January 23, 2012
By J.D. Cook
Seldom does the NFL hearken back to its gridiron days anymore. Rules to promote the spectacle that is offense, and protect players have all but eliminated games like the Giants-49ers classic NFC Championship game of 1991…oh wait?
Last night those same two teams kicked the shit out of each other. Sorry to those readers with “virgin ears” (or “eyes” in this case), but a game like this makes me want to shout obscenities, drink beer, and go tackle someone. The 49ers defense was a relentless monster, clobbering Eli Manning all day, and bringing him down six times. I have never seen a quarterback look like he was wincing in pain so much as Manning when multiple 49ers would hit him after every play. The run game was not a huge factor once again, as Manning threw the ball 58 times. Ahmad Bradshaw ended up with 74 yards but he never really seemed like a threat. This game really goes almost entirely to Manning on offense. He showed how tough he was by completing touchdown passes to Bear Pascoe and Mario Manningham barely getting his passes completed in an outstanding Niner secondary while avoiding their prolific pass rush.
Much like the blog I wrote when these two teams met in November, this game was a battle of true warriors. I said then we could be seeing them again, and that these were two of the best teams in the N.F.C. I think my point was proven even truer today, but I am happy the Giants were the winners in this one. I also predicted last week that with Nick coming up big in the first two playoff games that Cruz would resurface this week and he did with 142 yards. It wasn’t quite Burress against Al Harris in ’07, but it was close, although Tynes game winning kick in overtime certainly was nearly identical to 2007.
That said the new overtime rules had me rather confused. I wrote a whole blog about how stupid they are, and that the owners seemed to sneak them in without much talk, but they really do suck (I also wrote about this in an article last year). If a team can still win on a field goal, and believe me I am not complaining that we won, why not just stick with sudden death overtime? If they really want to eliminate teams driving down and winning on kicks why not just make the field goal’s a non option in overtime; basically make it first team to score a touchdown wins? That way it is still sudden death and kickers don’t decide overtime games; if not just go back to the old rules!
Heading into this Super Bowl the Giants have a better receiving core then they did for their first match up against the Patriots four years ago. Their defense is near the same level as it was in 2007, with the exception of the linebackers who aren’t quite at the same level as people like Antonio Pierce that year. I think if the Gmen have a good scheme, which would include a pounding run game, and a sack happy defense the Giants can dominate the Patriots in the big game. That said this blog began with the Giants victory over the Patriots, and then the team went on to loose to the 49ers and Packers. Things have reversed in the playoffs; I just hope the end result of the Pats game does not.
GO BIG BLUE! (Bullfrog)