Heimlich Maneuver: Pats Choke
by The Milton Measure on Friday, February 10th, 2012
It came as no surprise. We knew it was coming. Ever since the Giants eliminated the Packers, every New Englander smelled déjà vu. As fans celebrated after watching Billy Cundiff’s field goal attempt fly wide to the left, in the back of every one of their minds was the fear of dropping another Super Bowl to the infamous New York Giants. It could not have been scripted better: a mediocre Giants’ squad pulls together at the end of the season to tear through the playoffs and end a perfect season for the Patriots. Even the Super Bowl itself sent spectators flashbacks of 2008. Both offenses struggled and Manning marched down the field late in the fourth quarter to put the nail in the Patriots’ coffin, just like he did 4 years ago. Patriots’ fans went to sleep Sunday night with tears in their eyes and frogs in their throats, just like they did 4 years ago. 21-17, Giants. Game. Set. Match.
Going into the game, Patriots fans were nervous and Giants fans were confident. There is no doubt that statistically the Patriots were favored to win.
However, their disciplined, star-studded cast crumbled under the replays of David Tyree’s leaping grab, nightmares of Manning drenched in blue and red confetti with a smug grin on that ugly face of his, and two week long siege of the media preceding the big game. On the other hand, the Giants fed off the energy. A slightly grittier team, they use their tenacity to take what they can get. While Tom Brady was peeing himself before the kickoff, the Manning, Cruz, and Nicks used the hype and anticipation to get fired up, and it showed.
Many noticed that the Giants made plays, and the Patriots made mistakes.
Penalties, dropped passes, and broken tackles plagued the Patriots throughout the game, and especially in the fourth quarter. There were a dozen opportunities squandered for the Patriots to seal a win; however, poor decision-making and failed execution gave the Giants the chance to win the game. No one can point to a single play that made the difference between winning and losing.
The multitude of missed opportunities shifted the momentum and pushed the Giants down the field in the fourth quarter. This loss will keep Bill Belichick and his squad up at night for quite some time, just as it has Eli Broderick (II). “I wasn’t even angry. I was just sad. Disheartened. Those Giants are who we thought they were, and we let them off the hook.”
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