Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:44 PM
Guys, Brady played a terrific game. One huge mistake (the INT), but even on that, he scrambled away to keep the play alive and the INT was a great catch by a Giant LB. So yeah, bad throw, but it didn't end up costing them. That ball to Welker should have been caught (not a great pass, but certainly good enough). Hernandez drops another one. Branch had one tipped. I mean, at one point the guy literally couldn't miss. He played well.
The defense played well too. Holding the NY offense to 19 points is a great job. The Giants made an unbelievable play on the Manningham catch, and the D couldn't get that last stop but again, 19 points allowed is terrific. They also caused 3 turnovers....but one was called back on a penalty, and the other two bounced right into the hands of the Giants - and *THAT* is just bad luck. Causing fumbles is a skill, but recovering them is almost total luck. The Giants got the right bounces twice. If Bradshaw's fumble is recovered by NE (which followed Brady's pick), NE gets the ball deep in NY territory and they almost certainly salt the game away right there.
Welker, for the most part, played well too. 7 rec, 60 yds, plus 21 yds rushing. He was fine...except for that one big play. Same thing with Hernandez (8-67, 1 td, but one big drop on the last drive).
The game came down to this: (1) the fumbles bouncing the Giants' way, and (2) Welker not making the catch while Manningham made his. Really, that's it.
NY is very, very fortunate. Here are the fumbles in their playoff games:
vs Atl - none
at GB - NY (0); GB (3 - all three recovered by NY)
at SF - NY (1 - recovered by NY); SF (4 - 2 recovered by NY)
vs NE - NY (3 - 2 recovered by NY; the other didn't count b/c of a penalty); NE (0)
So let's discard the fumble negated by the penalty tonight. That means in their 4-game playoff run, the Giants committed 3 fumbles and forced 7. That's 10 fumbles in all. And *8* of the 10 were recovered by NY. Again, forcing fumbles is a skill; recovering them is luck. They turned a 50% likelihood into an 80% reality. And that is luck, not skill.