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February 4, 2008
Votes are in: This was the most watched Super Bowl
The Giants’ win over the Patriots was the most-watched Super Bowl ever, with 97.5 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said Monday.
The game eclipsed the previous Super Bowl record of 94.08 million, set when Dallas defeated Pittsburgh in 1996. More people watched Sunday’s game than all but one American television broadcast ever, the “M-A-S-H” finale in 1983, which was seen by 106 million viewers.
The game had almost all the ingredients Fox could have hoped for: a tight contest with an exciting finish involving a team that was attempting to make history as the NFL’s first unbeaten team since 1972.
But the Giants ended New England’s bid for perfection, 17-14. Throughout the game, the teams were never separated by more than a touchdown.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Peter Phipps at 2:10 PM | Permalink
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Photo: One-word headline says it all
Journal photo / Bob Breidenbach
This is the newspaper cover Pats' fans really didn't want to see -- but did.
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 9:20 AM | Permalink
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Download today's sports cover
It's not pretty, if you're a Patriots fan, but here it is.
Click here to download the file in pdf format.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 12:58 AM | Permalink
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Burress backs up words
New York receiver Plaxico Burress drew national attention -- and the ire of his head coach -- when he predicted a 23-17 Giants victory.
But though he had just two catches for 27 yards, Burress caught the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds to play.
Playing with a torn ligament in his right ankle for much of the season and with swelling in his left knee this week as well, Burress did not participate in the team's Arizona practice sessions.
"It bothered him and I could see it in his face," Tom Coughlin said of his star wideout. "But fortunately game day came along and he set himself again and decided what he was going to go out and do and he did it. The catch at the end there, he and Eli (Manning) have done that many times by now."
"I was so happy for him," fellow receiver Amani Toomer said. "He called his shot. I am just so happy for him and happy for our team. We had the better receivers today."
When Burress was asked about his injuries after the game, he said, "I'm not feeling anything."
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 12:55 AM | Permalink
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The Giants now have won seven league championships. They also have lost a league-high 11 times in the title game.
"I'll tell you what," team owner John K. Mara said last night, "this is the greatest victory in the history of the franchise, without question.
"I just want to say to all you Giants fans who have supported us for more than 30 years at Giants Stadium, for all those years in Yankee Stadium, and some of you even back to the Polo Grounds -- this is for you."
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 12:54 AM | Permalink
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New job coming for Spagnuolo?
The Giants' defensive performance in Super Bowl XLII certainly reflects positively on D-coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who will reportedly interview with the Redskins for their head coaching vacancy in the morning.
Spagnuolo, who has worked with Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Johnson in the past -- and the Eagles were one of the teams to put up a strong defensive plan against the Pats this season -- said he never imagined his unit would hold the most prolific offense in NFL history to just 14 points.
"In all honesty, no. I believed in the guys and what they were and what they did and what they could do," he said. "But I just had so much respect for New England, that I thought if our offense could control the ball and we could score a few points, then maybe we could outscore them."
Spagnuolo's game plan called for his team to get away from edge blitzes and blitz from the interior, and New York ended up with five sacks and nine hits on Tom Brady.
"We threw one (edge blitz) at them which they picked up. I don't know if we got to call all the blitzes in our game plan," he said. "I do know this: there was a time there when I thought Tom Brady was finding out where we were bringing it, and he was changing the protection. We had to get out of some of those things."
Spagnuolo guessed that New York blitzed on 30 to 35 percent of New England's snaps.
"I have to give credit to the four guys up front," he said. "We hung our hat on those guys all year long and we did it again and it paid off."
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 12:43 AM | Permalink
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"We won the game in the trenches," Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said. "We got physical with them. They couldn't match up with our linemen, who were getting them off the ball."
It was New York's defensive line that was most dominant, harrassing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throughout the game.
"We knew we could beat them," Jacobs said. "They have a lot of talent, but, deep down, I think we are a better football team. We're a blue-collar team, and we work hard. We knew what we had to do, and went out and did it."
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 12:43 AM | Permalink
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Moss's first Super Bowl ends in a loss
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Randy Moss’s first visit to the Super Bowl as a player ended in a loss.
The 10-year NFL veteran and Future Hall of Famer was looking forward to having a big game on the biggest stage – Super Bowl XLII – but Moss was limited to five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Those are solid numbers, but they weren’t enough to beat the Giants last night.
Moss said that the Giants were more focused than the Patriots and that’s why they won.
“The Giants just had a better game plan,” Moss said. “They played heads up football. They came ready to play for four quarters, 60 minutes. My hats off to the Giants.
“I think their intensity from the beginning snap to the end of the game was really higher than ours. We just couldn’t meet that intensity.
