Super Bowl 2012 Highlights: 7 Biggest Mistakes Made
Super Bowl XLVI will go down in history as an instant classic, as the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 yesterday.
However, just because it will go down as an instant classic, doesn't mean both teams had its share of mistakes and blunders throughout the game.
Here are seven mistakes that could have been avoided.
Tom Brady's Intentional Grounding
Possibly the biggest blunder of the entire night, and on the Patriots' very first offensive play of the game, no less!
Starting from their own 6-yard line, Tom Brady attempted to throw a pass down the middle.
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck had other plans, as he came after Brady in his own end zone.
Brady threw it, but he threw it too far, and was penalized for intentional grounding. Even worse, because he threw it in his own end zone at the time of the play, it was labeled as a safety.
This will certainly be one play that Brady will never forget.
Having 12 Players on the Field
The Patriots, early in the game, were penalized five yards for having 12 men on the field.
At the time, the Giants were on the 11-yard line, facing a third down. The penalty resulted in a new set of downs creating a much better offensive situation for the Giants. Two plays later, the Giants would score.
Had the penalty not occurred, the Giants may have been forced to kick a field goal rather than scoring seven points, creating an entirely different situation for both teams early on in the contest.
The Giants would do this too at the end of the game, but this actually made sense for them, as they used this tactic to run down the clock, rather than just temporarily providing extra defense,
Giants Not Going for It at the End of the Half
Maybe it's just me, and in some regards, I can understand trying not to attempt a 76-yard pass at the end of the first half.
However, it's the biggest game of the year, you're currently losing, and last time I checked, wasn't the Giants' slogan entering this game "All-In?"
As unlikely as it might have happened, I would have been more aggressive and at least made the attempt to try and score. However, if they did happen to score, at least by doing so, they would have taken the lead and had the momentum entering the second half.
Again though, this is a more of a personal issue rather than an actual blunder.
Giants Giving Brady Enough Time to Pass to Aaron Hernandez
This is a perfect example of why you can't be too conservative.
In the first drive of the second half, Brady reached the Giants' 12-yard line before throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Brady was able to do so due to a lack of an aggressive pass rush. During the play, Jason Pierre-Paul hung back behind the rest of the defensive line rather than go after Brady and attack him.
With only three Giants defenders coming after him, and without the presence of Jason Pierre-Paul attempting to take him down, Brady had way too much time to pass, allowing him to throw it to Hernandez for the score.
You always have to put pressure on the quarterback, especially when playing against one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The Giants simply didn't do that.
Deep Passing It to Gronkowski in the 4th Quarter
Rob Gronkowski was clearly not at 100% in this game, so having him going deep in the fourth quarter, and while your team was still in the lead, was an awful decision to make.
And as such, the Patriots faced the consequences as linebacker Chase Blackburn got in front of Gronkowski and made an interception.
It just would have been smarter to run down the clock with either throwing short passes or having Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis or Danny Woodhead run it on the ground.
Letting Manning and the Giants Comeback... Again
Comeback once, shame on you. Comeback twice, shame on me. Comeback three times, then I just don't know what my defense is doing.
For the third straight game between these two teams (counting Week 9 earlier in this season), the Patriots had the lead in the fourth quarter, only for Eli Manning and the Giants to deliver in the final minutes and swipe a victory right from under them.
You'd think by now, the defense would have something in store come crunch time. However, it has yet to happen.
Madonna (and M.I.A.)
Ok, granted this wasn't a football mistake and although the halftime show wasn't as terrible as last year's, having Madonna perform was nonetheless a mistake.
To her credit, at least she actually did sing during her performance, unlike some other artists and groups have done over the past several years (I'm looking at you in particular, Usher).
But in my opinion, the halftime show should be peformed with songs by those who help embody the spirit and excitement of football, rather than just throwing in the top pop artists of today. Sorry, Madonna, LMFAO, etc., but you just don't fit the bill.
Bring back Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen. Or what about Bon Jovi (who wanted to perform at the Super Bowl four years ago), or AC/DC?
Oh, and special considerations should be given to M.I.A. for giving the middle finger while singing "Give Me All Your Luvin;" real classy there.