Super Bowl 2012: 5 Players Who Failed to Show Up for the New England Patriots
The New England Patriots suffered a close loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Despite the fact that the Patriots had a chance to win at the end, there were several players who simply failed to show up for New England.
What's surprising is that most of these no shows were actually on offense and not defense. Here are five Patriots who were expected to play differently.
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It's almost not fair to list him as a no show. He suffered the ankle injury two weeks ago in the AFC Championship game and there was actually doubt as to whether or not he would play.
He did play though. In fact, Gronkowski was on the field a significant amount of time and only managed two catches.
Gronkowski has had at least 50 yards receiving in each of his last 13 games. In Super Bowl XLVI he had 26.
Let's not forget the interception that Tom Brady threw late in the game. The Rob Gronkowski that we have seen all season ends up with the ball on that play.
Patriots Run Defense
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New York Giants running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs were the keys to the Super Bowl in my opinion. They combined for 109 yards and one score.
The Patriots defense simply could not stop the run. This led to the Giants dominating the time of possession. When it was all said and done, Eli Manning and his offense were on the field for over 37 minutes.
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Ochocinco had just one catch in the biggest game of his life. This really isn't that surprising though. He has been the biggest disappointment in the NFL in 2011.
After an impressive stint in Cincinnati, Chad was traded to New England. The expectations were sky high. With the season he had, he wasn't expected to do much in the Super Bowl. He delivered on that.
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Bill Belichick just lost his second straight Super Bowl. Last night the Patriots were completely out-coached and out-played.
Throughout his entire career Belichick has made decisions that at times have been considered unorthodox. Most of these decisions have worked.
Last night there were decisions made that did not work. You have the touchdown that they let the Giants score (which I am okay with) and the choice to give Danny Woodhead seven of the Patriots' rush attempts.
Last night Tom Coughlin was the best coach in that game.
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On paper Wes Welker had an okay game. In reality, he was nothing like the weapon he had been all season.
He finished the Super Bowl with seven catches for 60 yards. One of those catches went for 19 yards, which leaves his other six catches racking up just 41 yards.
Welker's game is to make plays after the catch. The Giants simply didn't allow him to do anything after getting his hands on the ball.
The play that everyone will remember though is the wide open drop in the fourth quarter. Not an easy catch by any means, but one that Welker can, and has made before. If he makes that catch, I'm writing about the Giants instead.