It Is What It Is
Follow football writer Christopher Price at In addition, get the latest updates at
A Patriots Blog Blog Network

The day after, Tom Coughlin marvels at the consistently close games between the Patriots and Giants

02.06.12 at 1:03 pm ET
By   |   Comments

INDIANAPOLIS — Giants coach Tom Coughlin got a little sleep Sunday night.

‘€œAbout 15 minutes,’€ he said happily at a Monday morning press conference, less than 12 hours after his team beat the Patriots 21-17 to capture Super Bowl XLVI.

While some of the Giants rankled New England with some of their pregame predictions, Coughlin was extremely gracious in victory on Monday, marveling at the consistently close games the Patriots and Giants have played over the last few years.

‘€œThe games are highly competitive. Very, very skilled teams. Outstanding quarterbacks on both teams. Great defense, to be honest with you,’€ Coughlin said. ‘€œThe numbers that you look at throughout the course of the year, the New York Giant and New England Patriot defensive teams that didn’€™t have the numbers, weren’€™t ranked in the upper echelon of the defensive teams in the league, but how both (defenses) have played in the playoffs, and how we played since the Jet game ‘€“ just exceptional defensive play.

‘€œJust highly competitive, highly physical football games that are designed, and established, and work out exactly the way you would want. They are fourth-quarter wins, and both teams are playing exceptionally hard. The New England coaching staff, Bill Belichick, a friend of mine, a guy that I admired for many years, a true Hall-of-Famer, a great football coach. The games are so competitive and so close, and we’€™re just fortunate to have made the necessary plays late in the game to win.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin,

National media reflects on what won, lost Super Bowl XLVI

02.06.12 at 12:18 pm ET
By   |   Comments

In the immediate aftermath of the Giants‘ 21-17 victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI Sunday night, several major national publications and outlets tried to dissect and figure out what happened at Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as the long-lasting effects of this game moving forward.

Sports Illustrated senior NFL writer Peter King, in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback piece, wrote that there is no quarterback he would rather have in the final two minutes with the game on the line than Eli Manning.

Wrote King: I still can’t get over that throw from Eli Manning to Mario Manningham. As much as I respect the catch (it will be the greatest of Manningham’s career, no matter how long he plays), I am in awe of the throw. How did Manning make that throw? Why make that throw? Why did he pick the target of the guy with a corner in coverage and a safety flying over to crush Manningham? The 38-yard throw — which began an 88-yard, Super Bowl-winning touchdown drive that Bill Belichick will see in his nightmares — is just one more reason to never, ever question how good Eli Manning is. He will have some crappy games the rest of his career, because two or three times a year he stinks. But I ask you: What quarterback alive do you want with the ball in his hands in the last two minutes of a big game?

Thought so. Eli Manning.

Despite the three Super Bowl rings and the five Super Bowl appearances that Belichick and Tom Brady have amassed in their time together, Mike Freeman of CBS Sports feels that the legacies of both men will suffer as a result of the Patriots’ second loss to the Giants in a Super Bowl.

Wrote Freeman: This was both Brady’s finest moment and his worst. The same could be said for Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Both are among the best in history. Both have forgotten more about their craft than most will ever know but there is no question about the following: their impressive legacies take a hit. A pretty good sized one, too.

There are some already reassessing the Patriots legacy. Noting that the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since the Spygate scandal, Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison tweeted just minutes after the game: “Told you, cheaters never win!!!!!!!!!”

Brady has been beaten twice now by Eli Manning in the biggest of spots and Belichick has lost to Coughlin the same. That’s not great for legacies. That’s what you call rebuttal material.

With otherwise sterling legacies and reputations now under question, some observers, like Bill Reiter of Fox Sports, wonders whether Sunday night’s loss may have signaled the end of the Patriots’ run as title contenders.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, boomer esiason, Eli Manning, James Harrison

New York media basks in Giants Super Bowl victory

02.06.12 at 11:26 am ET
By   |   Comments

With the Giants completing their full transformation from 7-7 and on life support Dec. 17 to Super Bowl champions Sunday night, the New York media reflected on what the game meant for the teams and players involved in the win.

