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  • Contributors


    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
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    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
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    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • What a Game! What would you have Done?

    I have been a part of big events before, but this Super Bowl was pretty special. All week we tried to anticipate what kind of game we might get, but none of us dared dream of having Eli with the ball, driving for the winning touchdown, with so many intriguing strategies possible coming down the stretch. I just wanted to get a feel for what you guys would have done once the ball got inside the 10. Automatic field goals aren't so automatic in that situation. There is no way to rehearse a 3 foot putt to win the Masters. Pressure does strange things to everyone in those situations. Just curious how you would have played it.

    Comments 49 Comments
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      The same. I'd have considered it inside the twenty in a dome. Lawrence Tynes is not Jake Arians.

      Meadowlands in two years, maybe not.

      I think it's too great a risk that he might actually go down if your guys just try for the ball, so let him go, get it back and take your chances, especially with Brady. I don't think it was all that shocking a maneuver.
    1. Polishguy00's Avatar
      Since the clock was stopped at 1:04, I am fine with what happened.

      I do question why if the Pats were going to let the Giants score, why did they stuff them on first down? Why did they play ole defense on second down instead?

      I think it was hard for Bradshaw to stop his momentum once he hit the hole as well.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      If Nicks stays in bounds after geting the first down on the receiver screen, decisions would have been more clear. My son and I were talking about not scoring when you brought it up on the broadcast. (Great call by the way CC). I understand it is easier to do when tied or with a slight lead and not down by 2 points. But giving the ball to Brady with @ a minute to play and a timeout almost proved regrettable. Gronk almost caught the deflected Hail Mary. What a finish that would have been. Brady would now be a bigger hero/legend and Tom Coughlin's head would be on the chopping block in the Big Apple again. If you take a knee at the one yard line in the middle of the field, it is less than a PAT. I know nothing is automatic, the snap, hold, protection and kick all have to be there. But Bill B. was letting the Giants score, and we all agree he is a master tactician. So if he felt that was his best chance to win...I would give myself up, make them use their final timeout, take a knee on 3rd down and kick the game winning chip shot.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      I think the Pats should have let them score on the previous play. (I asked that question in chat right after the first play.)

      With dome conditions and extra-point range, a made FG was an almost certainty.

      So give up the TD as early as possible and save the clock.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      I don't think they had a choice. When was the last time a kicker missed a field goal under 35 yards in the last minute of a post-season game?

    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Sure, but that outdoors, hostile stadium.

      And it was an event notable because it's so rare.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      I thought it was the right call as well. If they stuff them and burn a TO, there's a 95% chance that they get the ball back with 20 seconds and NO timeouts. Instead they got as fair a shot at winning as a team can get. A full minute, a TO, and the best QB in football. If the WRs make a few catches a little quicker, then it becomes even more intriguing.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      I said this in the forum, but I'll post it again here for thoughts from the pros. The difference in the game to me was the WR play. Nicks and Cruz made some big-time drive-extending plays, and Manningham made one of the best catches you will ever see. The Pats WRs just didn't make any big plays. Gronk couldn't knock down the INT. Hernandez dropped an easy one late. Branch couldn't get his feet down late. Welker couldn't haul in the tough one. The two key plays for me were the comparisons between the Welker play and the Manningham play. Both plays had an equal shot of being incomplete, and fantastic catches if made. Welker couldn't pull his in, while Manningham put himself on the all-time highlight reel.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      The play in the final drive for the Pats that was the biggest is not being talked about enough in my opinion. If Tom Brady leads Branch on the crossing pattern that was deflected and he couldn't hold onto was executed, it may have been a different outome. If he catches it on the run he is on the Giants side of the field and probably could have gotten out of bounds to stop the clock. In my opinion that was a much worse throw by Brady than the heavily debated poor throw/drop discussion on the throw to Welker.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lapham View Post
      The play in the final drive for the Pats that was the biggest is not being talked about enough in my opinion. If Tom Brady leads Branch on the crossing pattern that was deflected and he couldn't hold onto was executed, it may have been a different outome. If he catches it on the run he is on the Giants side of the field and probably could have gotten out of bounds to stop the clock. In my opinion that was a much worse throw by Brady than the heavily debated poor throw/drop discussion on the throw to Welker.
      I'd need to re-watch the game, but wasn't Brady under pressure on that throw? The Giants got a great rush on him with just 4 men, throughout the last possession.

