January 21, 2008

XLII: Pats and Elisha?!?

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

For the third week in a row, Elisha Manning and the New York Giants faced a tough adversary on the road in the playoffs and won. I don’t know if I’m more shocked or disappointed or both at the same time. It wasn’t even as much as his effort as it was the effort of Plaxico Burris absolutely schooling Al Harris and the two-headed monster of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw tearing up the Packers front seven.

And what a way for Lawrence Tynes to make up for his previous two missed field goals, especially the possible game-winner with time expiring in the fourth, by hitting the first ever 40+ yard field goal in Lambeau’s history. He’s severely lucky that Brett Favre gave the Giants the chance with that weak overtime interception.

I do know this though, I’m more sure that the Giants will lose their next game more than any of the previous three. The entire North American media scene is going to be criticizing his composure, softness and the dumb look always plastered on his face for two whole weeks. Not to mention how many references to his brother’s past success and failures against the family rival, Tom Brady.

I tell you what: If the Packers’ Atari Bigby keeps up his hard-hitting ways and continues playing the way he has been since late in the season, he’ll become the next very good safety that everyone touts. He also has a great name.

The Chargers couldn’t get it done in the red-zone against the undefeated* Patriots and it cost them dearly. Settling for four field goals when the could’ve driven home touchdowns is precisely what cost San Diego the game and a trip to the Super Bowl. It may have been because the Bolts were just too banged up or it may have been the outstanding work of New England’s defence but that was the difference to the AFC Championship in my mind.

And how about Brady, who only had two incompletions last week against the Jaguars, tossing three interceptions yesterday? You have to give credit to the Chargers front-liners for actually putting pressure on Brady as well as the d-backs for their coverage which — while overmatched by the Patriots depth of weapons — did a good job containing the receivers. Quintin Jammer had a great game and deserves a lot of credit for San Diego’s defensive effort.

Oh, and the early line (as set by Michael Roxborough) and my early pick for Super Bowl XLII: Patriots (-13.5) over Giants. What, you thought I would ever take Elisha?

This week: 0-2
The Playoffs: 3-4-1

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