For several New York writers, individual legacies were forged last night, at least for the Giants.

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post writes that, now with his second career Super Bowl notched, Giants coach Tom Coughlin should now be a lock for the Hall of Fame.

Wrote Vaccaro: He’€™s been up and down and over and out, time and again, yet now, after this, after these two improbable championships, there is little question that whenever Coughlin decides he is done ‘€” and that will be entirely his decision now, make no mistake ‘€” he will take the passing lane to Canton, to the Hall of Fame, to a bronze bust and immortality. In so many ways, this was the season he came as close as he ever has to channeling his hero, John Wooden, the old UCLA basketball coach. As late as Saturday night, gathering his team for one last meeting, Coughlin preached an old football psalm.

One last time, he told them, ‘€œChampionships are won by teams who love one another. Just like this team does.’€

Continuing with the praise for Coughlin, Hank Gola of the New York Daily News feels that Coughlin and the Giants coaching staff, for a second time in two Super Bowls, managed to outcoach Bill Belichick and the Patriots staff.

Wrote Gola: Bill Belichick played rope a dope Sunday, nearly sending another game plan to the Hall of Fame. But all it took was for Eli Manning and Mario Manningham to land one late punch, an example of that perseverance that carried the Giants to another Super Bowl championship.

‘€œThey were going to play it very conservatively defensively,’€ offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said after watching another game-winning drive. ‘€œThey were going to see if we had the patience and discipline to throw the ball underneath and run quite frankly, we had some chances but we shot ourselves in the foot. We thought if we could stay close, we’€™ve been very good in the fourth quarter.’€

After causing a stir in the postgame Sunday night by declaring that the Giants “decapitated” the Patriots, Brandon Jacobs made another bold proclamation when he said that Manning, now with his second career Super Bowl victory, is the best quarterback in the NFL in an article by Steve Serby of the Post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Brandon Jacobs, Eli Manning, Kevin Gilbride

This Tuck had a different ending: Tom Brady before and after the sack

02.06.12 at 10:51 am ET
By   |   Comments

Tom Brady was amidst a historic run in the middle of Super Bowl XLVI.

Though he got off to a rocky start by getting called for intentional grounding and a safety on the Patriots’ first offensive play of the game, the Patriots quarterback soon found his footing. Between the second and third quarters, Brady completed 16 consecutive passes, the longest such streak in Super Bowl history. Even after his streak was snapped on an incompletion to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Brady’s numbers in the middle of the third quarter looked like this:

20-24, 201 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 141.9 QB rating

In other words, to that point in the game, Brady had his highest QB rating ever in a Super Bowl game, and was tracking for the fourth-best rating ever in a Super Bowl, behind only Phil Simms (150.9 in SB XXI), Joe Montana (147.6 in XXIV) and Jim Plunkett (145.0 in XV).

But then, Brady encountered a game-changing Tuck play that had a very different effect than the one that famously occurred in the Snow Bowl of the 2002 playoffs. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Justin Tuck, qb rating, Tom Brady,

A frustrated Gisele stands up for her man but rips Patriots receivers

02.06.12 at 3:42 am ET
By   |   Comments

INDIANAPOLIS — The frustrations of another Super Bowl loss spilled over for Gisele Bundchen as she left the luxury suites of Lucas Oil Stadium after her husband Tom Brady and the Patriots fell to Eli Manning and the Giants, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI Sunday night.

While making her way toward the elevator, Giants fans were harassing the supermodel, yelling, “Eli rules, Eli owns your husband.”

She responded to her entourage.

“You [need] to catch the ball when you’re supposed to catch the ball. My husband cannot [expletive] throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time,” she said in a video obtained by “I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.”

That was an obvious reference to Wes Welker, who dropped what would have been a first down on the Patriots’ next-to-last drive and would have likely sealed the win.

Aaron Hernandez also had a drop of a pass over the middle on the last drive of the game.

The video of Gisele’s outburst can be found here.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Gisele, Gisele Bundchen, New England Patriots

Feel the love: Why Tom Coughlin has the number of Bill Belichick

02.06.12 at 3:16 am ET
By   |   Comments

INDIANAPOLIS ‘€“ Bill Belichick has more rings but Tom Coughlin has his number.

