February 6, 2012

Congrats, Giants, but Eli is no Hall of Famer

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

I’m sure everybody is Super Bowled out by now after two weeks of setup stories, six hours of pregame Sunday, three quarters of blah and one hell of a finish last night, but guess what: I’m writing about my thoughts on the Super Bowl today.

-What in the hell was Tom Brady thinking on that safety? Was there really no safe area on the field to let that pass rip? Nobody by the sidelines that he could sky it over? No runningback in the flat that he could bounce it to? He is way too smart to have that happen, especially on the Patriots’ first play of the game. I’m sure that his defence was pissed for only getting one play off after forcing a punt.

-Speaking of punts, wouldn’t it have been cool to see Giants punter Steve Weatherford named the game’s MVP? That was one of the finest displays of punting I’ve ever seen on the big stage. He continually made the Pats start deep in their own area and helped the Giants crush in the special teams battle.

-You have to feel happy for Cousin Sal, who won his ‘Prop of the year’ bet very early when Harry Hynoski bowled over a defender on his way to a first down, eclipsing his personal over/under of 4.5 yards. Sal famously picked Gary Russell to not score a TD when Pittsburgh beat Arizona a few years back and we all know how that turned out.

-After that huge hit on Hakeem Nicks in the second quarter, what were the Giants thinking on third down? A five-yard in route when you need 10 yards is never good. Settling for a field goal could have killed them in the end.

-Did anybody else notice that Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft was on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week? It looks like the SI curse lives on.

-Let’s be completely honest here: The Patriots’ vaunted receivers, especially their tight ends, let them down here. Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker all had poor games. Welker’s drop was the true ‘what if’ moment of the game, but all of those guys really played poorly on the big stage.

-If Ahmad Bradshaw had stopped on the one-yard line instead of awkwardly scoring, I think that would have been the right move. It’s really a moot point because either way, the Giants would have won, but by stopping, Brady would have only had 16 seconds for to get into range and launch a field goal – with no timeouts. I don’t think any QB could pull that off.

-If Hernandez catches that Hail Mary or if Gronkowski scoops it up on the rebound, would that not instantly become one of, if not the best play in Super Bowl history? How many game-winning TDs have been scored with the clock striking zeroes? None. That would have been historic.

-And, while I do congratulate Eli Manning for winning his second Super Bowl and second MVP, I still don’t consider him elite or a future Hall of Famer. Hall of Famers should be the best of their eras, not just big game winners. At best, Manning is the third-best QB in the league right now behind Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. He’s about dead-even with Brady. I think it would be a disservice to say that since he won two Super Bowls, that’s an automatic ticket into Canton. I’m not buying it.

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