By Matt Noonan
Sunday’s matchup between the New England Patriots and New York Giants was déjà vu all over again. It was Super Bowl XLII – part two, and once again, quarterback Eli Manning outplayed the talented Tom Brady, as the Giants ousted the Patriots, 24-20.
“Well, not much to say there. This was a tough game,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, via the team’s website. “We had our chances; we just came up a little short.”
Indeed, it wasn’t an ordinary game, but instead, a contest that featured two scoreless quarters, and one 15-minute period of complete chaos.
Brady, somehow managed to drive his team down the field late in the fourth quarter and give the Patriots a four-point lead before Manning replayed Super Bowl images in every New Englanders mind by connecting with not Plaxico Burress, but instead, tight end Jake Ballard with 15-seconds remaining in the end zone to give New York the lead for good.
“You always want to get the win if possible, but fortunately enough, we made some big plays, we got into a situation where we could be aggressive and go for the touchdown,” said Manning, via the team’s website.
This win stinks, especially if you’re a Patriots fan, but for those Big Blue supporters, once again, it proves that New York was probably the better team four-years ago. However, we’ll never know if Super Bowl XLII was a fluke or if the Giants truly did have a better game plan than the Patriots, but at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Tom Coughlin’s bunch looked a lot better than Belichick’s crew, who snapped a 20-game home winning streak, as well as lost their first two back-to-back contest since the ’09 season.
“We won a game under difficult circumstances and that’s all I am concerned about. No comparisons,” said Coughlin, via the team’s website. “As I said, we have a long road ahead of us, but if we can come together and play like this. You know, help and support each other, and stay away from the turnovers and we get ourselves in a position where we are, to some extent, stopping the run. I don’t know what the numbers are again, but I thought we did a little better of a job at that [on Sunday].”
All in all, this particular win should certainly propel the Giants going forward, who’ll be facing the league’s top NFC dogs over the course of the next five weeks, and with at least three of four wins against Dallas, Green Bay, New Orleans and San Francisco, it might help boost the team’s moral, and give them some momentum heading into late December and January.
New York is a talented team, both one offense and defense, so again, if they can take Sunday’s momentum and use it going forward, then it’s possible that we might see a repeat of their epic ’07 playoff run.