Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

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    Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

         For the second time, the Patriots suffered a gut wrenching SB loss to Eli Manning and the N.Y. Giants. As was the case in 2007, this loss will mar what was otherwise a great season. I will now take on the unhappy task of summarizing the game, with the following grades:

    I. OFFENSE: After gaining a 17-9 lead, this unit couldn't score a point in the final 26:20 of the game. The lack of a quality deep threat, and the obvious limitations of TE Rob Gronkowski really hurt the cause.

    1.) QB: Many will blame this loss on Tom Brady. But, aside from the intentional grounding penalty he took in the end zone, which gift-wrapped two points for the Giants, and his seemingly obligatory interception, I thought he played pretty well. It was painfully obvious that Tom's chief weapon, TE Rob Gronkowski, was severely hampered by his high ankle sprain. That gave Tom only two receivers to look for...Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. Brady would aim 22 of his 39 passes in their direction.
         Though Tom was under some pressure, he was generally given ample time to throw. One of those times when pressured, he under-threw a prayer in the direction of the wounded Gronk, resulting in his aforementioned pick.           
         It appeared that Tom's main problem today was that he had no open receivers to throw to. Its' not easy having to consistently thread short passes over the middle to double covered receivers, through a maze of arms of huge lineman...as Tom had to do for most of the today. Again, unlike the Brady who spreads the ball around to multiple receivers, 22 of his 39 passes went to two men...again indicating that his other receivers weren't getting open.
         Folks, despite his mistakes, Tom was just a play away from being named the SB MVP. That play occurred with 3:46 remaining in the game. The Patriots had a 17-15 lead, and were facing a 2nd and 11, from the Giants' 44 yard line. Brady dropped back, and uncorked a deep pass to an open Wes Welker, at the Giants' 21 yard line. Though his pass was a bit high and a bit behind Wes, it was a catchable ball, that Welker could have caught. Unfortunately, the ball clanked off his hands. This unfortunate incompletion would allow Eli Manning an opportunity to beat the Patriots again, with a closing 88 yard TD drive.
         That heartache aside, Tom led the Patriots on a SB record 96 yard TD drive to open up the second half. During this drive, he set another SB record by completing 10 passes in 10 tries, accounting for 86 of the 96 yards. 
         For the game, Tom finished with 27 completions in 41 attempts, for 276 yards. Had Welker made that catch, Tom would have had 28 completions for 299 yards, two TDs and a pick...and would have had the opportunity to add on to those stats, continuing a drive from the N.Y. 21 yard line. What a difference one play can make! 
         Credit Tom for a good "get in the way type" block, to spring Welker on a 11 yard end around run.  Finally, on the games' final play, Tom delivered as good a Hail Mary throw as can be made. It almost deflected into the arms of Rob Gronkowski, in the end zone:
    GRADE: B;

    2.) RBs: BJGE played okay, finishing with 44 yards on 10 carries. Though  dependable, Benny is clearly limited by his lack of break-away ability. Though Danny Woodhead had his moments as a receiver, finishing with 4 catches for 42 yards and a TD, he only was able to muster 18 yards rushing, on 7 carries.
         Folks, Tom Brady needs more help from his RBs, when facing the good teams with good defenses. One has to wonder what kind a damage a Corey Dillon type RB might have been able to inflict on the Giants' defense. Hopefully, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen will upgrade the RB stable. But, the jury is very much out on them:
    GRADE: C+;

    3.) OL: A much better effort by the Big Uglies, than the one against the Giants four years ago. Still, Justin Tuck continued to haunt them. He registered two sacks, and three QB hits. Though Jason Pierre-Paul was held without a sack, he had two pass deflections, a QB hit, and a tackle for loss. In all, Tom was hit eight times, and eight is quite enough. But, when you consider that the Giants are the premiere pass-rushing team in the league, that's not too shabby. No OL is going to shut them completely down. The majority of the sacks and QB hits seemed to develop as a result of receivers not getting open, rather than missed assignments, or poor play.
         The big guys may get criticized for not opening holes for the rushing attack. But, that's not the Patriots' game, and, as discussed above, they currently don't have a stud RB on the roster with breakaway ability, or one capable of wearing  opposing defenses down:
    GRADE: B;

    4.) TEs and WRs: The Giants should give that no good Bernard Pollard an SB share for tonights' SB win. Gronk's much publicized high ankle sprain obviously limited him. When is the last time that we've seen Tom Brady target him just three (3) times? When have we seen him held to just two (2) catches, for 26 yards? 
         Perhaps the most telling Gronk play came in the 4th quarter, when the Giants were single covering him deep over the middle with MLB Chase Blackburn. Gronk normally eats LBs for lunch on such plays. But Blackburn was able to stay with him, and pick off the Brady prayer, thrown in Gronk's direction. Nor was Gronk able to provide much help via run blocking.
         Aaron Hernandez made a valiant effort to carry the load himself. But, Gronk's ineffectiveness, along with the lack of a deep threat, made it hard for Hernandez to register his trademark YAC (yards after catch). He finished with eight hard-nosed receptions for 67 yards, and a TD. His TD reception capped off the above mentioned 96 yard Patriots' drive, to open the second half.
         Poor Wes Welker. For the game, Wes caught seven of the eight passes thrown his way, for 60 yards. But oh...that one that got away: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/video-wes-welker-drop-probably-cost-patriots-super-032151155.html
         Deion Branch chipped in with three catches for 45 yards, while Chad Ochocinco made his last catch in a Patriots' uniform, gaining 21 yards. It was the longest pass play of the day for the Pats.
    GRADE: C-;     
                        
