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Ahmad Bradshaw: Momentum just took me in

New York Giants running back Bradshaw sits down in the endzone to score the game winning touchdown in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game in Indianapolis Reuters

When the Patriots took a timeout with 1:04 left in the game and the Giants on the six-yard line, there was a lot of discussion about what would happen on the next play.

Would the Patriots let the Giants score a touchdown to give Tom Brady a chance with as much time as possible? Would the Giants tell their players not to score in order to milk as much clock as they could? As it turned out, the answer was yes to both questions but Ahmad Bradshaw wound up scoring the game-winning touchdown anyway.

Bradshaw took a handoff from Eli Manning, the Patriots defense did their impression of the Red Sea and Bradshaw sprinted toward the end zone before realizing at about the one-yard line that he wasn’t supposed to score. He tried to go down, but wound up spinning around and touching only his hand on the field before falling into the end zone rear end first.

“Eli was telling me to go down,” Bradshaw said, via Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger. “He was saying, ‘Don’t score! Don’t score!’ I grabbed the ball and it really didn’t click at the 1-yard line, so I tried to put myself down. But my momentum just took me in.”

Bradshaw only got love from a couple of his teammates. Most of them looked like Bradshaw had just fumbled away the season instead of given his team the lead with less than a minute to play in the Super Bowl, but they would be happy soon enough.

Ultimately, it’s hard to get too upset at Bradshaw. Adrenaline is a powerful thing and taking the points on that play means that there’s no chance of something going wrong on the next snap. We saw Billy Cundiff’s miss in the AFC Championship Game and the Giants once lost a playoff game on a bungled field goal snap, to say nothing of Joe Pisarcik, so finishing the play is hardly the worst thing that could happen.

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61 Responses to “Ahmad Bradshaw: Momentum just took me in”
  1. 4ever19 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:13 AM

    Agree with the last paragraph. It’s hard to pass up the chance to put points on the board. It was funny though to watch Bradshaw apparently all of a sudden realize what was happening.

  2. nfl4life77 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:15 AM

    I don’t ever like the strategy of letting a team score a TD to get the ball back. You play each down hard like the Chiefs did on MNF when they got the fumble from Rivers.. You never know what will happen, but if you give in it works against you.

  3. packerman1968 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:16 AM

    Momentum did not take him in. He wanted to score, that is what took him in.

    I am sure it was discussed in the huddle what he was suppose to do. He got greedy , and was very lucky it did not cost them the game.

  4. southridge23 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:17 AM

    Not to play the what if bandit that is espn…but Billy Cundif is exactly who I was thinking about that whole time. If they give up scoring a TD and opt to kick a field goal that gets blocked or shanked…………….

  5. purplengold says: Feb 6, 2012 8:17 AM

    that was the funniest touchdown ever.

  6. jenniferxxx says: Feb 6, 2012 8:19 AM

    None of it matters. The Giants are the champs. Once again the Superbowl goes to the team that finished the season hot.

  7. nagidac says: Feb 6, 2012 8:22 AM

    I would not trust a kicker to win the Super Bowl, especially if you intentionally leave points on the field. Too many things can go wrong.

  8. footballprophet says: Feb 6, 2012 8:24 AM

    He lost me $7000.00 grand in a block pool

  9. myspaceyourface says: Feb 6, 2012 8:26 AM

    Billy Cundiff references never get old. ha ha ha

  10. jdandcoke says: Feb 6, 2012 8:27 AM

    i was thrilled that bradshaw scored. the last thing in the world i wanted to see was the season coming down to a last second FG attempt by tynes. i dont care how short it would have been.

    i never thought for a second that the pats would be able to go 70-80 yards in less than a minute. if bradshaw is catching any abuse for scoring that td, its totally unfounded.

  11. quittsburghstoolers says: Feb 6, 2012 8:30 AM

    He’s pretty damn lucky that his little “screw-up”
    didn’t cost the Giants the game.

