It has been a little over 2 days since the kick off of Superbowl XLII and I still find myself in awe of the result. From my perspective, this was one of the greatest Superbowl games in modern history; not because of the pace the game, but more to do with the stage upon which it was set.
Tom Brady and the Patriots had a chance to do the impossible. To complete a 19-0 season, winning every game on the schedule, and them some. Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots, can scheme and game plan like few others. Surely, with two weeks of prep, the Patriots could wither and strangle the Giants while placing Eli Manning back where he belonged: on the outside looking in. But not so fast.
In a game which was a mostly defensive struggle, the Patriots also struggled. The Giants defense was inspired and came after Brady with reckless abandon. Rushed, hurried, thumped, and sacked, Brady began to hear footsteps and suddenly it was the Giants who appeared to have taken advantage of a two-week game plan. Not including sacks, Brady was knocked off his feet 18 times. The Giants defense was unrelenting.
But inspiration came from the Giants offense as well. Though not spectacular, Eli Manning got it done. The opening drive of the game set a tone few had expected, as the Giants moved 65 yards, on 16 plays, and settled on a field goal. The Patriots answered with a touchdown but from that point forward, the Giants defense confused, befuddled, and harassed the Patriots.
In the end, the Giants managed the impossible. They soundly beat the Patriots and will go down in history as the only team that beat the 18-0 titan, but the Giants beat the Patriots when it mattered most. Superbowl XLII belonged to the New York Giants, and they absolutely deserved it. And for the record, the MVP should have been the Giants front-four, if not the entire defense.