As I watched a room full of exhilarated Pats fans celebrate following Billy Cundiff’s shanked field goal, I couldn’t help but thinking, “This isn’t how you want to win.” The uneasiness aside, it’s fantastic to be returning to the Super Bowl. The Patriots-Giants rematch that nobody expected has become a reality.
Now let me say it… STERLING MOORE?! You better believe it. Forget about Tom Brady or Billy Cundiff, it was Bill Belichick’s latest street-meat member of the secondary that saved this game on back to back plays. Rob Gronkowski completely shattered his ankle, but was healed by a team of his favorite strippers in the Patriots lockerroom. Tom Brady, by his own admission, really sucked. But in the end it was enough… barely.
As I alluded to in the pre-game article, I think that the Giants will beat the Patriots. They’re the originators of the recipe to beat the Pats, and they are playing well. While neither the AFC championship nor the NFC championship was truly “won” yesterday, I think that ultimately Eli Manning is a better quarterback than he was in 2008 and the Patriots’ pass defense is much worse. If they can consistently disrupt Brady, I have to give them the nod in this game.
While that’s my feeling, I never really saw the Patriots as a legitimate championship caliber team this year. To have them in this situation is remarkable – it’s one game and I’m fully aware that anything can happen. If I don’t die of a heart attack pre-kick-off it should be a fun game to watch.
This Super Bowl, distilled and boiled down to its essence, comes down to this in my mind:
If the Patriots win, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history (which I will prove should this happen). If the Giants win, Eli Manning will be vaunted into the class of quarterbacks with two rings and will be remembered as the guy who had Tom Brady’s number. Simply put, I will never hear the end of it.
This will be the single biggest NFL game I have ever watched, and probably the single biggest sporting event I’ve ever watched in terms of what I have riding on the game; years worth of mockery, one way or the other.