    II. DEFENSE: Once again, the "D" couldn't stop Eli Manning in the final few minutes, as he led his team on a game winning, 88 yard drive. There were no miraculous "helmet catch", or Eli sack escaping this time. It was simply great execution by a great QB, and a good set of WRs.
         Time of possession heavily favored the G-men, who held the ball for 11:18 of the first quarter (thanks partially to the Brady intentional-grounding safety), 8:00 in the second quarter, 9:38 of the 3rd quarter, and 7:42 in the 4th quarter...for a whopping 37:05 to 22:55 time of possession advantage.  
         Credit the "D" for holding the N.Y. offense to FGs on a couple of second half drives. If, prior to this game, you knew that the Giants' offense would be held to 21 points, I dare say that most of you would have been delighted. Though the Pats lost against to Big Blue, there was a lot to like from the play of some of their young defensive players:

    1.) DL: Unfortunately, Vince Wilfolk didn't repeat his super human performance of two weeks ago. He did draw a questionable holding penalty, which killed a N.Y. drive. Other than that, the Giants OL did a good job of keeping him in check.
         But, DE Mark Anderson was another story. He continued his superlative late season play by registering five (5) tackles, three (3) of which were solos, and 1.5 sacks. Youngster Brandon Deaderick held his own, and also contributed a sack. Though RBs Brandon Jacobs (9 carries for 37 yards) and Ahmad Bradshaw (17 carries for 72 yards) were effective, they weren't dominant. It's hard to focus on the run, when playing against Eli Manning and his greyhounds:
    GRADE: B;

    2.) LBs: Brandon Spikes was outstanding. He, along with Jerod Mayo, registered a team high 11 tackles each, of which eight (8) were solos for each. It might have been Spikes' best game as a Patriot. His addition to the defense has added an element of toughness and physicality to the squad. He may evolve into a Ray Lewis type player. 
         Rob Ninkovich had his moments, with 4 tackles (3 solos), a half a sack, and two QB hits. He also appeared to do a nice job in coverage. But, his offside penalty with 13 minutes to play in the game was a major mistake. At that time, the Giants were facing a 3rd and 7, from their own 11 yard line. Manning threw an incomplete pass, which would have forced a punt, and likely given the Patriots great field position. But, the off-sides call gave Eli a second chance. He would convert on a 3rd and 2. This ended up costing the Patriots about 50 yards in field position:
    GRADE: B;      

    3.) SECONDARY: Eli Manning's numbers were impressive, as he completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards, a TD, and no interceptions. He was deserving of the games' MVP award.
         So, what can you say about a secondary that allows a 75% completion rate? When considering that the "D" allowed the high octane Giants' offense to score only two TDs, that's a pretty fair days work.
         Unfortunately, todays' loss was a virtual replica of the regular season loss to the Giants, back in November. The offense only put up 16 points on that day, and only put up 17 today. 
         Hakeem Nicks got his catches and yards...finishing with 10 receptions for 109 yards. But, his longest play was only 19 yards. Patrick Chung led a good day of tackling by this unit. It shut down Victor Cruz (4 catches for 25 yards, and a TD), and limited the Giants' receivers YAC (yards after catch). Chung had 6 tackles (2 solos), and a couple of bruising hits. Devin McCourty added seven (7) tackles, and Sterling Moore had his moments. Kyle Arrington allowed himself to be bowled over by FB Henry Hynoski on a 13 yard play. But, other than that, this unit contained the Giants' receivers very well. 
         The key play of the Giants' game winning march came on a the initial play of that drive, when Manning hooked up with Mario Manningham on a 38 yard play. It moved the ball from the Giants' 12 yard line, to mid-field. On the play. it appeared that the Pats' had Manningham blanketed down the left sideline. But, Manning threw a perfect pass, and Manningham somehow caught it, while managing to keep his feet in bounds.
         It was a case of good coverage being beaten by better execution. Take that huge play away, and Manning's stats would have read 29 of 40, for just 258 yards.
         But, Manning and Manningham made the play...while Wes Welker couldn't come down with a quality catch, only seconds before. The Giants executing a key play in the clutch, while the Patriots could not, was the difference in this heart-breaking loss.
    GRADE: B;

