New York Giants out-Super New England Patriots again
New England Patriots did everything they could with what they had, but in the end they just didn’t have enough. Their hard work and Bill Belichick’s coaching simply couldn’t make up for years of too many failed personnel decisions. The fact that they came one play – any one play out of maybe a dozen – from winning the Lombardi Trophy is a remarkable accomplishment.
Some argue that Patriots’ QB Tom Brady lost the game or had a bad game. Neither is true. Brady played a really good defense, possibly the best in the league and certaunly the defense in the best position to stop New England’s passing attack. Eli Manning, on the other hand, played New England’s pedestrian, though hard playing, defense and even then he needed a wide receiver of his to come up with a catch that will be on the short list of Super Bowl highlights for years to come.
Yes, Brady made mistakes and his throws weren’t all on target, but that’s what happens when you play against a fast and hard-hitting defense that can also cover. The quarterback doesn’t get the same kind of comfort level that he’ll enjoy against teams like Buffalo Bills or Denver Broncos.
The lack of depth on New England’s offense finally caught up with the team. With Rob Gronkowski rendered ineffective by injuries Brady was left with really only two weapons: Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. That would have been good enough in most regular season games but it creates a dangerously small margin of error in the play offs.
That’s New England Patriots’ combined 2011 regular and post-season record against teams with winning records in the regular season. New England’s loss was to the Giants was as narrow as their victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game.