    I wonder if he was more interested in trying to score
    the (winning) TD than he was in following instructions…

  12. fin72 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:31 AM

    Ultimately, it’s hard to get too upset at Bradshaw. Adrenaline is a powerful thing and taking the points on that play means that there’s no chance of something going wrong on the next snap.
    __________________________
    Wrong. It was a typical boneheaded/selfish play from today’s athlete that could have potentialy cost his team the game. Thankfully for Bradshaw and the Giants team they got away with it, but it’s not too hard to get upset with Bradshaw at all for not following orders and putting the ball back in Brady’s hands with plenty of time left where he’s pulled out wins MANY times in the past.

  13. tarken10 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:36 AM

    Why was New England in the Super Bowl? Because Lee Evans could not hold on tighly enough to a pass reception and then Cundiff missed a chip shot field goal.

    Field goals are just not as automatic as people think, especially in such high pressure situations. Tynes has been great for the Giants with pressure kicks, but the Giants D is very capable of protecting a 4-point lead with less than a minute left, even against Tom Brady. They have proved this in both Super Bowls they played against New England.

  14. beej6 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:38 AM

    I disagreed with the commentators and the seemingly prevailing wisdom of stopping short of the goal line. Yes, the Patriots decided to let you score apparently. Still, you are behind and must score. Even if the the 19 yd FG is a 99% chip shot you must score the TD there. If you can’t stop the Patriots with less than a minute to go you don’t deserve to win anyway.

    Now if there were more time on the clock, or if the score were tied, or even up one (that’s a strategy I’ve seen, too), I could see stopping… but what if you fumble? Call a pass play and it’s intercepted?

    Ahmad Bradshaw, your conscience should be clear. (smile)

  15. mikea311 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:39 AM

    the Giants biggest mistake in the game was that they scored a touchdown.

    Never leave it to a kicker.

  16. rexismybff says: Feb 6, 2012 8:40 AM

    Always take the points and the lead. Coughlin would have been the biggest tool of all time if Bradshaw had sat at the 1, and the Giants had failed to get the points and lost.

  17. duanethomas says: Feb 6, 2012 8:41 AM

    Good player, but he can’t be trusted in pressure situations. No awareness that the Pats were ball-hawking and lucky for him it was recovered by the Giants. Then the brain fart on the touchdown.

  18. svcfilmguy says: Feb 6, 2012 8:42 AM

    I don’t think Bradshaw can take much blame here. These guys are athletic freaks, packed with strength and speed most of us can’t even approximate. Adrenaline carried him over. I don’t blame him any more than I blame pass rushers who don’t magically change direction just before they hit a QB. It happens.

  19. loge23 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:44 AM

    I still can’t figure this one out. Don’t you always take the points?? I realize the clock situation, but aren’t you dissing your defense by doing this?
    You can almost guarantee a fumble or missing field goal if they laid down instead of scoring.
    Bradsahw did the right thing.

  20. lemmam says: Feb 6, 2012 8:46 AM

    did the giants not discuss this in the huddle prior to the snap? If not they should have

  21. keepitsimplestoopid says: Feb 6, 2012 8:46 AM

    If that’s the worst mistake you make as a team all game (sure they had two fumbles, but they recovered both) you’re probably in good shape.

  22. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Feb 6, 2012 8:47 AM

    hey- it all worked out in the end!!
    i’m just glad tom coughlin isn’t as much of a “genius” as belichick and didn’t have his players randomly sit down at the last practice for 31 minutes to simulate half time.
    how’d that work out for ya billy?

  23. fwippel says: Feb 6, 2012 8:47 AM

    I’m sorry, but there is no debate here. When your team is behind in the Super Bowl with one minute left, and you have the chance to give your team the lead, you take it.

    You don’t go down at the one yard line, and then hope like heck that the kicker makes a field goal. You score the TD, put your team up by 4, and play defense.

    Tom Brady is not a QB god. He couldn’t rally the Pats four years ago, and he didn’t do it last night either. Get off Bradshaw’s case. Maybe if the score is tied, you take a knee, but not when you’re behind. Never.