    III. SPECIAL TEAMS: 
    Despite playing in a dome, Stephen Goskowski was unable to drive the ball through the end zone, after the Pats had jumped out to a 17-9 3rd quarter lead. This resulted in a 35 yard kickoff return by rookie speedster, Jerrel Jernigan. This return gave the Giants good field position. They would subsequently convert it into a FG, cutting the Pats lead to 17-12.
         Punter Zoltan Mesko did an okay job of punting...but the Patriots were hurt by three Steve Weatherford punts, which pinned them inside their own 10 yard line. One of which led to a safety on the Brady intentional grounding play. 
         Decent job of kick returning by Julian Edelman. But, no big plays on special teams didn't help the cause:
    GRADE: C;

    IV. COACHING: Yes, this was a loss. But, I don't know what else BB and his staff could have done better. They contained the lethal Giants' passing attack, and all but shut down the dangerous Victor Cruz.
         On offense, inability of Rob Gronkowski to Gronk on the Giants really hurt. The trio of Gronk, Aaron Hernandez, and Wes Welker have camouflaged the Patriots' weakness at WR all season. But, with Gronk severely limited, it reared it's ugly head. With Gronk reduced to a decoy, the Giants were able to focus heavily on Hernandez and Welker...knowing that the Pats' passing attack had to go through them.
         As I've mentioned repeatedly above, of Tom Brady's 39 passes, 22 of them were to Aaron and Wes. That's not Patriots' football...and that's not Tom Brady. Something major must be done to remedy this situation next season...as both Ochonoshow and Deion Branch need to be replaced.
         The bottom line is that the Patriots played well in a losing cause. BB, Brady, and the defense put the team in position to win this game. Despite the inability of Gronk to Gronkulate, and the talent of the opposition, the Pats were, as they were four years ago, a play away from winning this game. Unfortunately, the Giants made the key play when needed, and the Patriots did not. That's why the G-men are sipping champagne tonight, while the Pats are swilling beer.  
         For the second time in four years, the Pats and we Pats' lovers must endure the gut-wrenching pain and frustration of knowing what might have been:
    GRADE: A;

    V. PLAY OF THE GAME: The above mentioned 38 yard Manning to Manningham completion, which set up the Giants' game winning score.

    VI. PLAYER OF THE GAME: Eli Manning, for his clutch play, and error free performance. He was a deserving choice for the games' MVP.

         Here are the game stats: http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=320205017

         As always, your comments and opinions are welcome.

         Congratulations to the World Champion N.Y. Giants, and their fans. 

         I also want to thank our New England Patriots for a gallant effort, albeit in a losing cause...and for a wonderful, exciting season. Despite this loss, the 2011 Patriots did themselves proud. They have nothing to be ashamed of.        

                       
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    Well done. Somehow the D didn't seem to be a "B" across the board though.

    No Gronk, Welker's drop and no turnovers were the difference in this nail biter.

    Screw the Giants, and especially their fans.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Well done. Somehow the D didn't seem to be a "B" across the board though. No Gronk, Welker's drop and no turnovers were the difference in this nail biter. Screw the Giants, and especially their fans.
    Posted by BabeParilli[/QUOTE]

         I'm reminded of how I felt, doing my report card after the awful SB 42 loss. Though this was a gut-wrencher too, this time around, the Giants had the better team on paper...particularly with Gronk being ineffective. Still, had Welker hauled in that pass...poor Wes. 

         I really can't see how the defense could have played much better. They held the NY offense to 19 points. That's why the Pats almost pulled this one out. Just one break...that NY fumble bouncing back to a Giants' player...the Welker play...Gronk just missed catching that Hail Mary on a deflection.

         Damn.   
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Grogan77. Show Grogan77's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    I would give the WR's and F, way too many dropped passes.  Yeah the defense held the Giants to 19pts, but they couldn't make the stop when the game was on the line, therefore they deserve a D.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from sml1210. Show sml1210's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    I'm not so sure the play of the game wasn't Brady's safety.

    Being down two, rather than four, with a minute to play and two timeouts, is a hellova lot different than needing to score a TD against a very good defense. But it's hard to realize the play of the game might have occurred the very first time you touch the ball and make a HUGE mistake.

    Good effort by the D, but the fact remains the Giants went 88 yards in less than 3 minutes. The D couldn't make the stop when they had to, so while this group of defensive misfits might have played well for them, it wasn't good enough to seal the deal.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from FrnkBnhm. Show FrnkBnhm's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    You just gave a team that lost the Super Bowl and average of B grade.

    QB: C  The grounding penalty and the pick were inexcusable. You cannot hold the ball that lond in your end zone. He knows if he is not out of the pocket he needs to throw the ball at some one. As for the pick, has he completed a pass like that this season. I would say it was out of character, but he did the same thing against the Ravens trying to force the ball to Slater. The Patriots had two legimate drives the whole game. Welker should have caught that pass, but Brady probably could have thrown it somewhere Wes didn't have to flip over backwards to try to catch. In the fourth quarter, Brady was not just bad, he was terrible. He had a QB rating of 25.1 in the final quarter. So much for stepping up. The truth is, minus the last drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half Brady was terrible. He was on fire for those eight minutes (15/15 for 152 yards, 2 TDs). The rest of the game we was 12/26 for 124 yards, 1 INT.

