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He believes that Tomlin represents mediocrity in every way and that he stands in the way of what this team could be accomplishing. He is killing their vibe, in the eyes of my buddy. I'm not sure I entirely buy in, but I do agree that the Steelers of the last couple of years, haven't quite lived up to the sum of their parts - especially in crunch time. Will this year be different?
I'm not entirely convinced, but I'm not unconvinced either. Either way, I don't see a lot of value here. I like the Rams a little more than the Vikings, but not by much. The addition of Kirk Cousins is something I am really high on, I like the coaching changes they made, there aren't a lot of holes in talent, and they have success to build on from last year. There is a lot to like here, and the difference between their price and the Rams makes them playable as well.
A Minnesota and L. NFC Championship Game would be a whole lot of fun. The biggest knock against both of these teams, though - or at least the biggest challenge to the value of them - is that the NFC is deep and tough this year, so coming out of it unscathed will be not easy, and some really good teams will go home too early.
I know I am coming off as negative about a lot of teams, and I don't often like being negative, but I just can't help it. I am not nearly as excited about the Packers as some.
While Aaron Rodgers is as good as they come, he is also very fragile, and I don't trust him - or the ability of the team to be competitive without him. And I don't think their roster is as deep as others.
If they win then I will lose. Want free NFL picks? Doc's has you covered. Just check out these guys' pages and see what great work they have done making money for themselves and their clients over the years. Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details. Read more articles by Trevor Whenham.
Pierre-Paul racked up 86 combined tackles and ranked fourth in the NFL with The Giants secondary was led by Corey Webster , who intercepted a career-high 6 passes.
Defensive backs Kenny Phillips and Aaron Ross added four interceptions each, while safety Antrel Rolle picked off two passes and led the team in combined tackles with The Giants joined the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams as the only other team to advance to the Super Bowl with fewer than ten victories since the NFL expanded to a game season in , and the only one of those three to win the Super Bowl they had advanced to. They have won six consecutive playoff games away from their home stadium, dating back to their victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round.
That includes their Super Bowl XLII victory over these same Patriots, although that game was played at a neutral site and the Giants were the designated "away" team for the game. The Giants are the first team in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl after having been outscored by their opponents in the regular season points scored, points allowed.
New England lost 2 consecutive games to the Steelers and Giants in week 8 and 9 respectively, before rallying to win their remaining eight games. Back at the helm of the offense was year quarterback Tom Brady , who earned his 7th Pro Bowl selection. Starting every game of the season, Brady completed Brady also added yards and three scores on the ground. His main weapon in the passing game was Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker , who led the NFL with receptions 22 receptions ahead of second place for 1, yards and 9 touchdowns.
New England also had two of the best tight ends in the NFL: Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski , who set new tight end records for receiving 1, yards and touchdown catches 17 ; and Aaron Hernandez , who caught 79 passes for yards and 7 touchdowns, while also rushing for 45 yards. Another big element of the passing game was veteran receiver Deion Branch , who caught 51 passes for yards and 5 scores.
Receivers Chad Ochocinco , Tiquan Underwood , Julian Edelman , and Matthew Slater made minor contributions to the passing attack; the latter two also served as emergency defensive backs. New England had several key contributors in the ground game.
Their main rusher was BenJarvus Green-Ellis , who rushed for yards and 11 touchdowns. Running back Stevan Ridley added yards and a 5. Danny Woodhead contributed yards with a 4.
The Patriots' defensive line featured two Pro Bowl selections: Vince Wilfork , who generated 3. Defensive End Mark Anderson was also a major force on the line, earning 10 sacks and two forced fumbles of his own. Behind them, Rob Ninkovich excelled at linebacker, gaining 74 tackles, 6.
In the secondary, cornerback Kyle Arrington had a breakout season. After recording just one interception in his first three years, Arrington picked off 7 passes in to lead the NFL in that category, while also making 88 tackles. Linebacker Jerod Mayo led the team in tackles with Belichick tied Tom Landry for second most appearances as a head coach in the Super Bowl, behind only Don Shula 's six.
The Patriots and Giants faced each other in New England during the regular season; the Giants won that game, 24— The Giants defeated the No. Eli Manning threw for yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions, while the Giants defense shut down the Falcons, the only Atlanta points coming from a safety given up by Manning's intentional grounding penalty in his end zone.
The Giants then moved on to face the No. The Giants never trailed in the game, winning 37— One of the key plays in the game was a Hail Mary pass by Manning to Hakeem Nicks , giving New York a 20—10 lead at the end of the first half.
As they did to MVP Tom Brady the Patriots' record-breaking offense , the Giants generated significant pressure on Packers quarterback and season MVP Aaron Rodgers , sacking him four times and disrupting his talented receiving corps.
