Sunday, November 06, 2011

Costas on Patriots/Giants

From NBC Sports -

The game of the day in the NFL took place in Foxboro where, with just over three minutes to go, the Giants trailed the Patriots, 13-10. Over the next three minutes, three touchdowns were scored and the lead changed hands three times. The winning score came as Eli Manning hit Jake Ballard with 15 seconds remaining, a play set up by a previous Manning-to-Ballard connection.

If all of this had an unpleasant déjà vu quality about it for Patriots fans, perhaps it’s because Ballard wears number 85, which happened to be the number worn by David Tyree when he combined with Manning on what many regard as the most miraculous play in Super Bowl history. It was the key to a Giant upset that denied the Patriots the designation as the greatest single-season NFL team ever, which would have been theirs if they had completed a perfect 19-0 run.

Of course this one doesn’t hurt nearly as much because, these days, the Patriots are a contending team, not an historically great team. In fact, not only have they not returned to the Super Bowl since the Giants marred their masterpiece, they haven’t won a single playoff game since then.

Meanwhile, the last time Eli Manning had a stretch of games anything like what he’s putting together right now, came down the stretch in that 2007 season as he took the Giants to the Super Bowl, where he won the game and the Super Bowl MVP award the year after brother Peyton had done the same thing.
Of course, right now, the 30-year-old Eli is the only Manning seeing any NFL action, as Peyton is only seen conferring with disheartened teammates as the Colts experience yet another loss.

Everyone around the NFL hopes Peyton Manning can return to form, but at age 35 and with a serious neck injury, that’s not guaranteed. So, something that once seemed highly unlikely now is actually a possibility: that Eli Manning could someday leave the game with more Super Bowl rings than his Hall-of-Fame bound brother.
Harrison: “What can you say? You can't expect your offense to come out and score 30 points a game. But my problem is your young defense. Obviously they struggle, but they struggle in the most critical moments of the game. Like you said, Dan, two touchdowns in the final three minutes. This offense cannot score that many points each week.”

Dungy: “They have to be feeling good. This is the kind of team Rex Ryan envisioned. Running the ball, pounding it with Shonn Greene, getting the takeaways on defense. I like where the Jets are right now.”

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