    RB: Inc.  As usual the running backs were barely part of the game plan. BJGE ran the ball well until they stop trying to run it. Woodhead had some nice catches but was a disaster running the ball. Ridley dressed but did not play. Heck, Welker have more that 25% of the rushing yards on his two end around plays.

    WR/TE: C-  Welker and Hernandez had a solid games, but dropped balls at when it matter most. Gronk played hurt and props to him for that, but he was mostly a decoy. Ocho and Branch combined for 4 catches and 66 yards which is an okay day for one WR. Slater and Edelman did not take the field on offense as far as I know.

    DL: B Much like the rest of the team they looked good early, but faded at the end. Wilfork was often a non-factor after being a force two weeks ago. Anderson got 1.5 sacks and Deaderick and Love looks good at times, but shaky at others. This group lost a lot when Andre Carter went down. I assume that was Shaun Ellis's final NFL game. He has nothing left (the Jets cut him for a reason).

    LB: B Spikes and Mayo were all over the field, but they still struggle in pass coverage (see Mayo not turning his head on the Cruz touchdown - they through the pass underneath him again later). Ninkovich got some pressure, but try to time the snap on a third down and comitted a bad penalty. I seem to remember Tracy White playing in the game at some point.

    DB: D 7.1 yards per pass attempt is not good. Moore got lucky that he never drew a flag, and got beat on the Manningham pass (when you could not get beat deep). They picked on Molden all day. Ihedigbo was useless. McCourty got picked on as well (Nicks pushed him three yards downfield for the first down inside the before the Bradshaw touchdown). Chung made some hits, but is still often just a step to slow getting to where he needs to be (again see the Manningham catch). Most of all, when they needed to stop guys they did not.

    Special teams: C- Coverage was pretty good. Edelman had a couple of okay returns. The Giants dominated this category though with 3 punts pinning the Patriots inside their own ten. The Patriots best starting position was there own 29!

    Coaching: F No other grade I can give when you lose to the same other coach for a third consecutive time in the same way. The Coughlin did the same thing he did in the regular season (without Bradshaw and Nicks) and that he in in SB XLII. He shortened the game (8 possessions per team). He owned the clock. He disrupted the Patriots offensive timing enough to make them look average. Worst of all, at the end of the game (actually for the last 26 minutes), the Patriots were dominated on both sides of the ball. 215 total yards to 98. 17:20 of posseson to 8:17. 12 points to ZERO. Belichick was once the guy who made the adjustments. That does not happen anymore. In all three games versus the Giants, the Patriots were outscored in the second half. In all three games, they were leading in the final minutes. All three times they lost. You need to coach your team to close games. Great coaching gets better as the game goes along when you see what the other team is doing.

    The truth is, that the Patriots were outplayed on offensive, defense and special teams for the vast majority of the game. They put together two good drives (one to end the first half and one to start the second). They had literally half (175 of 349) of theirs total yards on those two drives. For the other 52 minutes of the game they were dominated. Because they were so good for those eight minutes this game was close, but they were not good enough to win.

    For people who think the Giants were lucky to win that one, you need to remove your rose colored Pats glasses that you bought at the Bass Pro Shop at Patriot Place. The Patriots were lucky to have chance to steal the victory in the end with a Hail Mary.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Brad34. Show Brad34's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    Excellent summary once again Texas and once again you have hit the nail on the head. Thanks for doing this all season again and I look forward to seeing it again next season. Hopefully with a better summary for the Superbowl - LOL

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from FrogLegs. Show FrogLegs's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    > IV. COACHING:
    > GRADE: A;

    TP, you are too kind here. Why didn't they even TRY to use Ridley? How could the coaches NOT draw a game plan without Gronk??? They knew he was not able to play. Using him has a decoy just doesn't cut it for a SB!!! I guess the Giants realized pretty quickly that Gronk would not be a threat. The coaches had 2 weeks to be inventive but no, they even released Underwood removing one of the few WR options they had. Before the last draft, I was hoping for a high draft pick on a tall WR, but nothing was done in that direction and unfortunately I am pessimistic about the Pats drafting such a WR in the up-coming draft.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from yakv. Show yakv's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    Team Grade : F

    i Think when you lose the superbowl your grade is a big F 

    the common theme with the ravens game is  
    the offense has the ball they cant close the last drive , 
    cant understand is it tom or the players  
    is there some mental block out there .
    And The Defense Cant stope anyone when it matters .


