Eli cooler when it counted

Reuters

You hate to reduce this great game of football to just the quarterbacks, but sometimes that really is the difference.

Eli Manning and Tom Brady both had great moments and mistakes Sunday night, but Manning was clearly better when it counted in the final minutes of the game.

Manning hit three straight difficult throws on third down or while getting hit to set up New York’s field goal to cut the lead to 17-15.

When Brady got the ball back, he put the Patriots right on the edge of scoring again. He laudably drained the clock. But a high throw to an open Wes Welker on second down and a misfire to Deion Branch on third down gave the Giants the ball back.

Yes, Welker could have made a difficult catch. Or Branch could have made life easier on Brady by sitting down in the zone. But the Patriots passing game undeniably misfired when they had a chance to put the game out of reach.

When Manning got the ball back, he went for the kill. His 38-yard toss to Mario Manningham was thrown to a well covered receiver into an impossibly tight window. Manningham’s catch was just as good as Manning’s throw.

After that, Manning calmly move the ball down the field on the way to the winning score.

It was the story of the season. Manning was at his best when the pressure was greatest.

92 responses to “Eli cooler when it counted

  1. Hats off to the Giants fans.

    As a Patriot die-hard, it is sure hard to watch them lose again.

    But to those who thinks Eli is near Peyton’s greatness, just haven’t been fans long enough.

  2. I have to say, it’s a tough loss. Patriots defense stepped up and played a good game, but the offense couldn’t finish plays. Eli protected the ball and completed some great passes on that last drive.

    The Giants as a team stepped up and pulled through again. At this point, you have to start talking about about all-time great Super Bowl teams.

    Just glad I got another chance to see my team in the big game.

    Good game.

    A pats fan.

  3. Eli is a better QB than Tom Fraidy

    Coughlin is a better coach than that fraud Belicheat.

    Giants fans are classier than New Englands.

    All the East Coast media should stop referring to Belichik as a “genius” and start recognizing him for what he is……. a FRAUD that won titles by cheating.

    Coughlin is a genius and has now outcoached the FRAUD in 2 Super Bowls. 2-0
    Eli has outdueled Tom Fraidy in 2 Super Bowls 2-0
    And he did it LEGITIMATELY

  4. Thats BS….Brady hit Welker and Branch on the that second to last drive and both those clowns dropped the ball…thats not on Brady, thats on them.

  5. Now its been proven the Pats can’t win without cheating. Pretty boy Brady is NOT better then Montana, Aikmen, Bradshaw or Starr. Where are the “classy Pats fans” who been woofing on her for 2 weeks????

  6. I think this loss damages Brady’s legacy far worse than Belicheck’s. Tom Brady has gone from cool, calm and collected to desperate, and a bit pathetic. Wow. Just wow.

    Bring on the “Eli IS Elite” and the “growth of Eli Manning” talk for the next 6-12 months… oh god, I’m gonna be sick…

  7. The Giants as a team played great in 42 and 46. Eli was solid in both, definitely above average, but both MVP awards could have realistically gone to someone else. But when no one else stands out, it goes to the QB by default.

  8. What a lame game. 12 men on the field? 12 men in the huddle? Having to burn multiple time outs because you can’t get the play off?

    I guess it counts a championship….but man…that was hard to watch.

  9. Brady made two huge mistakes: The intentional grounding, and the interception was trying for too much.

  10. @1historian Very gracious of you. I was going to rag the Pats fans, but it was just another great game by two great teams! Hope to see you again next year!

  11. Yep, hard to argue with Eli at this point. Giants fans are VERY happy that Easy E is on our side. All the naysayers can make fun of his looks if they want…but you CANNOT argue with his results.

    G-MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Maximus Decimus Meridius says:
    Feb 5, 2012 10:15 PM
    Congrats to the Giants – Even though you got swept by The Skins this season
    —————————————————

    Whatever you can hang your hat on. We’ll take the hardware!

  13. cobrala2 says:
    Feb 5, 2012 10:15 PM

    Bring on the “Eli IS Elite” and the “growth of Eli Manning” talk for the next 6-12 months… oh god, I’m gonna be sick…

    ——————————————————

    Sick with envy. Been listening to garbage from Eagles and Skins fans ALL YEAR, and garbage from every opponent through the playoffs. Giants lucky? Not this time…just great.

  14. New England Patriots, meet your Achilles heel, Eli Manning. Sorry, don’t ask if we can trade Eli Manning for Brady. Manning 2 Brady 0. 😦

  15. duanethomas – not that I care, but is there a team that you root FOR? Or do you just get your rocks off making nasty comments about other teams and other people from the anonymity (aka safety) of cyberspace?

    Once again – Congratulations to the Giants for winning the best Super Bowl ever.