  24. trooper586 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:48 AM

    I’m calling BS on this one. He saw the goal line and wanted to be a hero. How hard is it to slide. He didn’t need to stop at the one inch line, slide at the 2. Glad it worked out, but momentum my butt!!

  25. bspurloc says: Feb 6, 2012 8:55 AM

    .
    GO GIANTS!

  26. bleed4philly says: Feb 6, 2012 8:59 AM

    - how many superbowls have the patriots won since they got caught cheating? Oh that’s right, ZERO

  27. gdeli says: Feb 6, 2012 9:06 AM

    Hey goodell…what the heck were you thinking when you had madonna and m.i.a. do the half time show? how stupid is that? Are you surprised there was another incident? remember janet jackson? you couldn’t get john mellencamp or such? just stupid.

  28. randygnyc says: Feb 6, 2012 9:17 AM

    Put points on the board. Gotta have confidence in your defense. If they give up 80 yards in 57 seconds, they would’ve deserved to win. Better team won, again.

  29. MedCityBob says: Feb 6, 2012 9:23 AM

    ALWAYS take the points……..
    As You said there is lots that can go wrong;
    and there is never any guarantee that You
    make the FG…OR, that the other team can
    score…….ALWAYS take the points !!

  30. synabar says: Feb 6, 2012 9:30 AM

    This is ridiculous!
    You always score when you can.
    Telling him not to score would have been crazy.
    What if they later did not score or missed a field goal i.e. Ravens.
    Every coach in the world will tell you, always score when you can. And if the Patriots couldnt stop them, they deserved to lose anyway.

  31. todd49401 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:31 AM

    I’m glad he scored, but wished it would’ve happened on the next play so the Pats would have had to use their timeout. The missed kick by the Ravens had me a little worried that it could happen again.

  32. abninf says: Feb 6, 2012 9:33 AM

    His overriding desire to score a TD in the Superbowl took him in, but hey they won.

  33. goldnd says: Feb 6, 2012 9:50 AM

    Bradshaw is full of it!! His momentum came to a complete stop, but was too selfish to go down. Pretty obvious.

  34. raiders757 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:56 AM

    He did the right thing by scoring. That TD was guaranteed points. There was still a chance for a blocked or miss field goal attempt. Always take the points and put some faith in your defense.

  35. 1buckeye76 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:57 AM

    Yeah, momentum, and that whole “wanting to score a TD in the superbowl” thing.

  36. kenosando says: Feb 6, 2012 10:07 AM

    @raiders757 that was second down. Pats would have had to take another timeout, then you run it in, give the Pats no timeouts, then that sack would have likely ended the game on the Pats final possession. It is one thing to put faith in defense and leave them with a great chance by taking care of business on offense. Otherwise, congrats Giants!

  37. bobwheel says: Feb 6, 2012 10:18 AM

    Damned if you, damned if you don’t. I have no problem with him scoring. If your defense can’t stop the other team with under a minute left and 1 timeout and 80 yards to go, you don’t deserve to win the game. At no time in the game did Brady show the ability to throw it long successfully, and the Giants pash rush was getting better as the 4th quarter moved along. The TD forced the Pats to have to take it the length of the field.

  38. worldsgreatestbearsfan says: Feb 6, 2012 10:24 AM

    It was a dumb play call if they didn’t want to score. It’s not like they would have a significant chance of making the field goal if they had one extra yard. If they wanted to run time off, they should have just taken a knee, no chance of fumbling or anything going wrong.

  39. bozosforall says: Feb 6, 2012 10:50 AM

    The Giants won…that’s all that matters.

  40. fmlizard says: Feb 6, 2012 10:52 AM

    I’m sure Bradshaw dreamed of scoring the winning touchdown in the last minute of a Super Bowl his entire life.