    No ridely ,
    No Screens ,
    DB playing soft 
    giants without TE and you using 3 man rush .
    dropped balls 
    bad decisions 
    Dumb penalties

    You win and lose as a team - 
    so the grade is f
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bubthegrub12. Show Bubthegrub12's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    I agree with Tex. You cannot pin this loss on Brady. Despite the loss of (arguably) his biggest weapon in Gronk, he was able to avoid the pressure and was pretty accurate with his throws. In the 4th quarter it was the WRs who couldn't make a play, as evidenced by at least three drops of passes that hit them on the hands. The drop by Welker was huge. They were moving the ball and could have run the clock out with two first downs. We all knew the secondary was suspect. And against three very good WRs they did a pretty good job. The sideline catch by Manningham was the killer. I don't see how they could have defended it any better, barring pass interference. They even forced two fumbles, but the ball seemed to bounce the Giants' way. Wilfork was doubled (and tripled) all night. Like NE did not let Cruz be a factor, the Giants did the same to Vince. It's a tough loss, and unfortunate that this may have a big impact on Brady's legacy. I don't see how this could have been coached better, the players still need to execute. The ugly truth is that the Giants made plays in the 4th quarter while the Patriots didn't. I'm pleased with how the defense has improved since September. But the one glaring hole is the inability to draw defenders with a big long threat WR. Chad is evidently not the answer. Though the passing attach had been pretty successful all year, we see what an injury to a critical cog can do. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    IMO,the biggest play was the fumble being nullified because the Pats had 12 men on the field.Just a horrible mistake.
     
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    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    Brady sucked.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

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    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]I'm not so sure the play of the game wasn't Brady's safety. Being down two, rather than four, with a minute to play and two timeouts, is a hellova lot different than needing to score a TD against a very good defense. But it's hard to realize the play of the game might have occurred the very first time you touch the ball and make a HUGE mistake. Good effort by the D, but the fact remains the Giants went 88 yards in less than 3 minutes. The D couldn't make the stop when they had to, so while this group of defensive misfits might have played well for them, it wasn't good enough to seal the deal.
    Posted by sml1210[/QUOTE]

         Remember, 38 of those 88 yards came on the initial play of that final drive. On that 38 yard play, the Pats had good coverage...which was defeated by a perfect Manning throw, and a terrific Manningham catch...as he somehow managed to keep his feet in bounds. After that play, I knew it was over...as the Giants were at mid-field, with over three minutes to play...and a timeout in their pockets.

         The failure of the offense to score in the final 26:20 of play is what sealed the deal. Manning and Manningham made the big play...and, seconds earlier, Brady and Welker did not.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

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    In Response to Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]     For the second time, the Patriots suffered a gut wrenching SB loss to Eli Manning and the N.Y. Giants. ....     As always, your comments and opinions are welcome.      Congratulations to the World Champion N.Y. Giants, and their fans.       I also want to thank our New England Patriots for a gallant effort, albeit in a losing cause...and for a wonderful, exciting season. Despite this loss, the 2011 Patriots did themselves proud. They have nothing to be ashamed of. Posted by TexasPat[/QUOTE]
    TP.. surprising grades from ya, I thought the offense seemed to play not to lose again.  After the 90+ yards drive to go up 17 - 9, the offense didn't click any more.  As for the D, after containing the Giants O for 56+ minutes, they allow an 89 yard drive at the end of the game to the G-men! Another example of failing to play for 60 minutes!   What I thought was a more telling stat, the Pats offense had the ball all of 22 minutes as the Giants blew them away with ToP at 38 minutes.  The Pats can be their own worst enemey on offense for failing to take time off the clock.  All in all, the Giants can thank the Ravens' Pollard for making this game a bit easier for them.
     
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    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    When the Pats scored just before the half, I became nervous.  Then when they came right out after the half and scored again, I was sweating.  It looked like Brady was going to get locked into one of those stretches where they would run off 21 to 28 straight points.  Kudos to the Giants "D" for shutting that down.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from sml1210. Show sml1210's posts

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    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD :      Remember, 38 of those 88 yards came on the initial play of that final drive. On that 38 yard play, the Pats had good coverage...which was defeated by a perfect Manning throw, and a terrific Manningham catch...as he somehow managed to keep his feet in bounds. After that play, I knew it was over...as the Giants were at mid-field, with over three minutes to play...and a timeout in their pockets.      The failure of the offense to score in the final 26:20 of play is what sealed the deal. Manning and Manningham made the big play...and, seconds earlier, Brady and Welker did not.
    Posted by TexasPat[/QUOTE]

    I guess your definition of good coverage is different than mine. Mine doesn't include a defensive back trailing the receiver by five yards and a safety not fast enough to cover the distance over the top. It was a perfect throw and catch, but the fact remains that it was completed. By definition, the coverage wasn't good enough.

    Try not to forget while bashing Brady and Welker, that with 3:46 left in the game, the Giants were on their own 12 and needing a score. All that was needed to win was for the defense to stop them from scoring. When the TOP is 37-23, it's pretty clear your defense isn't stopping them often enough.
     
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    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]Well done. Somehow the D didn't seem to be a "B" across the board though. No Gronk, Welker's drop and no turnovers were the difference in this nail biter. Screw the Giants, and especially their fans.
    Posted by BabeParilli[/QUOTE]
    Nice attitude, Gramps.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]You just gave a team that lost the Super Bowl and average of B grade.
     