Moss said that he was surprised by the Patriots lack of intensity because of all the hard work they put in over the last two weeks to prepare for the game.
“When things like that happen, the only thing you can do is lick your wounds and try to come back at it next year.”
Moss caught a six yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady with 2:45 remaining in the game to put the Patriots up, 14-10, but the Giants came storming back to steal the victory.
“It was just a simple fade,” Moss said. “It was a crucial situation in the game. It was late in the game and I really thought that play really gave us the momentum to take us up. But on their side of the ball, offense and defense, they had the intensity for four quarters, so that is really what hurt.”
Moss said that he isn’t surprised that most people across the country wanted the Patriots to lose in the Super Bowl.
“There was a lot of hype and I think that a lot of people got tired of talking about us and I could really sense that,” Moss said. “I am not taking anything from the New York Giants and coach Tom Coughlin. Like I said, they had a great game plan, they executed it, I think that they wanted to get after Tommy (Brady) and they did do that.”
Moss said that he is going to spend the offseason with his family.
“I have a family, I got kids to love and raise,” Moss said. “I am going to be with my kids probably till May or June. I am not thinking of anything football right now so I can just relax my mind, my body and love my kids.”
Posted by Rob Lee at 12:43 AM to Randy Moss
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Tuck's Two Sacks
"It just feels great," Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck, who had two of New York's five sacks, said of the pressure he and his teammates put on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throughout Super Bowl XLII.
"It was a complete effort," he said. "Everybody was getting after it. It was just a great collective win. We knew the focus for us to win was to get a lot of heat on him early and often. I feel we succeeded in that."
"We felt like we could do that," said Michael Strahan, who also had a sack of Brady. "We done that all year. We led the league in sacks (with 53) and, supposedly, when we get against the Patriots, we're not supposed to be able to pass rush?
"That's what we do," Strahan said. "We spot the run, as well. We felt like we could do it from the beginning, and did not listen to anyone who said we couldn't."
They certainly did, holding the Patriots -- who averaged 38 points a game during the regular season while scoring a league-record, 589 points -- to a season-low 14 points.
"That offense," Tuck said, "is made to stay in rhythm, and some things we showed him up front and in the secondary, you could tell it kind of threw him off rhythm. He made some errant throw and held the ball a little longer than he normally does. That's the result of a combination of pressure in his face, and the secondary doing a great job locking down all of the receivers."
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 12:38 AM | Permalink
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Seau not thinking about graduation
The New England Patriots, and in particular Rodney Harrison, wanted to win Super Bowl XLII for the glory, but also to give 18-year veteran Junior Seau the one thing that is missing from his Hall of Fame resume: a championship.
But despite coming close again -- Seau also played in the Super Bowl with the Chargers in 1993 -- he said he was not thinking about the future after the game.
"I'm having too much fun," he said when asked if he's going to retire again, adding that the loss will not affect his decision to return for another season.
"It was a great journey, and the bond that we have will always be there. We came up short, we understand that. The game of football comes down to executing and making plays, and when the opportunities came we didn't make them and New York did."
After Peyton Manning's game-winning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left in the game, Seau lay face-down on the grass at University of Phoenix Stadium.
"I was full of disappointment," he said. "We know we did a great job and to see that happen to us at a crucial time, it just wasn't something I wanted to feel."
Seau was credited with two tackles in the game; he turned 39 last month.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 12:36 AM | Permalink
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Amazingly, the Super Bowl champion New York Giants lost five of their eight home games this season. But they were 11-1 on the road, including four straight playoff victories over Tampa Bay, NFC East champion Dallas, NFC North champion Green Bay, and the AFC champion Patriots.
"That was a record in the National Football League, to win 11 straight road games," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "The road signified for us the coming together of team. The only people who cared about us were the guys standing on our sideline. So we rode that emotion."
Giants owner Steve Tisch joked last night about his club's success away from Giants Stadium.
"This just in from the commissioner's office," he said, laughing. "All games should be played on the road next year."
"We are the road warriors," Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said. "They call us that for a reason. We made history. There's nobody undefeated now except the 72 Dolphins."
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 12:34 AM | Permalink
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Eli On Game-Winning TD
"It was a fade route," Eli Manning said of the game-winning, 13-yard TD pass he threw to a wide-open Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left to play in Super Bowl XLII.
"They had been playing zone coverage. They came with an all-out blitz and the corner (Ellis Hobbs) sat, because he thought we might run something short. (Burress) ran right by him and made a great catch to win the game."