    Don’t think he dreamed of it going down quite so awkwardly…

  41. msclvr1954 says: Feb 6, 2012 10:55 AM

    As a football player, a quarterback, I understand Bradshaw NOT scoring. However, you take the points when you can get them and let your defense do their job. You have a very good defense do not insult them and say we don’t want to score because we don’t think you can stop Tom Brady. You have no guarantee that you will score at another time, so take the points. Let the defense do what they do best.

  42. kd75 says: Feb 6, 2012 11:03 AM

    My girlfriend thinks that was his TD celebration dance…

  43. wwkarma says: Feb 6, 2012 11:07 AM

    I’m really glad this didn’t come back to haunt him. I didn’t think he deserved blame here. To me, if you don’t want to score a touchdown, don’t hand a running back the ball around the 5 yard line. If you don’t want to score, just take a knee. Especially considering that he’d already fumbled once in this game. And any hand-off and run is a fumble risk. Again, I’m glad it didn’t come back to haunt him.

  44. sguy2130 says: Feb 6, 2012 11:21 AM

    Why were they even running the ball? Take a knee to run more clock, that is on the coaching staff too. The stupidity doesn’t rest entirely on Bradshaw’s shoulders. At minimum you would want to run another play to kill another timeout, then maybe you try to run it in on 3rd down to get the guaranteed score.

    Fortunately it worked out for the Giants, but that was bordeline inept.

  45. bick54 says: Feb 6, 2012 11:36 AM

    Sorry raiders757…he did the WRONG thing by scoring there.

    It’s called clock management. His dumb move could have cost them the game. Welker catches that ball, and it’s a whole different story.

    Why do you think Belichick LET him score there? It was their only real hope.

  46. gcsuk says: Feb 6, 2012 11:41 AM

    Anyone remember Tony Romo fumbling the hold on the extra point? How about John Carney missing an extra point that would have sent the Saints to OT and possibly the playoffs a few years ago?

    Take the points, take the lead, let your defense do what they are supposed to do. And they did.

  47. eaglesnoles05 says: Feb 6, 2012 11:50 AM

    If by “my momentum,” you mean “The overwhelming pull of scoring a superbowl td over telling my grandkids in a me me me world that I didn’t score on purpose cuz coach told me to” – then yeah, your momentum carried you in.

  48. randomguy9999 says: Feb 6, 2012 11:54 AM

    this will be the most talked about decision for a long time…

    Bradshaw’s TD ironically came within a couple of inches on a hail mary to being the most boneheaded play in SB history…

    the purists will say you always take the points…

    the strategy guys will say you always play the clock and rules as hard as you can…

    BB always plays the strategy and when Bradshaw was trying to sit, you’ll notice two Pats were rushing to plow him into the end zone…. lol

    Reality is:
    giving the ball back to Brady at the 20 or better with a minute and 1 time out only up by 4 or 5 in the Super Bowl is something where you are definitely taking a monster risk …. Bradshaw should have sat his a## down.

  49. bobhk says: Feb 6, 2012 12:02 PM

    Anyone remember Trey Junkin? So, it might be a good idea to score anyway…

  50. mckludge says: Feb 6, 2012 12:06 PM

    Had this been a high scoring game where both teams were able to pretty much score at will, then I would agree with draining as much clock as possible before getting the winning score.

    But NY had only given up 17 points by then, and were clearly handling the NE offense. I that circumstance, you take the score that puts you ahead when it presents itself and trust your defense to hold NE with about a minute left.

  51. raiders757 says: Feb 6, 2012 12:34 PM

    kenosando says: Feb 6, 2012 10:07 AM

    @raiders757 that was second down. Pats would have had to take another timeout, then you run it in, give the Pats no timeouts, then that sack would have likely ended the game on the Pats final possession. It is one thing to put faith in defense and leave them with a great chance by taking care of business on offense. Otherwise, congrats Giants!
    ———————————–

    Doesn’t matter what down it was, take the points. I agree, they could have forced the Pats to burn a TO, but you just can’t take points off the board in a game where anything can happen. Like I said. Take the points and put some faith in your defense.

