If God cares about football, I think He had a hand in last night’s game. This Patriots team was not one that should have went down in the accolades of the sport as the first 19-0 team. As the Super Bowl came underway, new revelations of the Patriots recording the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI came into light; revelations which had evidently been suspected of for some time, but had not been validated. It’s sad to hear the Rams may have lost by three points because the Pats literally knew what plays were coming, but it’s hard not to feel like poetic justice was done this year.
Also, the Patriots would have been given an almost automatic lock as the arguably “best team of all time.” I don’t think they would have deserved it. You couldn’t have kept them from the argument, but they kinda scraped out a couple of wins to get in the Super Bowl, winning by eleven in the divisional round and nine in the conference championship. Now take the ’85 Bears, who won 21-0 in the divisional, 24-0 in the conference championship. Which team seems more dominant? Because the nearly perfect Patriots were actually not as nearly perfect as their record seemed to suggest, they went from an almost automatic lock to an also-ran. 18-0 doesn’t really mean much if you lose the big one. Especially ten or twenty years from now.
One has to wonder exactly how Belichick is such a successful coach, even if he does cheat to win. Why on earth any NFL team doesn’t kick a field goal from the 31 yard line on a fourth and thirteen in a dome surrounded by desert air is absolutely beyond me. That’s not a stunt I would pull in a Madden video game. The Pats lost by three points, and this will be the second year in a row which Belichick made a stupid move which potentially caused their final loss. Last year, in the AFC Conference Championship Game, the Patriots were leading by less than a touchdown, when they forced a Colts punt and retrieved the ball with 3:22 left in the game. On third and four, they forsake the run and decide to pass. Incomplete. Punt. They take just over a minute off the clock. The Colts get the ball back with 2:17 left and score the game winning touchdown. Any coach with half a brain runs on third and four with just over two minutes left. If my memory serves correctly, the Colts had one timeout left. Third and four is a manageable distance to run for a first down. And even if they fail, the Colts are left with either letting the clock go down to the two minute warning or taking their last timeout. Instead the clock stops automatically. So passing the ball for an incompletion essentially gave the Colts a fourth timeout. And I do believe they got two, two, plays off in the 17 seconds before the two minute warning.
The Patriots handled the final :39 pretty poorly, as well. They tried two desperation passes to end the game when they started the drive with three timeouts, so a couple of twenty-five yard completions could have given them a chance to tie. But after the sack of Brady I can’t really blame them for losing their heads a little. It’s almost impossible to win on a third and twenty with less then twenty seconds left when a team is inside their own thirty.
However, I must give the Giants credit; they did far more winning than the Patriots did losing. That Manning pass to Tyree was incredible. Manning had no reason getting that pass off and Tyree had no reason catching it. I have no doubt it will go down as one of the best plays in Super Bowl history. After that catch, I knew the Giants were going to win. You just don’t have plays like that under those circumstances without cashing in.
And the Giants defense did the NFL proud. The Patriots laughed at Plexico Burress when he suggested they would only score seventeen points. Funny that the only reason he was wrong is because Belichick forgot he had a place kicker. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Tom Brady frustrated for almost sixty nominal minutes.
As a side note, I wanted to read Bill Simmons article. I said a few blogs back this loss might shut him up. I don’t think much of him as a sports writer at all, and wanted to see him eat crow. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, I’m not sure. He’ll probably have some excuse why the Pats lost other than the Giants played better, as that’s his milieu. But I don’t know, because I couldn’t get past the very beginning. His article started with the thoughts of a sad, poor sports fan who lives and dies with his team, but ends up living the ultimate nightmare of “All that energy over the years just getting displaced, no release, no satisfaction, nothing.” Okay, this guy is a Patriots fan, and last time I checked they have won three Super Bowls this decade. And it wasn’t even written for the Patriots! He goes on to explain he rehashed that line from an article he wrote after the Pats beat the Rams by three in the Super Bowl they evidently stole (which, him being a Patriots fan, makes me wonder why he was writing it to begin with). But the Rams won the Super Bowl the previous year. Now, I’m a Cubs fan. To hear someone whine about how their team never gives them any satisfaction a year after they win the Super Bowl, and then again after their favorite team just played in their fourth in six years and won the previous three, makes me a little ill. Da Bears didn’t even win last year and I can still appreciate the fact that I’m a year removed from the game. What a loser of a sports writer. Do yourself a favor and stick to articles about J-Lo, dude. I can’t believe he actually gets paid for that tripe.