  16. Congrats to Eli, he earned it, as he did all year. Congrats to the Giants for being a class organization.

    And congrats to the Pats, they played a great game and had a great season. It coulda gone either way.

  17. Congrats Giants, Eli played well!

    Brady just didn’t play well… again, and the play calling was HORRID at the goal line on all THREE occasions. Drop back passes…against the GIANTS…. at the 2 or 3 yard line???? REALLY??? Just bad coaching.

    That’s ok, the Lions will soon prove to be the Giant Killers.

  18. Aside from the intentional grounding in the first quarter, I’m not sure what more Brady could have done to help his team win. No deep threat with Gronk rendered ineffective with that injury, and receivers dropping balls that were catchable. I thought he performed valiantly.

    That said, Eli Manning was heroic and played better when it mattered most. Congrats to him. He deserves this. But how cool would he have been with JPP and Tuck in his face all day? In big pressure game, I’ll still take Tom Brady any day.

  19. Eli played a clean game and took what Pats gave him for the most part but he wasn’t awesome. MVP? Maybe but I would’ve given it to Hakeem Nix with 10 big catches.

  20. With the exception of the win over the Broncos this year, Brady has crapped his pants every playoff game since he blew the perfect season.

    It’s hard to give him much credit for that win over the Broncos…that was one of the worst playoff teams I’ve ever seen (despite beating the beat up Steelers). He choked against the Ravens too (though not as bad as Evans & the kicker).

  21. Brian32556 – Congratulations to you and the CLASSY Giants fans – The others wouldn’t know what I was talking about.

    I lost a bet, which means that I am going to have to buy a Giants t-shirt (2XL) for a friend of mine in Arizona.

    He STILL hasn’t gotten over the Giants losing to the BALTIMORE Colts in 1958. (He was a ball-boy for the Giants then.)

    I’m gonna go cry for a few days and then starting looking forward to the draft.

    afn&tt

  22. We superbowl champs arghhhh
    Love this team.

    Man what a season, nail-biting stuff. Eli Manning for what he has gone through from the ‘ELITE’ comment to not wanting to go to SD.

    To being not better than his bigger brother.

    Eli to the critics: HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW????

  23. Pats shouldnt even be in this game in the 1st place if Evans hold on…. But i do love hearing their fans play the “if welker holds on to that catch” lines…. Shoes on the other foot now

  24. Man was he focused. BUt i do not like him, too boring. Like strahan said he just gives you that look. ha. Brady called time out with 45 seconds left when he was on the ground and the refs let it run down to 39 or so THEN the giants have a penalty on THEM and the refs aloow the time to run down to 9 seconds. Is that legit? The giants had the better team today and the giants should thank the goon that injured gronkoski for their win. If welker was taller he would have caught that ball. It’s over.

  25. P.S: Deion Sanders needs to quit that I believe in Eli song. Its not funny and I believe its disingenuous and sarcastic because of Eli’s demeanor and funny facial expressions. Now we’re gonna have it to hear that sarcastic song the whole off season.

    Dude is legit and then some, 2 Rings, 2 SB MVPs and both times beating the great Brady and Belichick.

  26. Congrats to the Giants, great game. Both teams should be really proud of what they have done this year. How long till it starts again? Way too long…….

  27. Was wondering tonight if Eli was thinking about being omitted from his peers’ list of the top 100 players. Maybe he was humming “How Do Ya Like Me Now?”

    As for Brady … hey, he can only throw them. He can’t catch them, too. His career speaks for itself.

  28. Rosenthal is out to lunch.

    Eli bombs it to a receivers (after bouncing a few off the turf in front of them) who hold on to the ball despite being pushed out of bounds and hit by two guys simultaneously, he gets the accolades and he is “clearly better”?

    Tom Brady hits his receivers who drop the passes, and he “misfires” and Eli is “cooler when it counted” ?

    Disingenuous writing and interpretation of the events would be a charitable way to describe this puff piece.

    Congratulations Giants, and especially Manningham!

  29. Manningham should have won the MVP. If he didn’t catch that pass the Giants might not have won. He also caught a few other passes. Eli was NO MVP, but just being a good QB.

  30. Eli is in the top 5 of the current QB but Brady belongs with Peyton in that ultra-elite.

    I like Eli and good for him, seems like a nice guy. As for those who insist on hating Brady, please get a life, its really pathetic – he is handsome, got a hot wife, rich, and a winner, your petty jealousy makes you look bad.

