Monday, February 04, 2008

SuperBowl parting thoughts

I was amazed at what I witnessed last night. The Patriots were in Mercury Morris' house...until the police came and kicked them out.

Good to see the two teams in red, white, and blue that really represent "America" mixing it up.

My analysis of the game is that the Giants gave the Patriots a bit of a taste of their own medicine. The Patriots play right to the rules, and I suggested that one way to beat them was to play at their level - bend the rules and reap the same benefit.

So, the Giants committed some holding, got away with some offensive pushoffs, and chucked a few receivers downfield. And on one notable play, a running back tried to swat a ball out of bounds - a very Patriot-like move.

Speed rushers, plus keeping players fresh really helped the Giants. I think they were in the backfield on every single passing play. They may have only had a handful of sacks, but (a) its more than the Patriots allowed in a single game all year, and (b) Brady actually looked scared out there at the end, out of fear that he was going to get hit in the mouth again, and that really affected his ability to throw...and he was so smug about his line a few days before the game.

Meanwhile, the Giants line gave Eli time to eat a sandwich (he passed on the upsell of the beer) while he looked for a receiver. One thing I noticed here was that the Patriots changed tactics in this game. In their two playoff games, they played straight defense through three quarters, and blitzed heavily in the 4th. Here, they blizting started early, and it appeared the Giants were ready for it.

A little known stat: the player who leads the NFL in passing has never won a SuperBowl. Power rushing and defense still wins championships, not great quarterbacking.

Great skills in passing can be diminished by quality opponents, whereas power running simply wears most teams down. The Patriots were pretty one-dimensional this season, and it cost them.

Also, lesser known players often make the games biggest plays. David Tyree had 4 catches all year for the Giants. And in the SuperBowl he had 3, none bigger than his over-the-head catch against Harrison.

Good coaching by Tom Coughlin. No major gaffes in his strategy or actions. He outcoached Bellicheat at his own game. No big goof ups by the players, really, either. They need to play a perfect game and they pretty much did just that.

Ah yes, 18 and D'oh!

They were being called the greatest team, and now they're being referred to as the worst 18-1 team, and being mocked.

And I love it.
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