Some observations about The Game and the season in general.
*Very competitive game that came down to a couple of plays.
*Gronk was hurting. Give him credit for being out there but he was nowhere near himself. Pretty obvious from my perspective.
*I am as big a Tom Brady fan as there is but Brady made two glaring errors that were contributors to the Pats loss/Giants win. The first was that intentional grounding penalty. He had choices as to where to throw the ball away and made a poor one. The second was the pick down the field. He was throwing to a hurting Gronk and then threw a duck of a pass. He had other much better options. Similar in my view to the pick he threw against the Ravens.
*Pats made mistakes/missed opportunities:
-Mayo facing the wrong way on the Eli TD pass to Cruz. Had he been facing the LOS he’s potentially got a pick and a big return
-Moore strip fumble of Cruz that didn’t matter cuz Pats had 12 defenders on field;
-2 Giants fumbles NOT recovered by Pats
-Ninko off-side on an Eli incompletion that would have resulted in a Giants punt late in game
-dropped passes by Branch and Hernan at critical junctures
-There were other mistakes/missed chances but those stick out in my mind.
*After the Tuck sack of Brady, Tom was not the same. I am convinced that left shoulder was separated on that play.
*Defense, particularly the d-backs, played well.
*All of the above being in the context of the game, it came down to two plays, in my opinion: One play that was not made and one play that was. The play not made was the pass to Welker with +/- 4 mins to go. Welker didn’t catch a ball that he typically does. The play made was the Manningham catch of an incredibly well thrown ball by Eli. Moore was in position, Chung was in position and the ball was thrown the only catchable place. Manningham held on with both feet down despite a good pop from Chung.
How many of us, in mid season, honestly thought we would be rehashing the Pats Super Bowl appearance on this Monday? I can tell you that I did not think the team would get this far. Am I disappointed that the Pats did not win this one? Of course. Do I think the season is a failure as a consequence? Of course not.
Well done , Pats, on a most excellent season. I remain a proud New England Patriots fan.