    As a Texans fan, I can’t help thinking that if we had Matt Schaub, we could have easily won the Super Bowl. We have a better offense and defense than both the Giants and Pats

  31. gdeli says:
    Feb 5, 2012 10:38 PM
    Man was he focused. BUt i do not like him, too boring. Like strahan said he just gives you that look. ha. Brady called time out with 45 seconds left when he was on the ground and the refs let it run down to 39 or so THEN the giants have a penalty on THEM and the refs aloow the time to run down to 9 seconds. Is that legit? The giants had the better team today and the giants should thank the goon that injured gronkoski for their win. If welker was taller he would have caught that ball. It’s over.
    ——————————————————–

    Sorry, man, but don’t start playing the “woulda shoulda coulda” game. What about the Giants not getting a PI call in the 4th Quarter? DB goes through Cruz’s back, and no call. It was close, and even Collinsworth and Michaels thought it COULD have been called. I for one was glad the refs pretty much kept the flags in their pockets. No arguments that the refs favored one team over the other.

  32. Eli is the second coming of Peyton, no doubt. He is cool now. Congrats to Eli and the Giants. Now for the long off season. Dang. Why can’t they play year round like baseball and basketball?

  33. “Brady called time out with 45 seconds left when he was on the ground and the refs let it run down to 39 or so THEN the giants have a penalty on THEM and the refs aloow the time to run down to 9 seconds”

    Can’t tell about the first part. The second part is legit because it was a free play for the Patriots. If they would have completed the pass, they decline.

  34. Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but hopefully this game puts to rest the comparison to Montana.

    Brady could win a few Superbowls, but lose a few as well. Joe Montana defined championship greatness in a QB, and coming out a loser was not an option.

    Brady is good, but Montana defined it.

  35. Congrats to the Giants on the win, but Welker lost that game. Any half decent WR catches that pass. Guess he couldn’t handle the pressure, because he choked the game away. The Pats run the clock out with that catch. Brady wasn’t pretty, but he did what he needed to do to win.

  36. I totally agree. I am so ticked off at Tom Brady right now. I thought with all the stuff the Giants defenders were saying about Brady that he would come out a prove them wrong. All he did was prove them right. This defense is in Brady’s head. From sensing pressure that wasn’t there, poor passes even when he wasn’t under pressure and that stupid int throwing to an injured Gronk. And how in the heck can you blame Welker for dropping a pass that he had to jump and do a 180 just to get in position to get his hands on the ball when he was wide open and it should have been an easy throw? Same with the Branch play, it wasn’t an easy catch because it was behind him. Ultimately, the int and that pass to Welker lost the game for us and both are on Brady. The Giants however, are more talented. If we had to play them straight up man to man, they would kill us. We have to outsmart and gameplan them to keep it close, but ultimately we’re never talented enough to beat them when it matters. And it really ticks me off.

  37. What I want to know is: why there was no call on the helmet-to-helmet hit on Manning? He definitely took a direct helmet-to-helmet shot. Wasn’t Goodell at the game? If James Harrison had made that hit it would have been the subject of discussion all week – but in this game no one even mentioned it. No concern about player safety today?

  38. Brady had a few key throws that were just a bit less than perfect. Eli had a few key throws he needed to make and he placed them perfectly. The fact was in this game every single play mattered. Great game to watch.

  39. Im a Cowboys fan and even I cannot knock how good Eli Manning is when it counts. Him and Tom Coughlin take alot of crap and its pretty ridiculous. These guys win and they seem to come up huge when people doubt them. The Giants had a great season. No one really game them a chance at the start of the year including myself. I am happy for them and their fans.

    Eli is an elite QB, I think its time people put that debate to bed

  40. Welker could have caught it, but equal blame to Brady, it wasn’t a very good pass. At best he catches it and falls. A good pass and he catches it in stride and scores.

    The pass to Branch was a bad throw. To far behind him with his momentum going the other way.

    Over all Peyton and Brady are better than Eli, but Eli has been more clutch than both. That’s not a knock on either of those two. Other than Montana, what QB has ever been more clutch?

  41. Any pass that you have BOTH hands on, in the middle of your chest, and you don’t make the catch is a pure drop. It doesn’t matter how you get into that position. Welker is a damn fine football player, but he choked a Super Bowl away, plain and simple.

  42. Keep hating who cares

    We won Eli is 2-0 who cares about anything else
    Giants Win Giants Win

    To the haters deal with it

  43. Eli has always played big in big games and in the playoffs. Peyton is a robot and only plays well in regular season games and when others rise he doesn’t. Congrats Eli, hopefully you’ll finally get some credit for being “elite” which you’ve been for years now.

