New York Falls Into a Championship — Patriots drop 3 passes in crunchtime, allowing the Giants to back into a Title, as Bradshaw scores the game-winning Touchdown with a minute left, by falling into the end zone while trying NOT to score

The biggest GIFT to New York since the Statue of Liberty.

With a chance to put the game away, wide-open Wes Welker dropped a deep pass.  When the sure-handed Welker choked, it allowed the Giants a chance to come back.  Eli Manning took them into the red zone, and with time running out and the Giants down by only 2, 17-15, the Patriots decided to LET the Giants score.  Ahmad Bradshaw took the ball up the middle as the Pats stood there and watched.  When Bradshaw got to the one yard line, he tried to stop and down the ball before he crossed the goal line.  That way, the Giants could have run out the clock before kicking a game-winning, chip-shot Field Goal.

But Bradshaw, who had already fumbled the ball on an earlier play, pulled another boner:  He fell untouched into the end zone for the TD, allowing Tom Brady 57 seconds to potentially drive the Patriots to a game-winning Touchdown.  So New England took over at their twenty, but Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez promptly dropped consecutive passes to make a comeback nearly impossible.  Brady still converted on a 4th and 16, but with 5 seconds left he was forced to heave up a Hail Mary from midfield, and it was knocked down to end the game, 21-17.

The Patriots blew an 8-point second half lead by giving up two Field Goals and the Bradshaw unwanted TD.  On the crucial drive they allowed Mario Manningham to make 3 catches for 56 yards, despite no threat of Manning NOT passing.  But this loss wasn’t caused by just bad Defense — It was also the Offense that couldn’t come through when needed.  They can hang their hats on the excuse that Rob Gronkowski was ineffective due to a high ankle sprain, but at one point Brady set a Super Bowl Record with 16 straight completions, so they had enough weapons even without their star Tight End, who had caught a Record 17 TD passes during the season — It’s just that three of them dropped passes that they should have caught… and that’s what cost them the game.

The game as a whole was a little slow, and generally devoid of big plays and excitement.  But it DID go down to the final play, which makes it a lot more entertaining than a higher-scoring blowout.  And I usually enjoy Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, but neither were able to spice up the festivities, and they both made stupid mistakes during the broadcast.  Michaels misidentified Justin Edelman as Danny Woodhead on a Kick Return — and never corrected himself — and Collinsworth said when the Pats were down 9-0 that it was the worst they looked early in a game in his memory.  Apparently he couldn’t reach back to about a month ago, when the Patriots fell behind the Broncos, Dolphins and then the Bills before coming back to win.  Buffalo had them down 21-0, and New England looked MUCH worse than they did against New York.

As for the commercials, there was virtually nothing worth discussing.  A Seinfeld/Leno car commercial was funny, and one of the Doritos ads was okay, but 90% of the spots were a waste of time and money.  Madonna’s Halftime show was also less than thrilling.  It was so polished, it didn’t look live.  It looked like it was on film, not HD Video, and some viewers swore it was lipsynched.  The last song was like some sort of self-tribute/homage, singing the praises of how great she is and how everyone loves her.  And there is something a little off-putting about a middle-aged piece of yesterday’s news singing about how sexy she is.  The only saving grace was that the electronic/neon visual presentation was impressive.  But still, when I go to a concert, I rather hear good music than see good lights.

Overall, for a lot of the non-Football fans who tuned in to Super Bowl XLVI, they probably want their 4 hours back.  And the Patriot Receivers want 3 passes back.