Final: New York Giants 21 New England Patriots 17
It wasn't the best all around game that I've ever seen. But it sure was a good chess game. I expected the pass rush of the Giants to be all over Tom Brady. To the Patriots credit they did a great job protecting Brady. The Giants only had two sacks the entire game. I also thought that the game would end on a last second field goal. But that prediction came up short.
Either way it sealed one quarterbacks legacy and brought to light the others. Tom Brady is this generations greatest quarterback. You don't get to 5 Super Bowls on pure luck. However, if you want to be in the conversation of the greatest of all time you have to most if not all of them. Brady has now lost two straight Super Bowl games.
For Giants QB Eli Manning his legacy is now beginning to take shape. He is now among the top 5 best quarterbacks in the NFL today. For me the list includes Brady, Eli, Peyton Manning (when healthy), Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. You can put them in whatever order you would like, but those are the top 5.
The Giants did just enough when they had to. They started the game with a safety on the Patriots first possession. Then Eli threw his only touchdown pass to this years breakout player WR Victor Cruz. New York was down 10-9 going into halftime and at the start of the second half they were down 17-9. That didn't matter.
New York picked away at the lead with good defense and two field goals to make it 17-15 in the 4th quarter. Then when they needed it most Eli made a perfect throw that had a perfect catch by WR Mario Manningham near the sideline. Not near the David Tyree type of catch back in Super Bowl XLII, but pretty impressive nonetheless.
The result was an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown run that gave the Giants the lead for good. Tom Brady still had a chance to win the game for the Patriots. And that proves just how great he is when he still can win a game for you when it doesn't seem possible.
Under Tom Coughlin the New York Giants have been an opportunistic team. When the time is right they will make a run at a championship. Just like I have been saying the last couple years, I can't seem to figure out any of the teams in the NFC East. Maybe now I've figured out the New York Giants.