  44. Neil Conway says:Feb 5, 2012 10:09 PM

    More like Patriots players (Hernandez, Welker) dropping key passes on perfectly thrown balls from Brady
    —————————–
    You need to go watch those passes again. They were far from perfect!!!! Both passes actually poorly thrown, especially the Hernandez ball. Even Welker got turned around on that pass

  45. This was an incredibly ordinary Superbowl. Nobody excelled, the Giants managed to take advantage of a few Patriots mistakes and got ridiculously lucky to recover a pair of fumbles and have one negated by penalty after Giants receivers/backs ran into contact with one hand on the ball and refused to either go down or secure the ball.

    Mannning’s receivers made a few great plays on mediocre throws to keep drives alive. The Giants’ pass rush was virtually non-existent, with most sacks coming after Brady stood unmolested in the pocket for 10-20 seconds. The Giants’ defense was fortunate that Brady failed to connect on critical third downs and was impotent to stop the Pats on many long drives.

    Fortunately for the Giants, Tom Brady threw a couple poor passes at inopportune times, the Pats’ receivers dropped several direct strikes when the game was in the balance and the Pats defense lived down to its 2nd-worst-in-the-league ranking.

    Of the 20-or-so Superbowls I have watched, this is in the bottom 6-or-7, ranking as one of the least exciting non-blowouts. Frankly, nobody deserved the MVP and Eli was the lesser-of-many-evils choice, making him probably the statistically-weakest two-time Superbowl MVP in history (his 2007 performance also being very ordinary, but for a phenomenal scramble by Manning leading to a truly unforgettable catch by David Tyree).

  46. I know I’m not the only one out there but early in his career I was always a skeptic of Brady… always attributing his success to luck, coaching, and defense. Since 2007, I had finally been convinced, okay, maybe he is good after all. Fast forward to tonight, where as a neutral party I was actually rooting for the Patriots, I just flat out noticed the guy isn’t that good when his line isn’t a machine. There a lot of other QB’s out there that could still be in the league if they had Brady’s line and coaching of the past decade. He is still a Hall of Famer but yeah, this title says it all…. Brady really isn’t the coolest under pressure.

  47. 1historian says:
    Feb 5, 2012 10:34 PM
    Brian32556 – Congratulations to you and the CLASSY Giants fans – The others wouldn’t know what I was talking about.

    I lost a bet, which means that I am going to have to buy a Giants t-shirt (2XL) for a friend of mine in Arizona.

    He STILL hasn’t gotten over the Giants losing to the BALTIMORE Colts in 1958. (He was a ball-boy for the Giants then.)

    I’m gonna go cry for a few days and then starting looking forward to the draft.

    ——–
    You may try to be gracious but Pats fans had a lot of smack to talk last week. So, no one has to be gracious back.
    Sux to be a Pats fan @patriotinvasion…

  48. put the ‘eli is average’ ‘the receivers bailed him out’ ‘giants are lucky’ crap to bed. eli is elite. he plays at his best when it matters most. this is a fact. grow up, show some humility and give praise and respect when it is deserved…

  49. Gotta love it — how the talk has gone from Brady being “best ever” to now being Eli’s bee-otch.

    Fact is, Brady was never the reason the Pats won those Bowls. It was always about Vrabel, McGinest, Bruschi and the rest of that excellent defense. That, and the videotape library.

    Take away the Tuck Rule, and Brady is Joe Flacco.

  50. “dlmcc1010 says:Feb 5, 2012 10:54 PM

    Im a Cowboys fan and even I cannot knock how good Eli Manning is when it counts. Him and Tom Coughlin take alot of crap and its pretty ridiculous. These guys win and they seem to come up huge when people doubt them. The Giants had a great season. No one really game them a chance at the start of the year including myself. I am happy for them and their fans.

    Eli is an elite QB, I think its time people put that debate to bed”

    I’m a Redskins fan and I couldn’t agree more, your post is spot on. Congratulations to the Giants.

    The only pity is that Antrel Rolle may never stop yapping.

  51. Not a fan of either team but like both organizations. Congrats to the Pats for getting there (when most thought you wouldn’t) and of big props to the Giants (when most thought you couldn’t).

    The catch by Manningham was great, especially the concentration, but that throw by Manning was truly sick!!

    Those picking thumbs down for comments about the Pats’ receivers drops either have a bias or don’t understand the game. Manning threw a few truly high passes and his receivers came down with them when the ball hit their hands. While the pass to Welker didn’t hit him in stride it did in fact hit him in the hands, both of them. And we’re not talking about out stretched arms either. Welker should have caught that ball! So should Hernandez (ball perfectly placed) and Branch could have caught it in the last drive. Not saying that would have lead to a win, just saying that one was on Welker.

    All in all – congrats Giants and their fans!

  52. The Giants haven’t won a game in over twelve hours. Isn’t it about time to crank up the “Fire Tom Coughlin” chant again? Someone please buy Belichick a “dress hoodie” for the big games ~ he’s giving the NFL an image problem.

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