In an epic Super Bowl performance, Eli Manning and the Giants rallied again in the fourth quarter because they made plays in the clutch down the stretch and the Patriots didn’€™t.

Belichick was denied his fourth Super Bowl because Justin Tuck and the Giants put just enough pressure on Tom Brady to make life miserable in the fourth quarter.

That’€™s Tom Coughlin 2, Bill Belichick 0 on the Super Bowl tote board. Coughlin has beaten Belichick three straight times in games that mattered since the Patriots capped their perfect regular season of 2007 with a win over the Giants, 38-35.

What is it that Coughlin has on Belichick?

Ask Tuck and it’€™s because the Giants feel the love from their head coach at the most important times, like Saturday night in the team’€™s final meeting before the Super Bowl when Coughlin laid on the emotion thick.

‘€œI was looking for something like, ‘€˜Finish,’€™ but he came out with the love,’€ Tuck said. ‘€œIt was very passionate. If we could’€™ve come out and played at that point, I think we would’€™ve been so excited to go out and play. It was hard to go to sleep after a speech like that.

‘€œI don’€™t know what it is about Coach Coughlin but his Super Bowl speeches, I give him a ‘€˜10.’€™ That’€™s two Super Bowl speeches that really got me fired up and ready to play. I know he looks kind of dull at times, it doesn’€™t look like he’€™s a fiery guy. But you can just tell it’€™s from the heart.’€

That’€™s how it goes when you win a Super Bowl. Tom Coughlin makes Mark Herzlich inactive before the game to free a roster spot. Bill Belichick makes veteran Kevin Faulk in likely his final game as a Patriot inactive and will get criticized.

Faulk’€™s replacement Stevan Ridley was one of four Patriots not to see the field on a single snap. Also on the sideline without a single snap was defensive lineman Alex Silvestro, signed off the practice squad on Saturday night, when the team cut Tiquan Underwood.

Coughlin will go down as the coach who got his players fired up and who made sure everyone was on board. Belichick will have to live with the fact that he made one of his favorite players inactive while cutting another the night before the biggest game of the year.

While Belichick was getting kudos all week for his relaxed approach, Coughlin decided to go with the passion on Saturday night. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Justin Tuck, New England Patriots, New York Giants

Even Tom Coughlin can’t believe a Giants receiver did it again to the Pats

02.06.12 at 3:02 am ET
By   |   Comments

INDIANAPOLIS — This time it was the feet — not the hands — of the receiver that killed the Patriots during the game-winning drive.

Four years ago, David Tyree clutched the ball to the top of his helmet as Rodney Harrison helplessly looked on. On Sunday night, it was Mario Manningham tiptoeing on the left sideline for a 38-yard reception on the opening play of an 88-yard game-winning drive as Eli Manning did it again to the Patriots.

“They’re both spectacular catches,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “I think with Mario’s, the way he kept his feet in bounds and held onto the ball going out of bounds was a remarkable thing. Of course, David’s is forever and that’s the history. That’s never going to change anything. His was incredible. This just continues along in that fashion.”

Indeed, Manningham caught the ball and managed to get both feet down before being pushed out of bounds by Patrick Chung at midfield.

“When [officials] were on the sideline [indicating good catch], I finally realized we might win this,” Manningham said.

“He had both feet down,” Chung said. “Good throw, good catch.”

The man who made the throw — Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning — again won the respect of his teammates like Manningham for coming through in the clutch.

“He’s a playmaker,” Manningham said of Manning. “That’s what he does. I’m putting Eli in his own category. A lot of quarterbacks don’t talk but you really never hear Eli talk negative about his teammates at a news conference. He just knows what to do and how to carry himself.”

As for comparisons to Tyree’s miraculous catch with Rodney Harrison draped all over him, Manningham took it all in stride.

“If I do, I do, If I don’t, I don’t. We won. I’m not thinking about that. If that’s how it’s going to be, then that’s how it’s going to be,” Manningham said.

Read More: David Tyree, Eli Manning, Mario Manningham, nfl
Latest on Twitter
Player News
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback