February 4, 2008

The best football game I've ever seen

Super Bowl XLII will no doubt go down in history as one of the greatest games of all time. I can only think of one other game, the 2006 Rose Bowl between Texas and Southern California. But that game was missing one crucial factor, defense. Both the Giants and the Patriots played tremendous defense, which probably goes without saying since the score was 7-3 after 3 quarters.

Super Bowl XLII was epic on every level.

So many great stories came out of this game. Eli Manning finally got out of his brother's shadow. The Giants' pass rush was absolutely dominant. The best QB in the NFL struggled. Randy Moss was silenced by a backup. Michael Strahan and Amani Toomer finally got their rings. The dreams of 19-0 came crashing down in just 60 minutes.The most overlooked aspect was the great tackling by both teams. How many times did New England run that HB screen to Lawrence Maroney, or a short pass to Wes Welker (who've made names for themselves through their ability to break tackless) only to see it shut down for a short gain? How many times did a Giants receiver make a catch just shy of the line to gain, only to be shut down by Rodney Harrison short of the first down? Tackling is so important in the super bowl because of the level of talent of most of the offensive players. Maroney was able to run wild on San Diego and Jacksonville but the Giants held him to just 36 yards on the ground. It was plays like Sam Madison's shoe string tackle on Kevin Faulk that were such a huge factor.

Tackling is what won the game for the Giants, especially tackling Brady in the backfield 5 times.

When the Pats had the ball with 4 minutes to go and threatening to score I thought the game was over. I thought the Giants were going to have to use all their timeouts before the Pats did the inevitable and put it in the endzone. Even when the Giants took over with 2:30 to go, I didn't think they'd pull it off, until the play of the game happened. I'm not sure which end was more spectacular, Eli evading five guys, and staying on his feet long enough to get outside the pocket, or David Tyree's insane catch using only one hand and his helmet.
I'm glad the Giants won. I'm glad the Patriots lost and their perfect season went down the shitter. More than anything, I'm glad I got to watch an amazing football game.

P.S. I didn't really care for Tom Petty. I'm a fan by all means, but I thought he was boring and unoriginal.