It happens every year in every championship in every sport. As soon as the final gun sounds, we are flooded with analysts breaking down film, fanatics claiming that their guy is either the greatest ever or the biggest failure in the sport, and everybody contemplating legacies and "what does this game mean?". Unfortunately, we as sports fans often become prisoners of the moment and want to think that we just witnessed something that has changed the sports landscape forever…..
Well folks, let's look at the past week with a level head and figure out what Super Bowl 46 really meant…
Issue #1 – Super Bowl 46 was not one of the greatest of all time
This was not a great game, it was the same as an OK movie with a pretty good ending, it doesn't make the whole movie amazing. Yes, I know the game came down to a hail mary as time expired. And yes the Patriots had an eight point lead early in the 3rd quarter that they gave up. But did you ever really doubt that the Giants were going to win this game? Eli Manning was the best 4th quarter QB in the league this past season, the Giants' defense looked confident and relentless all day, and even when the Pats had the lead they looked like a team playing to not lose, not a team playing to win.
Issue #2 – The biggest drop and catch of the game were on the quarterbacks, not the receivers
Wes Welker and Mario Manningham were key parts of the two biggest swing plays in the game, but the blame and credit go to the quarterbacks on these two plays. Tom Brady was on fire early, setting a Super Bowl record completing 16 straight passes, but when he needed to, Brady threw the ball a little bit higher and little farther behind Welker than he usually would have. And Eli Manning threw a PERFECT 38 yard pass to Manningham. Manningham did have to make the catch, but if Eli puts that ball a foot in any other direction, the ball is incomplete or intercepted.
Issue #3 – Eli Manning is NOT a hall of famer right now!
ALL HAIL THE LEVEL HEAD OF KURT WARNER!! Many have said (including a few at crave online) that Super Bowl win #2 for Eli Manning puts him in the Hall of Fame. But really, if Eli had a fluke injury before next season and was forced to retire, would you put him in the hall?? And if you just read that and answered yes, you have proved why fans don't have a voice in the Hall of Fame vote. Eli needs a few more good years under his belt to earn his gold jacket. Until he does that, Eli will be on the same level as Terrell Davis and Jim Plunkett, players that have 2 Super Bowl wins and some good seasons, but not the overall body of work.
Issue #4 – Tom Coughlin IS a hall of famer right now
I'm not even 100% behind this statement, but it's true. Coughlin has the two SB wins, but also has a 154-121 record, has a 3rd SB ring from when he was a member of the Giants' coaching staff in Super Bowl 25, and let's not forget that this is the same man that took the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars (yes those Jaguars) to the AFC championship game in their second season back in 1996 and kept them a force for years. He may not be a first ballot guy, but he's in.
Issue #5 – Patriots fans, your team just needs a little tweaking, calm down
Believe it or not, there was talk in New England that included the phrases "Cut Welker". Fire Belichick", and "Trade Brady"……..yeah, I couldn't believe it either. Pats fans take note, without any one of those three people, you are not in the Super Bowl this year. Welker had 122 catches this year and is the most critical piece of this team's receiving corps because the short passing game is so important. I'm not even going to argue with the other two statements….the Pats will be fine, and NOT blowing up a team at the first sign of trouble is why.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS