by Ryan Meehan
Super Bowl Forty Six had all of the makings for a classic: Two East Coast teams that had previously met going head to head in a battle for the world championship. Although it was a good game, I personally don’t believe that it lived up to expectations, even though my team won. I don’t have a lot of time to throw something together tonight, so this wrap-up is pretty abbreviated.
The Pregame Show: There’s no need for anything longer than an hour and a half of pregame coverage. During the regular season and even in the playoffs, it’s only an hour. So I’ll give you the extra half hour, but with two weeks between the championship games and the Super Bowl, we’ve already analyzed everything by the first Tuesday. Starting at noon and telling the life story of every player is completely unnecessary, uncalled for, and a little bit intrusive.
The National Anthem: I didn’t see the national anthem but Kelly Clarkson sung it so I can only assume that she did an awful job.
The First Half: The Giants didn’t look particularly well on their first sequence, but they got lucky because when New England got the ball Tom Brady got called for intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety. Eli led Big Blue on a touchdown drive, shortly thereafter, and then it appeared that this game was going to end up lopsided. But New England kicked a field goal, and then Brady let them on an extremely convincing 96 yard drive to end the half. As a Giants fan I have to say I was worried here because the defense looked so bad, and I knew that the Patriots were getting the ball back in the second half.
Halftime: Although I’m probably going to lose a lot of points with some people by saying this, I actually enjoyed the halftime show when it was just Madonna on stage. I’m not a fan of Cee-Lo, and I hate Nicki Minaj so much I can’t even put it into words, but when it was just her it was as good as you’d expect from a 53 year old woman that performs club music. A little disappointed that I didn’t hear “Hung Up” because I love that song, but what are you going to do?
The Second Half: Once again, the Giants came out in the third quarter looking very poor. They let the Patriots march right down the field and score and for a brief second, it looked as if the rest of the game was going to be like that. But as it turns out, they didn’t score the rest of the game. New York got a couple of field goals and then was able to hold off the Patriots and get the ball back with three and a half minutes left. Eli Manning did everything right on New York’s final drive, except he left Brady with one minute on the clock with a couple timeouts to boot. But it was on that last drive that Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez both dropped key passes that could have given the Patriots a better shot at scoring seven. Instead they were stuck with five seconds left on the clock; everything riding on a last second Hail Mary that failed, and the game was over.
Final Score: Giants 21, Patriots 17
The Officiating: I’m sort of torn here because for the most part they let them play, which is what I hoped for. However, there were a couple of very questionable non-calls that went both ways. Again, this is never good because is reeks of inconsistency, something I don’t want to see.
Overall Grade of the Game: I can’t give this game anything higher than a B because there was times where it was inexcusably sloppy and when all was said and done it wasn’t as good as I has expected it to be. With the hype machine that is ESPN, added to the fact that New York is a major market, I thought people exaggerated the quality of the game a bit.
What this means for the future of both teams: I don’t really buy into this argument you hear on sports talk radio that Tom Brady is declining. I think he had a bad outing in the Baltimore game and I thought in this Super Bowl his receivers really let him down on that last drive. New England could easily get back to the Super Bowl next year without breaking a fingernail.
As for Eli Manning, he’s now in that second tier of Super Bowl quarterbacks – he’s won more than one but less than three or four. Which means he’ll probably get into the Hall of Fame, now we’ll get to see if he’s got what it takes to chase the Bradys, the Bradshaws, and the Montanas.
In the next few weeks, I will be doing a piece where I grade all 32 NFL teams…which should be interesting. Until then, I’m going to on a temporary hiatus from FOH to take care of some personal business. When I return I’ll be back in full form taking a look at other sports as well. Until then, thanks again for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the finest in user generated content.