Sunday, November 15, 2015
Patriots 27 NYG 26
Photo: The catch that wasn't, from Jason Szenes of the New York Times. Article at NYTimes.com. BTW, note to the Times: The caption beside this photo says, "The Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. made a catch past the Patriot's Malcolm Butler (21)." No, he didn't. That was the play of the game, you know.
A few things from this game, the best I've seen all year and probably better than a few playoff games to come:
--"The receiver had not yet become a runner." That was from Ed Hochuli, who seems to have toned down his tight-shirt accentuating his toned upper-body thing. No better explanation necessary for why an incompletion is so, even in the end zone. And, I noticed at the time, the receiver's second foot had not made solid contact with the ground before the ball had popped loose. In short, the receiver has to make the catch and complete some other kind of football play. That didn't happen.
--And Malcolm Butler, who knocked the ball out of Odell Beckham's hands on that play, really saved the day, and more than made up for his one awful play--the throw on the second play from scrimmage that allowed Beckham...to...go...all...the...way. (Though McCourty actually ran into him on that play, and it was more McCourty's fault overall than his.) The Giants had to settle for a field goal a few plays later, which put them ahead only by 2 with about 1:30 left.
--Losing Edelman for anything longer than this game is really going to hurt. He does so many things well, but he's also really Brady's favorite receiver. And with Dion Lewis out, that's especially painful.
--The true great ones win in dramatic fashion even when they're not at their best. That was Brady today. Really fortunate not to have 1 or 2 more INTs in this game, and a TD is taken back on a holding call, and he throws a pick on the goal line...and they still win. After completing on a 4th and 10, no less.
--Gostkowski may be the best kicker in the NFL right now, and maybe has been for quite awhile. Nothing against Vinitiari, and these comparisons are sort of useless anyway. But a 54-yarder is not a gimme, of course, and this was to win the game, after being iced once, in hostile territory.
--Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady and the Patriots is like Geno Petralli vs. Roger Clemens. Go figure. And you get a safety if you leave a comment to explain this one, since you'd have to be my age and a serious Sox fan to get it. But it's a solid comparison, in its own way.
--Amendola is another Edelman, who himself was another Wes Welker. Unbelievably awesome receivers who run for a ton of yards after the catch, and make great catches, and catch 7-10 passes per game, and can be used as occasional running backs. They're also short--much shorter than average in the NFL--and bounce back up after catastrophic hits. The Patriots keep churning out these guys.
--The Patriots have, in MHO, the best quarterback, tight end, kicker, receiving corps and coach in the NFL. That'll equal a lot of victories.
--I'm going to bet that Belichik does not retire when Tom Brady does. But they'll forever be thought of together, now and in the Hall of Fame.
--The Patriots barely beat the Giants in their almost-perfect season as well, for those who remember. So let's not get cocky here.