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 12:31 AM | Permalink
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These are courtesy of the Super Bowl XLII media staff and Elias Sports Bureau:
* The 33 minute, 52 second scoreless streak from the opening seconds of the second quarter to 3:55 remaining in the fourth is the longest in Super Bowl history;
* Tom Brady has an even 100 completions over four career Super Bowls, a record;
* Brady's 48 pass attempts in the game without an interception is a record;
* The 42 combined rushing attempts (16 for New England and 26 for New York) are the lowest in Super Bowl history, and the 136 combined rushing yards (45 for New England, 91 for New York) are also an all-time low;
* Giants punter Jeff Feagles, at 41 years, 333 days, is the oldest player to take part in the NFL championship;
* The Giants are the first team in 14 years to win the Super Bowl after trailing at halftime. In Super Bowl XXVIII, Dallas trailed Buffalo, 13-6, but shut the Bills out in the second half for a 30-13 win. Twelve teams had led at halftime since then, and all had won.
* New York is only the second team to win after trailing in the final minute of the fourth quarter, as the game-winning touchdown came with 35 seconds to play. In Super Bowl XXIII, San Francisco's John Taylor caught the game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds to play against Cincinnati.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 12:26 AM | Permalink
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Eli's Scramble, Tyree's Catch
It was, without question, the play of the game.
With time running out, and the Giants in a 3rd-and-5 situation at their own 44, Eli Manning slipped out of the grasp of several Patriots pass rushers and lofted a long pass down the middle of the field to wide receiver David Tyree, who outjumped Patriots safety Rodney Harrison for the ball, managing to hold it against the top of his helmet as he fell to the ground.
"That might be one of the great plays of all time in the Super Bowl," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "You had two people, ripping for the ball, and (Tyree) brings it down."
"Eli played super. He did the things in the fourth quarter you have to do to win the Super Bowl. He brought us down the field, he got the ball in the end zone twice. He played very cool, very calm."
"It felt," Manning said of the play, "like I was being grabbed a little bit. Got out of it. Saw Tyree in the middle of the field. The ball just floated. He made an unbelievable catch, jumping up, hold on to that ball with guys hanging all over."
"That's really what it comes down to -- making the play," said Tyree. "Eli did an unbelievable job. I honestly don't know how he got out of it. When the ball is in the air, you have to go get it. That's the job."
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 12:22 AM | Permalink
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Ahead of themselves?
One of the hallmarks of this Patriots team this decade has been their ability not to respond when others are talking, whether it be about them or to them. When players make guarantees or claims, New England replies that their game will do the talking for them.
But they may not have kept their lips zipped this week. After New York's upset, Giants receiver Amani Toomer implied that Pats players may have already had victory bashes in the works.
"They were inviting us to their parties after the game. They showed us no respect," Toomer said.
If true, it would be highly uncharacteristic of New England.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 12:18 AM | Permalink
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Pats dejected after Super Bowl loss
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Patriots were hoping to join elite company and become the first team in NFL history to complete a perfect 19-0 season, but the Giants turned that dream into a nightmare by beating the Patriots, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII.
“We were certainly disappointed,” Patriots defensive back Rodney Harrison said. “We worked hard to stay focused and tried to win one game at a time, 18 times. We have been through so much. I give all of our guys in that locker room a lot of credit, they have a lot of heart. We just came up short."
“There are no words to mend what we feel at this point,” Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour said. “That’s true. There isn’t too much someone can say. You could say it’s just a game or whatever. At the end of the day, we had an opportunity to be special and we couldn’t do it. It’s tough that it ended this way.”
The Patriots broke a lot of records this season, but it ended in disappointment.
“Anytime you lose, it is a long offseason,” Harrison said. “Our goal was to come in and win the ballgame. They just made more plays than us…It’s extremely disappointing.”
“It was a great journey, and the bond that we have will always be there,” Patriots linebacker Junior Seau said. “We came up short, we understand that. The game of football comes down to executing and making plays and when opportunities came we didn’t make them and New York did.”
Posted by Rob Lee at 12:08 AM | Permalink
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The 1972 Miami Dolphins are happy to remain the only undefeated champions in NFL history.
"It goes to show you how tough it is to go undefeated through an entire season," offensive lineman Larry Little said last night. "Over the years, people have been putting us down, calling us grumpy old men. We never wanted to see the Patriots, or any other team, lose. We are just happy about our accomplishments. We're a very proud football team."
"I don't take joy," tight end Jim Mandich said, "in the fact the Patriots lost. But I do relish and savor the fact that there has only been one unbeaten team in the history of the NFL, and it is the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Of that, I am extremely proud."
"We were never against the New England Patriots," said running Jim Kiick. "We're not comparing ourselves to anyone else from other gneerations. We're happy with our own accomplishments."
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 12:06 AM | Permalink
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