      Also, on both the Gronk pick and the Welker drop, wasn't Brady also under quite a bit of pressure? I know he was on at least one of those plays, can't remember if it was both.

      I posted before the game that the Giants didn't have to sack or hit Brady to mess with him. Just get some pressure. I thought they did that reasonably effectively in the game. At important times, the Giants pass rush threw off the timing of the Patriots passing game, I thought.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Polishguy00 View Post
      Since the clock was stopped at 1:04, I am fine with what happened.

      I do question why if the Pats were going to let the Giants score, why did they stuff them on first down? Why did they play ole defense on second down instead?

      I think it was hard for Bradshaw to stop his momentum once he hit the hole as well.
      It isn't something that runs through a player's mind during the course of the game. After the timeout, I imagine that was discussed with the defense.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      I believe Brady was under pressure on both of those plays wxwax.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      After the hit Brady took that tweaked his left shoulder a little bit, he only completed 41% for less than 100 yards with an interception. He was 20 of 24 with 2 TD passes before the hit.
    1. giantsfan97's Avatar
      I was hoping that the Giants would not score the TD, make the Patriots burn that last timeout, then kick the FG. However, at the same time it felt like a bit of a cop-out. It was much more satisfying to see the defense come back on the field and seal the win (yes I realize the Patriots helped with dropped passes on the final drive).

      Another question though is, when do I wake up from this wonderful wonderful dream?
    1. ZambianBillsFan's Avatar
      In the last drive, Brady went 3 straight plays without looking at a wide open Ochocinco, the most he got was single coverage with a Giants player barely within 8 yards of him. It was quite astonishing to watch.
      Had the Pats thrown to Ochocinco, and he made the play, it would have given Welker, Branch and Hernandez more room to operate.
      The fact that Brady didn't even attempt to consider Ochocinco for a pass shows that either Ochocinco's future status with the team is untenable (Brady doesn't trust him
      ) or Brady has a costly over-reliance on his other receivers. Bottom line Eli Manning/ Kurt Warner would have thrown to Ochocinco for at least one play on the Pats last drive.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      If I were the Patriots I would have probably let them score.

      If I were the Giants, I totally would have taken the touchdown.
    1. CliffBranch4HoF's Avatar
      Take the points and let the D take over. (Now if it were the Raiders -- and as a Raiders fan I've seen more than my share of blown late leads -- I'm not so sure I'd trust the D, but this is the Giants we're talking about.) Anyway, even on a chip-shot FGA, there's a lot of bad that could happen: bad snap, fumbled snap, block, offensive penalty followed by some other bone-head move, etc. Sometimes bad things happen to clever people.
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      I was on a radio show with Tom Waddle today. They had statistics that said a kick from the 1 yard line had a success rate of 99%. The odds of stopping a quarterback from driving 80 yards for a TD with one minute to play and one time out was 89%. Of course the FG wasn't always under Super Bowl pressure and the QB in the statistics wasn't always Tom Brady.
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by vancemeek View Post
      I said this in the forum, but I'll post it again here for thoughts from the pros. The difference in the game to me was the WR play. Nicks and Cruz made some big-time drive-extending plays, and Manningham made one of the best catches you will ever see. The Pats WRs just didn't make any big plays. Gronk couldn't knock down the INT. Hernandez dropped an easy one late. Branch couldn't get his feet down late. Welker couldn't haul in the tough one. The two key plays for me were the comparisons between the Welker play and the Manningham play. Both plays had an equal shot of being incomplete, and fantastic catches if made. Welker couldn't pull his in, while Manningham put himself on the all-time highlight reel.
      Pretty good point. Gronkowski has been the key to their offense all year, without him the burden was too much on the other receivers. I really thought Ochocinco was going to have a bigger role after watching practice, but only had one ball thrown his way. Hernandez did play well until that last drop.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Yeah, and I really wouldn't even say the Patriot WRs played poorly. They all played pretty well in fact. They just didn't make that big, game-changing play. They had some chances, but didn't do it. Manningham made one. Welker had a chance, but didn't.