  52. raiders757 says: Feb 6, 2012 12:39 PM

    bick54 says: Feb 6, 2012 11:36 AM

    Sorry raiders757…he did the WRONG thing by scoring there.

    It’s called clock management. His dumb move could have cost them the game. Welker catches that ball, and it’s a whole different story.

    Why do you think Belichick LET him score there? It was their only real hope.
    ———————————–

    I disagree. You take the points, because by not taking them, your still taking the risk of missing the field goal. A bad snap, blocked, or wide right. Take the points and let your defense do their job. It’s what they’re paid to do. Playing the little girly clock game is for coaches that don’t have confidence in their players.

  53. pskotte says: Feb 6, 2012 12:40 PM

    If the strategy was to take time off the clock, why did they hand the ball off? Eli should just have taken a knee. Don’t blame the running back for doing his job (running the ball).

  54. Mr. Wright 212 says: Feb 6, 2012 12:46 PM

    jdandcoke says:
    Feb 6, 2012 8:27 AM
    i was thrilled that bradshaw scored. the last thing in the world i wanted to see was the season coming down to a last second FG attempt by tynes. i dont care how short it would have been.

    i never thought for a second that the pats would be able to go 70-80 yards in less than a minute. if bradshaw is catching any abuse for scoring that td, its totally unfounded.

    ———

    You and me both (regarding both statements). The thought of Tynes having to make a kick like Matt Bahr did in 1990 had me BEGGING for 6 on that drive, no matter how the touchdown came about. Tynes can make the 52 yarder in the wind and rain, but I swear there isn’t another kicker who I can’t turn my eyes away from the TV to grab a beer or a snack, because he’s shanked 29 yarders with no pressure in his face.

  55. Mr. Wright 212 says: Feb 6, 2012 12:49 PM

    I was telling the guys at the crib last night that his momentum caused him to fall forward. I didn’t mind the TD. I just didn’t want them to SETTLE for the FG after milking the clock. I would have preferred another running play, then have another down to go for the TD and (gulp) let Tynes seal it with absolutely no time remaining for Brady to get calls… ehem… drive the field.

    Fewell definitely feels vindicated. I’ve been his biggest supporter, or at least one of them — since day one — but that two game stretch had me beginning to doubt him (the PHI and NO games back to back), before that, I defended him vehemently because of the injuries and since the Washington game, I love the 13.6 PPG hold by the defense.

  56. steelersnlakers says: Feb 6, 2012 1:05 PM

    I never saw that scenario before, and I agree that taking a knee is better than handing off. But what if — Bradshaw walks through and stops at the goal line, just standing there? Is there a rule against that? Wouldn’t the clock keep running? What would the Pats defense do?

  57. tunesmith says: Feb 6, 2012 1:50 PM

    For years, they’re going to be showing this in highlights – the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl was a guy trying not to score, and then falling on his keister, and no one celebrated. People are going to start forgetting all the strategy behind it, and it’s just going to look kind of ridiculous and lame.

  58. dscol715 says: Feb 6, 2012 1:53 PM

    It is simple math. If you kick the field goal 100 times from there you will make it 95 times. If you give Tom Brady the ball with a minute left in the Super Bowl and a timeout 100 times he is going to beat you more than 5 times. Case closed.

  59. granadafan says: Feb 6, 2012 2:20 PM

    I don’t blame the guy for wanting to score the game winning touchdown, in the SUPER BOWL, and in the biggest game of his career. His heart overpowered his brain there, but it worked out.

  60. axespray says: Feb 6, 2012 5:45 PM

    brian westbrook’s brain > ahmad bradshaw’s brain

  61. pjgrannan says: Feb 6, 2012 6:56 PM

    The question that I have is – if you think the best strategy is to let the Giants score to save as much time for your own QB – and I think it probably was – then why not let them score on 1st down. That way you would have two timeouts left instead of just one. Maybe could not communicate the message without the first TO ??? Seems the biggest error was Belichick wasting one of two remaining TOs before giving the order to let the Giants score.

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