WMQB: Super Bowl XLVI Review

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Super Bowl XLVI had so many storylines it was hard to keep up in the two weeks leading up to the game. The biggest storyline was the uncanny likeness that this year’s Super Bowl had to the Super Bowl in 2008. In 2008 Super Bowl XLII featured the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, just like this year. 2008 saw the Patriots go into the game favoured while the Giants played the underdog which happened again this year. It also saw a potent offence of the Patriots led by Tom Brady against the vicious front four of the Giants that was seen again this year. Of course this year there were some differences with the Patriots defence ranking 31st in the league and Eli Manning further into a great career. This was not the only storyline though as the Pats would be looking for revenge for their Super Bowl XLII loss and Bill Belichick and Tom Brady looking to avenge their only Super Bowl loss. Belichick and Brady were also looking to become the best QB-coach pair in NFL history as well as they looked to win their 4th Super Bowl together that would surpass every other pairing in NFL history. Meanwhile the pair of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning were looking to solidify their spots among the elite in the NFL after being continually written off. Of course with every Super Bowl the storylines never stop and with two weeks leading up to the big game new storylines are created every day. There is no bigger story than what happens in the game though as the biggest day in North American sports draws the biggest crowd and the most attention one day in the year. This year was not different as the New England Patriots took on the New York Giants with just over 111 million people in the USA watching every move. The game started with the New York Giants marching in their first possession but they were stopped by two sacks. With the end of the first drive the Giants kicked the ball away and put the Patriots inside their own 5 yard line. Tom Brady took the ball on his first possession as he looked to lead a long drive to open the scoring. It did not go that way though as Brady was forced into the end zone and threw the ball away. A delayed flag gave the Giants a Safety to open the scoring and gave them the ball back for a second drive. With a second chance Eli Manning guided the Giants down the field but just as he got going a pass to Victor Cruz was fumbled and recovered by the Patriots. Then New England was again hurt by a penalty as they had 12 men on the field negating the fumble and giving the ball back to the Giants. With the ball back the Giants continued their drive that was finished off by a TD pass from manning to Cruz. With the Giants ahead 9-0 the Pats got the ball back as they looked to get some momentum back after two penalties had resulted in the 9 points. The Pats could only muster a field goal after a long drive as they cut the lead to six points but still could not get much going as they continued to struggle on offence. Both teams began stalling on their drives but the Giants had much longer drives than the Pats had until the end of the half. With their last drive the Patriots began looking like the offence of the regular season as Tom Brady began finding a rhythm with his tight ends and led a march down the field. The drive finished off with a TD pass by Tom Brady to Danny Woodhead to put the Pats up before halftime 10-9. The first half saw the Patriots stumble out of the gate while the Giants took advantage getting out to an early lead. Eventually the Pats pulled it together and began taking over finishing the half on top.

The second half saw the Patriots continue to keep their rhythm from the first half as their offence continued to click. With the first possession of the half the Patriots and Tom Brady marched down the field and kept their momentum going. They finished off the drive with a TD pass from Brady to Aaron Hernandez to put the Pats up 17-9. The Giants were left to try to take back the momentum and it all fell on Eli Manning’s shoulders. In their first possession of the half the Giants could not break through for a TD but instead took a Lawrence Tynes field goal to reduce the lead to 5. Then the Giants defence stepped up as they prevented Brady and the offence from continuing their strong play. With plenty of pressure from the front four the Giants were able to force Brady into mistakes and give the ball back to their offence. The Giants could not do much though as they only mustered another field goal to get within one point of the Pats. The Giants defence then came through again as the pressure on Brady finally forced a big mistake as Brady threw a pass deep downfield that was intercepted by Chase Blackburn giving New York another chance to take over the lead. With the chance the Giants began to march downfield but they could not take advantage of the turnover as their drive stalled. The Giants D continued to shut down Tom Brady though as they would not let the Pats get anything going and continued to give Eli Manning and the offence a chance to win. With less than four minutes left the Giants had one more drive to win the game and a familiar sight creeped in form 2008. Manning dropped back for a pass and threw the ball 38 yards downfield into double coverage to Mario Manningham. Manningham caught the ball on the sideline keeping two feet in by a few inches. The catch brought back thoughts of the David Tyree catch in Super Bowl XLII and it had the same affect. The Giants offence took this completed pass and rode the momentum down the field. With momentum in hand the Giants ran the ball up the gut giving the ball to Ahmad Bradshaw who ran the ball in untouched putting the Giants, who added a 2-point conversion, ahead 21-17. As Bradshaw ran into the endzone something strange happened as he crouched down just before the endzone looking like he would take a knee before he made it in. The reason would have been to run out more time on the clock to prevent the Pats from having plenty of time for a long winning drive. When Bradshaw went into the endzone he did just that as the Patriots would have almost 1 minute to drive down the field for a winning TD. The Patriots began marching down the field and thanks to a penalty and an incomplete pass by the Giants the Pats were given one last chance to win the game. Brady dropped back to pass and under pressure threw a hail mary into the endzone but it would not be caught as the Patriots would lose for the second time against the New York Giants. With the win Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin earned their second Super Bowl win while proving to be the kryptonite to the Patriots winning ways. The Giants took the win as they got their 4th Super Bowl all time and solidified Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning as one of the best pairs in the NFL by beating the best pairing in the NFL.

 

Final Score:

New York Giants 21 – 17 New England Patriots

 

NFL Awards:

 

NFL MVP:

Aaron Rodgers, QB (Green Bay Packers)

 

AP Offensive POY:

Drew Brees, QB (New Orleans Saints)

 

AP Defensive POY:

Terrell Suggs, LB (Baltimore Ravens)

 

AP Coach of the Year:

Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers)

 

AP Offensive ROY:

Cam Newton, QB (Carolina Panthers)

 

AP Defensive ROY:

Von Miller, LB (Denver Broncos)

 

Walter Payton Man of the Year:

Matt Birk, C (Baltimore Ravens)

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