, I will tell you that I turned off the
      TV just as Bill Belichick stepped onto the field to congratulate Tom
      Coughlin. I went upstairs to just lie down, and let the emotion ebb. That
      was at about 10:15 AM here, I think. I came back downstairs, after a few
      short naps, and a lot of bad memories, at about 6:00 PM. I read the handful
      of comments in my email inbox, and turned of the laptop at about 8:00 PM. I
      have not yet read any of the notes that arrived in my inbox after that time,
      nor have I visited any websites. I relate all of that to set up the fact
      that what I am about to say is relatively uninfluenced by comments from
      anybody else, professional or personal. So, here are my thoughts about Super
      Bowl XLII.

      As stated in the title, my opinion is that the best team won. As I did in
      February of 2001, I define the best team as the one that brings its' 'A'
      game to the field, and puts out physical, emotional, and mental effort that
      exceeds that of its' opponent. The Giants did that in Super Bowl XLII. The
      Patriots did not.

      You'll notice that I didn't mention scoring. I do, in fact, believe that the
      best team on a given day can lose a game due to circumstances beyond its'
      control; such as crazy weather conditions, lop-sided officiating, or,
      literally, an unlucky bounce of the ball at a game-deciding moment. None of
      those things happened in Super Bowl XLII. The Giants simply outcoached and
      outplayed the Patriots, and fully deserve congratulations, and the honor of
      taking home the Lombardi Trophy.

      As for the Patriots, I can not, in good conscience, apply any term other
      than "choke" to their performance in the game. There is simply no way, IMO,
      that the Patriots 'A' game on offense could be held to 14 points by any
      defense in this particular NFL season. I believe that they were unable to
      handle the pressure the "historic potential" in the game. They played
      tentatively, afraid to make errors, in some cases, and playing out of
      control in others. I'm not a psychologist, and others may have different
      opinions about that. Just for the record, that's mine.

      The offensive line was simply overwhelmed. This is the same offensive line
      that had been able to limit opponents to 12 sacks of their QB through 18
      previous games. They surrendered 5 to the fired up Giants defense in this
      one game.

      Tom Brady succumbed to that pressure from the Giants, and failed to fire his
      passes with the accuracy that was necessary to beat the tight coverage the
      Giants secondary applied throughout the game. Nearly all of his incomplete
      passes were due to poor location, not drops by his receivers, or great plays
      by the defenders.

      The defense, in a reversal of the pattern we had seen in most games this
      season, played superbly for 3 quarters, and failed to make big plays when it
      mattered most, in the 4th Quarter, as they allowed the Giants to overcome
      4-point deficits twice, with long drives, and earn the victory.

      The final Patriots possession was a microcosm of the entire game. The
      Patriots took the kickoff, trailing by just 3 points, and were unable to
      open a lane for a big return against the fired up Giants. They were stopped
      at their 24 yard line, which would have left them with a need to gain about
      45 yards to have any shot at a game-tying FG. However, they also committed a
      holding penalty on the play, moving them back to their 11 yard line, and a
      need for about 60 yards to try a FG. Brady then proceeded to throw a series
      of hopelessly desperate passes, into double coverage, rather than seeking 3
      or 4 intermediate yardage completions, with a couple of their 3 times out
      called when needed, and move the team into FG position. It was panic, and
      desperation; rather than the calculating precision that had been the
      trademark of this team all season. Coaches and players choked in this
      series, just as they had throughout most of the game.

      It was a game that was not decided by one outstanding play in a critical
      situation by the Giants; or by one glaring error in a critical situation by
      the Patriots. (Although CB Ellis Hobbs did clearly establish the accuracy of
      the label on him as the Patriots weak link on defense.) The game was decided
      by consistently better play, in every way you can define it, by the Giants;
      and consistently poor play, relative to their proven ability, by the

      I am deeply disappointed; angered, and, as a very vocal and demonstrative
      fan, embarrassed, by the performance of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
      They choked. There is nothing more of any consequence that I can say.

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