This was the first time in NFL history a 15—1 team failed to make it past the divisional round in the playoffs. The Giants then faced the No. After a series of defensive standoffs in the fourth quarter, the game went into overtime. Both teams continued to struggle on offense, until New York linebacker Jacquian Williams stripped the ball from San Francisco wide receiver Kyle Williams after a punt return.
The Giants recovered the ball at the 49ers yard line, setting up a yard field goal attempt by Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes. Unlike Cundiff earlier that day, Tynes' kick was successful, giving the Giants a 20—17 victory. In the divisional round, the Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos 45— The Patriots dominated the game throughout, setting new franchise postseason records for total yards , points 45 , and margin of victory Tom Brady completed 18 of 25 passes for yards and a postseason record five touchdowns in the first half.
The Patriots defense had a breakout performance: Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was held to just 9 of 26 completions and was sacked five times. Brady was out-dueled by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco , who threw for more yards and touchdowns on the same number of completions and attempts. Nevertheless, New England managed to take a 23—20 lead in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Brady.
But the Patriots managed to hold them there, with cornerback Sterling Moore breaking up two consecutive Ravens pass attempts in the red zone, including one in the end zone.
Facing fourth down, Baltimore attempted a yard field goal by kicker Billy Cundiff that would tie the game and possibly bring it to overtime. Cundiff missed the kick wide left, allowing the Patriots to advance to the Super Bowl.
The Patriots, as the designated home team, had a choice of wearing their home navy blue jerseys or their white away jerseys. Briefly, there was speculation that the Patriots might wear the white away jerseys in order to switch the jerseys from Super Bowl XLII , where the Patriots wore dark blue and the Giants wore white.
Also, the Giants were 4—0 in playoff games in their white away jerseys since the season. Hospitality experts speculated that "Indianapolis will have seen the most severe hotel price gouging in Super Bowl history. The room shortage and high prices caused some attendees to plan to stay in Chicago, miles away, and ride buses to events. When I got to the team, it was always Red Sox-Yankees. Michele Tafoya was the sideline reporter.
Bob Costas and Dan Patrick who also presided over the trophy presentation ceremony hosted the pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage for NBC with Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison and special guest analysts who were seated next to Costas during the pre-game festivities , Aaron Rodgers and Hines Ward. As part of "Operation Fake Sweep", Immigration and Customs Enforcement , along with the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York , seized and shut down sixteen websites that had provided access to pirated Internet television feeds of NFL games on February 2, in an action similar to the crackdown they had implemented the previous year.
For the first time, domains in the. With the Giants' Super Bowl win, they became the first team to win Super Bowls on 4 different networks. There has also been some conjecture regarding the possible plagiarism of Australian band John Butler Trio 's song "Zebra" by Yogurt giant Dannon. Spokesman for the band, Tom McNamara, commented that the band was currently exploring their proprietary rights with regards to the similarity of the tune to the band's hit single.
Bob Papa called the game for the Giants with Carl Banks as his analyst and Howard Cross as sideline reporter, while Gil Santos was at the microphone for the Patriots with Gino Cappelletti as analyst and Scott Zolak as sideline reporter.
Santos and Cappelletti returned for their sixth Super Bowl as broadcast team for the Patriots while Papa and Banks called their third and second Super Bowls, respectively, for the Giants. This was the first Super Bowl broadcast for the Giants not to feature longtime analyst Dick Lynch , who had retired from the team's radio booth following the season and died in The Indiana University Marching Hundred performed during the pre-game show. Husband-and-wife country musicians Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert performed " America the Beautiful " as part of the ceremonies.
The coin toss ceremony featured the recent inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Curtis Martin , one of the inductees, was originally selected to toss the coin,  but in what NESN described as "a rather awkward scene", referee John Parry ended up flipping the coin himself while Martin stood beside and watched. Word had leaked as early as October that Madonna would be the performer for the Super Bowl halftime show ,  with M.
The gesture was given when she appeared to sing "I don't give a shit", although it was hard to hear clearly if the expletive was said, stopped short, or cut off, as the censor unsuccessfully tried to blur the screen to cover the gesture. It broke the record for the most viewed Super Bowl halftime show ever, defeating Michael Jackson's previous record, with million viewers throughout the world. The Patriots won the coin toss and deferred. New York opened the game with a drive to the Patriots yard line, threatening to score first.
After giving up a yard reception to Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks , New England's defense stepped up to prevent a score: On third down, New England defensive end Mark Anderson sacked Manning, pushing the Giants out of field goal range and forcing a Giants' punt. New York got a boost from punter Steve Weatherford , whose yard kick pinned the Pats back at their own 6-yard line. On the Patriots first offensive play, Tom Brady attempted a play action pass , but a heavy rush from Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck forced a deep throw into the middle of the field, with no receiver anywhere near it.
