eli manning


V.21 No.6 | 2/9/2012
Photo by Paul Sancya

sports

Superbowl recap

Manning might be Brady's kryptonite

The Giants beat the Patriots again, and all of a sudden, we've got a new meme. The idea that Tom Brady is incapable of beating Eli Manning gained some serious traction on Sunday night, as the New York G-Men beat New England's favorite son for the second time in the biggest game of them all.

While a big story at the water cooler today might revolve around the half time show and the maybe-controversy of Madonna's guest M.I.A. flipping the bird, there was plenty of football to comment on, too. The game, while sloppy in many places, proceeded at a pace that was far from predicted. The 38 total points fell pretty easily under the Vegas-based line of 53, and probably surprised many people who were expecting an offensive slugfest.

With two points scored in the first six minutes of play, the Giants seized control of the game quickly, thanks to an unusual safety. Brady had attempted a pass from his own end zone, which was ruled intentional grounding, resulting in the two points and a return of possession to the Giants.

Just five and a half minutes later, the Giants cashed in on that drive, making the score 9-0. The Patriots were seemingly on the ropes. However, New England started the second quarter by chipping in a field goal after five minutes. They proceeded to make two strong defensive stands, sandwiched by an anemic offensive set of three-and-out, but followed up that weakness by going 99 yards in just under 4 minutes—a performance that netted them a touchdown and the lead to go into halftime.

After the halftime controversy that wasn't—although it's probably a good thing Heather Wilson isn't our Representative here in New Mexico anymore—the big surprises started coming. The slow start might have been expected, given Super Bowl-sized nerves, but surely no one counted on 19 points in the first half being repeated in the second.

The Patriots grabbed a lead, seemingly confident even as the Giants first kicked one field goal and then another, to pull within two points. But the fourth quarter opened with Brady throwing it deep, only to be intercepted. The following drive by the Giants, while resulting in no points, killed enough clock that things were getting to an end point, no matter what. With that same two-point lead, the Patriots were in a delicate position.

That perilous footing proved to be disastrous when, following a null Patriots set, Eli Manning orchestrated a big drive, sparked by a dazzling 38-yard Mario Manningham sideline catch. The Giants milked the clock and got deep enough field position that Patriots coach Bill Belichick gambled on allowing the touchdown to go through, leaving Brady and co. just under one minute to put together a game-winning drive.

But it wasn't to be. Patriot receivers had ket drops as the game dwindled, and Brady's final Hail Mary pass was batted up in the end zone, falling just out of reach of a diving Rob Gronkowski. It resulted in a 21-17 G-Men win.

Belichick and Brady are now 3-2 in Super Bowls together, and Manning is 2-0. No one can deny the Patriots their place as a dynasty, but it appears there is a new force to be reckoned with at the top of the heap.

V.20 No.50 | 12/15/2011
Chris Young

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

Jones slays dragon, Manning saves Giants’ playoff chances

UFC 140

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones had one of the most memorable years in mixed martial arts. And that could be said even prior to his title defense against former champion Lyoto Machida on Saturday, Dec. 10. Jones probably could of requested to take the rest of the year off, but instead risked his championship to face a dangerous striker. Machida's unorthodox striking confused and frustrated the still-young Jones for the first time in his career. Despite two of the judges giving the first round to Jones, Lyoto staggered the champion and forced Jones to face some serious adversity. The sold-out Toronto crowd was firmly in Machida's corner, but Bones scored the takedown in the second round and caused a deep gash on Lyoto's forehead. After doctors checked the cut, Bones dropped Machida with a big punch and finished the fight with a standing guillotine choke. The 18,000-plus who booed Jones then showed respect for the Jackson’s MMA fighter and seemed to acknowledge that Jones is one of the UFC's elite champions. Other than his first round struggle with Machida, Bones has almost looked unstoppable in his career. Frankly, Jones is a fighter the sport has never seen before, with abilities that could make him the crossover athlete the UFC has been looking for.

Other action featured a Heavyweight rematch between Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. Their first encounter displayed Mir's improved boxing that knocked down Nogueira several times. Mir eventually finished the fight, completing the impossible by becoming the first fighter to do so against Nogueira. In the sequel, Nogueira hit the dazed Mir and went for the finish on the ground, but Mir countered and locked in a gruesome kimura. The prideful Nogueira waited until his arm was injured to tap and gave Mir the honor of becoming the first fighter to submit him. The victory gives Mir three wins in a row and makes him a relevant contender in the division. If any Heayweight main event gets hit with the injury bug, Mir could easily become a replacement and sneak into a title shot.

NFL

Eli Manning may have a Super Bowl ring, but fans and media continue to deny him the respect he truly deserves. Maybe after engineering the New York Giants’ comeback against the Dallas Cowboys, that could change. Dallas had a 34-22 lead in the 4th quarter after the Cowboys capitalized on an Manning interception. But Manning blocked out the previous mistakes and helped the Giants score 15 unanswered points to take the lead in the final seconds. The Cowboys had a chance to take the game into overtime, but Jason Pierre-Paul blocked a game-ending field goal, saving the Giants’ playoff hopes. If the Giants can end the season with a winning streak, they can be a legitimate threat come mid-January.