    RESPONSE: That's right. The Patriots played a good game, but lost. The Giants are a very good team. They made the big play needed to win...but the Patriots didn't. Face it, without the Pats having a healthy Gronk, the Giants were the better team.

    QB: C   The grounding penalty and the pick were inexcusable. You cannot hold the ball that lond in your end zone. He knows if he is not out of the pocket he needs to throw the ball at some one. As for the pick, has he completed a pass like that this season.
     
    RESPONSE: No doubt, the grounding penalty was inexcusable. As for the pick, Tom was under heavy pressure when he threw that ball. The thing that registered with me on that play was that Gronk was one on one with a LB...and couldn't beat him. That type of coverage and that type of play would have never happened if Gronk was anywhere near 100%. 
         What about that SB setting 96 yard drive? What about the fact that Tom had only two viable receivers to throw to, all day? What about the Welker drop? If Wes catches that ball, we're not even having this conversation. The Pats would likely have won, and Brady would have been the games' MVP. 

    I would say it was out of character, but he did the same thing against the Ravens trying to force the ball to Slater.
     
    RESPONSE: Apples and oranges. Tom forced that throw into a double-covered Slater. He had a man in his face when he threw up the prayer toward Gronk.

    The Patriots had two legimate drives the whole game. Welker should have caught that pass, but Brady probably could have thrown it somewhere Wes didn't have to flip over backwards to try to catch.
     
    RESPONSE: This is true. Tom could have made a better throw. Still, it was a ball Welker could have caught.

    In the fourth quarter, Brady was not just bad, he was terrible. He had a QB rating of 25.1 in the final quarter. So much for stepping up. The truth is, minus the last drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half Brady was terrible. He was on fire for those eight minutes (15/15 for 152 yards, 2 TDs). The rest of the game we was 12/26 for 124 yards, 1 INT.
     
    RESPONSE: Again, the failure to make the play with Welker cost the team the game. But, again, Tom had to be fine with most of his throws...as he had only two open, dependable receivers to throw two...targeting Welker and Hernandez on 22 of his 39 throws. He was also playing against the best pass-rushing team in the league.

    RB: Inc.   As usual the running backs were barely part of the game plan. BJGE ran the ball well until they stop trying to run it. Woodhead had some nice catches but was a disaster running the ball. Ridley dressed but did not play. Heck, Welker have more that 25% of the rushing yards on his two end around plays.
     
    RESPONSE: Why an incomplete? Woodhead and BJGE gained a combined 62 yards on 17 carries. Obviously, BB had no confidence in Ridley.

    WR/TE: C-   Welker and Hernandez had a solid games, but dropped balls at when it matter most. Gronk played hurt and props to him for that, but he was mostly a decoy. Ocho and Branch combined for 4 catches and 66 yards which is an okay day for one WR. Slater and Edelman did not take the field on offense as far as I know.
     
    RESPONSE: We're on the same page, here.

    DL: B Much like the rest of the team they looked good early, but faded at the end. Wilfork was often a non-factor after being a force two weeks ago. Anderson got 1.5 sacks and Deaderick and Love looks good at times, but shaky at others. This group lost a lot when Andre Carter went down. I assume that was Shaun Ellis's final NFL game. He has nothing left (the Jets cut him for a reason).
     
    RESPONSE: Agreed. If a defense is forced to play in 38 out of 60 minutes of play, it will tire.

    LB: B  Spikes and Mayo were all over the field, but they still struggle in pass coverage (see Mayo not turning his head on the Cruz touchdown - they through the pass underneath him again later). Ninkovich got some pressure, but try to time the snap on a third down and comitted a bad penalty. I seem to remember Tracy White playing in the game at some point.
     
    RESPONSE: We agree grade-wise. But, I thought the pass coverage was better than your giving the LBs credit for. They helped to hold Cruz to just 4 catches, for 25 yards. How much better could they have done than that?

    DB: D 7.1 yards per pass attempt is not good. Moore got lucky that he never drew a flag, and got beat on the Manningham pass (when you could not get beat deep). They picked on Molden all day. Ihedigbo was useless. McCourty got picked on as well (Nicks pushed him three yards downfield for the first down inside the before the Bradshaw touchdown). Chung made some hits, but is still often just a step to slow getting to where he needs to be (again see the Manningham catch). Most of all, when they needed to stop guys they did not.
     
    RESPONSE: The secondary gave up only one big play all day, and had good coverage on that play. Sometimes, you have to credit the opposition for making a great play...which that Manning to Manningham 38 yard play was. 

    Special teams: C- Coverage was pretty good. Edelman had a couple of okay returns. The Giants dominated this category though with 3 punts pinning the Patriots inside their own ten. The Patriots best starting position was there own 29!
     
    RESPONSE: What could the Patriots have done to stop those punts? Again, sometimes you have to credit the opposition for making good plays.