Brady was flagged for intentional grounding , and since he was in the end zone when he threw the pass the play resulted in a safety ,  giving New York a 2—0 lead. After receiving the free kick, New York drove 78 yards in 9 plays—including a key yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw—and increased their lead to 9—0 on Manning's 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz.
New York managed to stop the drive at their own yard line, but Stephen Gostkowski kicked a yard field goal for New England's first score early in the second quarter.
The Giants punted on the next drive, then held the Patriots to a three-and-out. When New York's next drive stalled, Weatherford's yard punt gave the Patriots possession on their 4-yard line. Brady, however, completed eight consecutive passes for 71 yards, and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to running back Danny Woodhead , giving the Patriots a 10—9 halftime lead, the same halftime deficit the Giants faced against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI.
The drive went for 14 plays and covered 96 yards, tying the record for the longest drive in Super Bowl history. New England took the second half kickoff and started out strong: Brady completed a yard pass to Chad Johnson his only reception of the postseason , and two rushes by Green-Ellis gained 25 yards to the New York yard line.
Brady eventually finished the 8-play, yard drive with a yard touchdown pass to second-year tight end Aaron Hernandez , increasing New England's lead to 17—9. Starting the following drive from their own yard line after Jerrel Jernigan 's yard kickoff return, New York responded with a drive to Patriots' yard line where Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes converted a yard field goal, cutting the score to 17— On the next drive, New York forced a three-and-out—including a Justin Tuck sack of Brady on third down—and Will Blackmon returned Zoltan Mesko 's yard punt 10 yards to the Patriots' yard line.
New York subsequently drove back into scoring range on a drive that utilized several different players, including a yard reception by seldom used tight end Bear Pascoe to reach the New England 9-yard line.
On third down, however, a sack by New England's Anderson and Rob Ninkovich forced New York to settle for another Tynes field goal, making the score 17—15 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter. On the second play of the fourth quarter, the first turnover of the game occurred when Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn picked off a deep Brady pass at the New York 8-yard line.
New York then drove to the Patriots' yard line, but were stopped there and had to punt. New England took the ball back at their own eight-yard line with less than ten minutes in the fourth quarter. However, Brady's pass was high and Welker was unable to reel it in while falling to the ground, crucially preventing a huge gain. The Giants took possession from their own yard line with 3: On the first play, in what would end up being one of the key plays of the game,  Manning completed a deep pass along the left sideline to Manningham for a yard gain to midfield.
New England coach Bill Belichick challenged the catch, but the call on the field stood and it cost him his team's first timeout. Two more completions from Manning to Manningham gained another 18 yards.
Manning then completed a yard pass to Nicks on the New England yard line at the two-minute warning. Two plays later, New England called their second timeout with 1: With the Patriots down to their last timeout and ahead by two points, 17—15, the possibility existed that the Giants would run a play to stop short of the goal line, which would have forced the Patriots to use that timeout to stop the clock on any of the last two plays.
The Giants could run the clock down, allow Tynes—who had not missed under 30 yards in four years—to kick a winning field goal, and give the Patriots only about 20 seconds of play left to score again. This also meant that the Patriots could call a defensive play where they would purposely allow the Giants to score a touchdown, which despite giving up the lead would allow the Patriots to get the ball back still with that timeout and with more time remaining.
New England chose to let New York score, opening its defense to let Bradshaw enter the end zone with the ball. In what Sports Illustrated later called "perhaps the strangest play in Super Bowl history", Bradshaw attempted to stop on the 1-yard line upon realizing what the Patriots were doing, but his forward momentum caused him to fall into the end zone for a touchdown. The game's final drive began on the New England yard line. Brady's first two passes fell incomplete and then he was sacked by Tuck on third down, leaving the Patriots 16 yards from a first down and forcing them to use their final timeout.
Facing heavy pressure in the pocket, Brady eluded linebacker Michael Boley and then threw a bullet to Deion Branch. Branch caught the ball and ran out of bounds at the yard line for a first down.
An yard completion from Brady to Hernandez advanced the ball to the Pats' 44, followed by a twelve-men on the field penalty against the Giants, which moved the ball to the Patriots' 49 with 9 seconds left.
After an incomplete pass, Brady, on the game's final play, threw a Hail Mary pass intended for Hernandez in the end zone, but the ball was deflected by Giants defenders.
For the Giants, Manning completed 30 of 40 passes for yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. Bradshaw was the top rusher of the game with 72 yards and a touchdown, also catching two passes for 19 yards.