The Patriots had a great season. They could have had the championship, but they didn't make the championship plays...all the way around. But based on what we saw from the beginning of the season, I think we have things to look forward to.
But away we go with my thoughts:
1) How many times are you going to attack the Giants the same way and expect a different outcome? The few times they ran it, they had pretty good success. When the running plays bombed, it was because someone on the O-line whiffed on a block. They had success running to the outside as the Giants were focused on the middle of the field. Yet they continue to huck it around. I won't say they were as outcoached this time around, but they were almost as obtuse as the last SB. The reason these games have gone they way they've gone is because we attack them the same exact way...every time. Goes to show you how good Weis' offensive philosophy has been all but forgotten. I'd rather run it for a yard or two, take some time off the clock, keep the defense resting, and make them respect it. It makes the play action more dangerous.
2) Brady has lost his cool. He just gets antsy and the stupid hat comes out when something breaks down...that INT was awful. While he directed a two good drives, he made as many bad throws and boneheaded mistakes (safety, INT, etc) that can kill a team. You know the other team isn't beating themselves. Manning had been taking care of the ball all throughout the playoffs. Don't give them more chances. Maybe its because they've put the whole team on his shoulders and he can't deal with it on his own by the time some real tough teams and the playoffs come around.
3) Complimentary football...wasn't there. Our offense didn't help out the defense...especially after the first play. That was stupid and not how to help your defense who fought to make the other team punt.
4) Sometimes...yards DO matter. If you continue to give up first downs defensively, you're costing your offense posession time. The more chances you give the other team's offense, the less you give your own to score points. I thought the defense played fairly well, but again...not timely. They couldn't quite get the big play they were used to getting...could quite get those fumbles, couldn't quite... This also goes with complementary football and the lackthereof yesterday.
5) The Giants weakness wasn't a weakness...their offensive line held up and protected Manning very well. They opened run lanes and contained Wilfork without too much trouble. They played a great game. They contained our D line for the most part...you have to tip your cap to those guys.
The Giants made the plays you have to make in order to win a football game. The Pats didn't...all the way around. It really did come down to a few passes and catches...Giants caught them when they needed to, we did not. The better team won the game last night...period.