    Coaching: F  No other grade I can give when you lose to the same other coach for a third consecutive time in the same way. The Coughlin did the same thing he did in the regular season (without Bradshaw and Nicks) and that he in in SB XLII. He shortened the game (8 possessions per team). He owned the clock. He disrupted the Patriots offensive timing enough to make them look average.
     
    RESPONSE: Could it be that Coughlin had the better team yesterday? No Gronk for the Pats. Can we agree that the Giants have a better defense than the Pats? Can we agree that, with Gronk hurt,  Eli Manning had much better weapons at his disposal than Tom?
         This game could have gone either way. The difference was that the Giants made the big play when needed, and the Patriots didn't.    


    Worst of all, at the end of the game (actually for the last 26 minutes), the Patriots were dominated on both sides of the ball. 215 total yards to 98. 17:20 of posseson to 8:17. 12 points to ZERO.
     
    RESPONSE: Couldn't that be attributed to no Gronk...and the Giants having a good defense?

    Belichick was once the guy who made the adjustments. That does not happen anymore. In all three games versus the Giants, the Patriots were outscored in the second half. In all three games, they were leading in the final minutes. All three times they lost. You need to coach your team to close games. Great coaching gets better as the game goes along when you see what the other team is doing.
     
    RESPONSE: I completely disagree. BB had his team in a position to win. They just didn't execute when needed. No matter the game plan, players still need to execute.

    The truth is, that the Patriots were outplayed on offensive, defense and special teams for the vast majority of the game. They put together two good drives (one to end the first half and one to start the second). They had literally half (175 of 349) of theirs total yards on those two drives. For the other 52 minutes of the game they were dominated.
     
    RESPONSE: They lost to a better team. Without Gronk, they were unable to take advantage of what the Giants' "D" gave them. Ask yourself this: Which QB had the better weapons at his disposal yesterday?    

    Because they were so good for those eight minutes this game was close, but they were not good enough to win. For people who think the Giants were lucky to win that one, you need to remove your rose colored Pats glasses that you bought at the Bass Pro Shop at Patriot Place. The Patriots were lucky to have chance to steal the victory in the end with a Hail Mary.

    RESPONSE: I wouldn't go quite that far. I thought the Patriots played pretty well, especially on defense. They were but one play away from winning this game...against a better team. That's good coaching, my friend.   
    Posted by FrnkBnhm[/QUOTE]

        
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD : I guess your definition of good coverage is different than mine. Mine doesn't include a defensive back trailing the receiver by five yards and a safety not fast enough to cover the distance over the top. It was a perfect throw and catch, but the fact remains that it was completed. By definition, the coverage wasn't good enough. Try not to forget while bashing Brady and Welker, that with 3:46 left in the game, the Giants were on their own 12 and needing a score. All that was needed to win was for the defense to stop them from scoring. When the TOP is 37-23, it's pretty clear your defense isn't stopping them often enough.
    Posted by sml1210[/QUOTE]

         Sorry...but when your offense doesn't score in the final 26:20 of a game, your team loses. Be fair...Manning and Manningham made a great play. Besides, wasn't it too much to expect for the "D" to hold the Giants under 20 points in this game? If you knew going into the game that the Giants would only score 21 points, you probably would have felt pretty good about that. 
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Patsman3. Show Patsman3's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    I wish I could get the game film, the wide angle view of each play, to see if the WR were really covered or if they just ignored them.  I can't believe the WR were covered the whole game.

    That is why I give the coach the worst grade.  They threw to Ocho one time adn he was WIDE OPEN and caught the ball.  You don't even ever try it again???

    Dieon Branch, 2 SB's, 10 plus catches in each and you throw the ball to him like 5 times the whole game???

    Gronk was obviously hurting adn the game plan should have been to go to the recievers more.  Don't tell me they didnt have time because you can throw quick slants and curls to recievers.  What about WR screens??

    I thought the offensive game plan was awful.  If your gonna run the ball, use BJBE not Woody.

    OMG and those 3 and outs because if the Pats throw on first down and its incomplete they HAVE to then do a run dive up the middle EVERYTIME on 2nd down to put them in 3rd and long.

    O'Brien cannot leave for Penn State fast enough!!!!

    The offensive coaches get an F.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from UD6. Show UD6's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    Flaws with your report card: 

    1.  Brady was not great.  Not only did he cause the safety (very unwisely), in the first half he had balls batted down due to rushed throws without pressure.  Further, the int was awful.  Even with Gronkowski's height, theres no way to assume he gets either separation from defenders or any jump from his ankle.  That wasn't Randy Moss down there.  If Brady threw 17 of 39 balls away from Branch and Hernandez - that's throwing quite bit to other receivers.  Poor assessment on your part.  Further, Brady's developed a bad habit that he once wasn't known for.  He's gotten lazy and focuses on certain receivers while trusting others too little.  I remember early in the season when pats fans here would claim Brady was back to his old self.  His favorite receiver was the open one.  Clearly Brady relied too much on Gronkowski in the latter half of the season and paid for it yesterday. 

