Monday, February 6, 2012

Bragging Rights

So, did you like the Super Bowl commercials?

I found most of them insipid, inane, tasteless, misogynist, lacking creativity. For way too many I wondered what product or service the advertiser was trying to pitch. My favorite was the Doritos ad of the dog that buried the family cat and bribes the owner to keep silent with a bag of chips.

Okay, I can’t contain myself any longer. It’s time to review my Super Bowl prognostications against the reality of the football game. I said last Tuesday:

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will employ a no-huddle offense from the beginning of the game in an effort to tire the most dominant part of the New York Giants defense, its pass rush. Only if the Pats take a lead will Brady revert to a traditional huddle offense. NAILED IT!

As this year New England has mostly thrown short passes, early on the Pats will attempt some deep pass patterns in an effort to loosen up the planned tight Giants pass coverage. BRADY’S FIRST PASS, UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE END ZONE, WAS A BOMB, FOR BOTH THE PATRIOTS AND THE GIANTS. FOR THE PATS, IT WAS AN INCOMPLETION. FOR THE GIANTS IT RESULTED IN A TWO-POINT SAFETY AS THE PASS WAS RULED INTENTIONAL GROUNDING.

The Giants have been victimized by the long ball all year, including the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, so Brady will try to land some bombs. BRADY THREW SEVERAL BOMBS, CONNECTING ON NONE, INCLUDING THE HAIL-MARY-PASS-LAST-PLAY-OF-THE-GAME, THE BALL INTERCEPTED BY CHASE BLACKBURN INTENDED FOR ROB GRONKOWSKI, THE DROP BY WES WELKER, AND THE OVERTHROW ON THE PLAY NEAR THE END OF THE GAME WHEN THE GIANTS WERE FLAGGED FOR 12 MEN ON DEFENSE.

Also look for the Patriots to throw more than a usual amount of passes to running backs as top tight end Rob Gronkowski will play at less than optimum level because he will not have sufficiently recovered from a high left ankle sprain sustained during the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. GRONKOWSKI OBVIOUSLY COULD NOT COMPETE EFFECTIVELY. HAD HE BEEN ABLE TO PUSH OFF HIS ANKLE HE MIGHT WELL HAVE CAUGHT THE DEFLECTED HAIL MARY PASS. SURPRISINGLY, THE PATRIOTS DID NOT EMPLOY SCREEN PASSES BUT THEY DID THROW TO THEIR RUNNING BACKS SIX TIMES FOR 57 YARDS AND A TOUCHDOWN.

Half-time score: Giants 10, Patriots 7. CLOSE. IT WAS PATRIOTS 10, GIANTS 9.

Contrary to popular thinking that the Giants will be pass-happy against a less than highly regarded Patriot pass defense, the Giants will work early to establish a bruising running game. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs will anchor a running attack that will rack up at least 130 yards. THE GIANTS RAN 28 TIMES (VS. 40 PASSES) FOR 114 YARDS. THEY HAD A 10 YARD RUN BY BRANDON JACOBS NULLIFIED BY A HOLDING PENALTY. OTHERWISE, THEY SURELY WOULD HAVE MET MY EXPECTATIONS.

Tight ends will play a big part in the New York offense, at least 6 catches. BINGO. BEAR PASCO CAUGHT 4 PASSES FOR 33 YARDS; JAY BALLARD TWO PASSES FOR 10 YARDS.

Eli Manning will throw one touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks. RIGHT ON THE NUMBER, WRONG ON THE PLAYER. IT WENT TO VICTOR CRUZ.

Bradshaw will score on a six-yard run. PERFECTO. RIGHT DOWN TO THE YARD MARKER. IT MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN PRETTY, BUT IT WAS THE GAME-WINNING TOUCHDOWN.

The Giants will have to settle for three field goals from inside the red zone as the much-maligned Patriot defense stiffens inside the 20 yard line. THE PATRIOT DEFENSE DID INDEED STIFFEN INSIDE THE RED ZONE, FORCING THE GIANTS TO TAKE TWO FIELD GOALS.

Brady will be sacked in the end zone for a safety. IT WASN’T OFFICIALLY LABELED A SACK, BUT JUSTIN TUCK FORCED BRADY TO INTENTIONALLY GROUND THE BALL, RESULTING IN A SAFETY.

He’ll also be stuffed on a fourth down quarterback sneak late in the first half or the game. BRADY NEVER TRIED A FOURTH DOWN SNEAK.

Final score: Giants 25, Patriots 17. I WAS RIGHT THE PATS WOULD SCORE 17 POINTS. I MISSED THE GIANTS TOTAL. THEY SCORED JUST 21 POINTS.

MVP: Ahmad Bradshaw. WELL, I THOUGHT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO EASY TO SAY ELI MANNING WOULD BE THE MVP. NEXT TIME I’LL PICK THE SURE THING.

Now that you know the outcome of the game, you can relax and concentrate on the commercials. SEE ABOVE.

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