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Sports :: Super Bowl XLII
  submitted on February 4, 2008, 6:02 PM




Well, if that doesn't fit the cliche "A picture equals a thousand words" to a T then I don't know what does.

Pretty wild game last night. I was fairly indifferent as to who I wanted to win, I was mostly concerned with my fantasy players doing well. Although, I'm not going to lie, my assessment of Bill Simmons' latest stupidity is looking pretty good right about now.

One thing I did notice during the game was several instances of bad coaching on the part of the Patriots. Now, Bill Belichick is an ass, I don't think there's much denying this. The guy comes across as smug, often condescending, just kind of a jerk overall. The fact that his team gets caught cheating doesn't really help matters. Despite all that, the guy's a pretty good football coach. Great strategist, gets a lot out of his teams, all that. So I was pretty surprised when I found myself noticing plays that just didn't seem like the right call at all.

First off, the Patriots had the ball, 3rd and 1 at the Giants' 42-yard line. They run the ball for a two-yard loss, bringing up 4th and 3 from the 44-yard line. Now, any team I could see a case either way for either going for it or punting it. But the New England Patriots? This seems like an automatic go for it situation. This is the #1 offense in NFL history, and they punt? They end up getting touchback, for a net punt of a little over 20 yards. I honestly don't see the point of doing this, and really doesn't seem like how the Patriots normally roll.

Apologies if this next play came first, but the Pats had a very similar situation come up, and took another completely bizarre approach to it. 4th and 12 at the Giants 32-yard line. So, we're talking about a 49-yard field goal, indoors, seems like a pretty makable field goal for any NFL kicker. But NE decides to go for it? On 4th and 12? When you have a good chance to pick up 3 points? Just a bizarre play, and of course NE doesn't convert and the Giants get the ball back.

Finally, late in the game with the Giants down 14-10, the Patriots run a big blitz with the Giants at about the 25-yard line. This results in the Giants' receivers ending up in one-on-one coverage. Now, I'm not sure if the Patriots are aware of this, but there is a receiver by the name of Plaxico Burress on the Giants who is 6'5" 230lbs and one of the better possession receivers in the league. All he's wanted all game probably is to get into single coverage. So the Patriots all out blitz, and Eli just calmly lobs it up to Plax who makes the easy TD catch. This play call is just baffling to me. There are 30 seconds left in the game, and New England is winning by 3. Considering the Giants are in field goal range, to me the goal should be to prevent the TD at all costs, so that at worst they kick the field goal and we end up going to OT. I mean, really, that's it. The Giants have no more time outs. They're 25-yards away from the end zone. Just keep your coverage deep and make them kick the field goal.

I was just baffled by this play as I watched it unfold. For a team like New England who is so technically sound to just completely blow it in a situation like that...there just aren't words.

Congrats to the Giants, I must admit, I didn't expect them to win by having Eli outplay Brady and Coughlin to outcoach Belichick.

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