    2.  The pats offensive line was excellent.  Brady generally had as much time as he needed to throw the ball.  On the td to Woodhead, Brady took a shower in between the snap and his throw. 

    3.  The pats defense was good but not great.  Credit the refs for helping them out.  The 3rd down holding call against the giants negating a first down and a drive was as poor a call as any I have seen, particularly considering the same action was shown by the pats and never called.  Ultimately, this play, imo, as much as any kept the pats in the game.  Had the call not been made, its very likely the giants would have scored, fg or td, and left the pats significantly less time to score going into halftime.  That could have been the game.  The refs also helped the pats d on two non-called PI plays.  The pats were aggressive in the secondary but clearly hooked receivers prior to the ball reaching them.  

    Brady needed to be better than he was for the pats to win that game.  The defense got help from the refs, but the pats needed to take advantage of every break, and they didn't. 

    I wouldn't give the pats a "B" grade but I will say this.  The balance of power in the NFL has shifted dramatically to the NFC.  The pats had a pretty easy road to the Super Bowl = Denver and a Baltimore team that could beat the pats when Brady played poorly.  So maybe not a B, but not significantly less than that. 

     
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from tanbass. Show tanbass's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    This loss was a team loss, many different plays cost the Pats the game. For anyone to pin this on Brady is ridiculous.

    Dropped passes
    Fumbles we couldn't recover
    Stupid penalties (12 men) or (off sides)...couple of killers
    Not having Gronk was HUGE

    As soon as the Giants had the ball on their own 12, and 3+ minutes...I had a feeling it was over. Why? Because we all know that our defense has flaws, and can't be counted on to make a stop when it's absolutely crucial.

    Keep in mind that our offense is just as flawed. If we kept a couple drives alive, we wouldn't have to rely on a defense that isn't very strong.

    I can't blame any one thing. We have a flawed team, and they lost (as a team). The Giants made less mistakes, and we paid the ultimate price.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from sml1210. Show sml1210's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD :      Sorry...but when your offense doesn't score in the final 26:20 of a game, your team loses. Be fair...Manning and Manningham made a great play. Besides, wasn't it too much to expect for the "D" to hold the Giants under 20 points in this game? If you knew going into the game that the Giants would only score 21 points, you probably would have felt pretty good about that. 
    Posted by TexasPat[/QUOTE]

    No, I didn't think the Pats would score much in the game. Previous two meetings against the Giants: 14-17 and 16-20. How people thought we would hang 30 on them with Gronkowski hurt is beyond me.

    That said, the only way you win the game then is for the defense to not allow more than 16 points, isn't it? Had their shot...3:46 to go, ball on the Giants 12, up two points 17-15. Defense's game to win, or lose.

    BTW, not hindsight. Had the Giants +9 teased with the under at 61. No brainer - expected a close, low scoring game. Would have been nice to get a 3 and out, wouldn't it?
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD : No, I didn't think the Pats would score much in the game. Previous two meetings against the Giants: 14-17 and 16-20. How people thought we would hang 30 on them with Gronkowski hurt is beyond me. That said, the only way you win the game then is for the defense to not allow more than 16 points, isn't it? Had their shot...3:46 to go, ball on the Giants 12, up two points 17-15. Defense's game to win, or lose. BTW, not hindsight. Had the Giants +9 teased with the under at 61. No brainer - expected a close, low scoring game. Would have been nice to get a 3 and out, wouldn't it?
    Posted by sml1210[/QUOTE]

         Come now...was it realistic to expect the Pats' "D" to hold the Giants to under 20 points? The only way that the Pats were going to win this game was if the offense put up at least 24 points. Had Gronk been healthy, I you may have seen that. Had Welker made that catch, there likely would have been a different outcome. But...Gronk wasn't healthy...and Welker couldn't make that catch.

         It's tough to contain a good offense when they control the ball for 38 minutes, in a 60 minute game. Under these circumstances, You  have to credit the "D" for keeping the pats in the game.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Giants v. Patriots SB REPORT CARD :      I'm reminded of how I felt, doing my report card after the awful SB 42 loss. Though this was a gut-wrencher too, this time around, the Giants had the better team on paper...particularly with Gronk being ineffective. Still, had Welker hauled in that pass...poor Wes.       I really can't see how the defense could have played much better. They held the NY offense to 19 points. That's why the Pats almost pulled this one out. Just one break...that NY fumble bouncing back to a Giants' player...the Welker play...Gronk just missed catching that Hail Mary on a deflection.      Damn.   
    Posted by TexasPat[/QUOTE]

    The D could have done better by getting a stop at the endgame. Of our 4 losses this year, three included the D failing on final drives. Also, like the jets' loss, the lack of a turnover when you averaged 1.5 a game hurts. Eli put up a 103, 11 points higher than he put up against the average.

    It's a lot like Wes. He played a decent game. But when you don't get it done at the end, you didn't have such a good game.

    I said in the game thread just after halftime, just give me good D at the endgame. Didn't happen.

    There is plenty of "blame" to go around, as is always the case in a close tough loss.
     

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