Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Super Bowl Retrospective


There is a strange happiness we all take part in when an enemy falls.  I first remember that feeling when Aaron Boone sent a homerun sailing through theBronxnight in the 2003 ALCS.  I felt it most poignantly several years ago when Tom Brady’s deep throw just evaded Randy Moss’ fingertips.  History I would find, would repeat itself Sunday evening.

Greece, NY- Spent the Super Bowl a lot of close friends, and like many of you, enjoyed it thoroughly.  I found it paced really well, without a lot of breaks (for what it was) and a reasonable end time.  It also is one of the more balanced Super Bowls in terms of overall offense against overall defense.  I needed an hour or so to digest what I saw, and I would have to say I enjoyed this Super Bowl very much.  It seemed surprisingly quick, only one review that I remember, and it had the signature moments that will live on, especially Bradshaw’s “Tushdown.”  Since you would not be reading this if you had not watched the game for yourself, I will simply relate what I took out of the game.

Eli Manning once again became the toast of the Big Apple, and I believe he may have just cemented himself in the Mt Rushmore ofNew Yorksports.  He was 30 of 40, and completed his first 9 passes, a Super Bowl record.  He did not turn the ball over, and while a few balls were badly underthrown, he certainly acquitted himself well.  Whispers of a Giants dynasty will begin to gain momentum, butNew Yorkhas a lot of work to do before I’ll believe in this team having the qualities of sustainable post season success.  I believe we have to definitely mention Eli now as an elite quarterback from here on out.

Brandon Jacobs had a sneaky excellent game.  I never thought he would be a factor today, and he was the best running back on the field today.  He was the perfect matchup as the power backNew York needed to get the tough yards, and in the first half proved to be highly reliable.

Mario Manningham made the catch of the day, and while it was not exactly Tyree-esque, it carried the double edged sword of not only picking up yards and a key first down, but the Patriots had to burn a timeout, losing the game’s only challenge in the process.  He also caught for over 100 yds and the mismatch of the day was certainlyNew York’s receivers and the Patriots defensive backs, a sad example of the Unstoppable Force against the non-existent object.

Tom Brady’s game will no doubt be over analyzed in the weeks to come.  He completed an amazing 15 straight passes, and had great numbers, but in the end his receivers did not come through for him.  He was solid, but quarterbacks in the Super Bowl are not remembered for much more than their defining plays, and for the second time in a row, Brady did not deliver the ultimate result.  With a win, Brady probably takes over the Best Quarterback ® in the league title, and ties Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with four rings apiece.  As it stands, being with Troy Aikman at three isn’t a bad consolation prize.

My least favorite “football” player, Danny “The Hobbit” Woodhead had as surprising a good game as Jacobs.  New Englandmust be the only team in the league where he would be effective, I cannot figure out how he does it, but he had a few good runs after catches, including his first TD pass of the year, to put the Pats ahead early.  For the Shire!

The Patriots really missed a healthy Rob Gronkowski; that much was clear.  He was an effective blocker, but could not generate any misses or yards after the catch.  He was not targeted very often, but theBlackburn interception may not have happened if Gronkowski had been able to get off his feet like he would if healthy.  This is the big “what if” NewEngland will be mulling over for months leading up to the next season.

As a Bills fan, it is a relief to not have to hear about the wisdom of Belichick, or the nauseating wonder of Brady, and if I have to share a state with a champion, rather the Giants than the Jets.  Congratulations to Eli and the rest of them, he is the biggest story in football, at least for another week until it’ll be all about his brother.

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