Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Analysis, by the Numbers

The Pats try to trademark 19-0. Just as the Broncos did back in 1998, how did that turn out for them?

18-1: The Historic Near Champtionship Season of New England's Very Beatable Patiot's. Available at [ed. note. The link has been removed since it no longer is active. Apparently the book won't be availble, but you can still get the Patriots SB XLII Champs commemerative coin here.]

Let's analyze the Amazon link for a second:

First of all in the "Buy this with..." section you can pair the 19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England's Unbeatable Patriots with a copy of New York Giants: 2008 Super Bowl Champions for only 23.74.

Secondly, the Number 2 item bought by people who viewed this book was Lost: Season 3. Is that just ultimate irony.

Third, the fact that the book has been tagged by a few people for easy searching capabilities with the clever tags of Fiction, Cheating, Failure, and Hubris, as well as the ever so classy buttsecks, douchebags, and homosexuality.

I also love that searches for Super Bowl Parade bring up Yahoo! Answers articles of "When is the Patriots Super Bowl Parade" and the conflict Boston faces going up against Super Tuesday.

What's the difference between confident and cocky? 19-0 and 18-1. And I'm not just pointing out that being cocky gave the Patriots that nice little one next to their record. The fact that the New York Post, the most reputable tabloid in the country, requested an 18-1 trademark in response to Bob Kraft. How is that different? I'm sure it wouldn't have even crossed their mind to trademark a season record, until the over-confident a.k.a cocky Patriots tried to Trademark 19-0. New York was confident that they could shock the world, New England was cocky, and knew they were going to win. That's the difference between 19-0 and 18-1.

Ok I'm sure many of you have had enough of people rubbing it in so I'll stop while I'm ahead. I loved seeing Plaxico nearly breakdown during his post-game interview. Moments like that are what make the Super Bowl the most watched event on TV. These players finally get to stop worrying and pushing harder for one moment and realize that it was all worth it. Football is a game where emotions can harm and they can help in the outcome of a game. I suppose now I will just point out some of the key numbers/plays/stats/decisions in last nights game:

0 - Times before last night that Brothers won Back to Back Super Bowls or Back to Back Super Bowl MVPs like the Mannings did in 06 and 07.

1 - Number of TDs thrown by Tom Brady. In all 19 games this season, Brady threw for less than 2 only 3 times, including last night.

2 - Number of TDs thrown by Eli Manning. In all 19 games this season, Manning threw for 2+ TDs only 8 times.

3 - Number of times a New York Punt was not returned by the Pats. Jeff Feagles the 20 year vet, did what he does best last night, directional punting. He landed 2 inside the 20. Feagles is one of the good guys in the league, he deserved a ring.

4 - Number of Punts by New England punter Chris Hanson. In 19 games Hanson punted the ball 4+ times only 6 times, and 4 of those were in the last 6 games.

5 - Number of Sacks by the New York Giants, by 4 different Giants defensemen. The Giants were in the New England backfield all night. This is what many thought could be the key to a NY victory and it was. The G-Men also had 9 hurries and I don't know how many knockdowns but there were more than a few times Brady was on the turf.

6 -th time, Last night was the 6th time Eli led the Giants to a victory after trailing going into the 4th.

7 - Amount of time, in seconds, that Eli had to scramble around the backfield and avoid Patriot defenders and find David Tyree for the game changing first down on 3rd and 5 with 1:10 left.

8 - Number of NY 3rd down conversions compared to NE only making 7. Also The Giants were 1-1 on 4th down, and the Pats 0-2. One of which being on 4th and long when a 49 yd Field Goal would have sufficed. Especially since they lost by 3. This was a prime example of Belichick's Hubris coming out and it affected the Pats negatively. 4th and anything longer than 5, especially near mid-field is very rarely a good decision, unless it is the only decision.

9 - :59. Just under 10 minutes the New York 9:59 opening drive was the longest in Super Bowl history, and it was a major surprise to many out there who expeceted an Eli disaster under pressure. As I noted in the running diary I posted during the game, the Giants looked really relaxed, surprisingly relaxed which was a good omen for the game. Of course I incorrectly projected that following my astute observation the Giants would "subsequently choke early and often from now on" which I'm glad to say I was incorrect on.

10 - amount of solo tackels by James Butler of the NYG. The Giants D impressed big time last night with all starting 11 plus some more guys making a lot of key tackles. In my John Madden moment, if you tackle the other team's players you have a better chance to win the game. Missed tackles can kill a team, you give up yardage, you're on the field longer, you start to fight with your teammates. One missed tackle has been the main cause of many a loss over the years. I don't remember manay if any missed tackles by the Giants last night, they held their ground and made plays when they had to.

11 - amount of yards Laurence Maroney had in the first half, on 8 carries. The Patriots finished with 45 total yards rushing. Going into this game the Giants knew they needed to stop the pass, and they were successful, and New England's run game, despite impressing in recent weeks, was flat.

12 - plays it took the Giants to move 83 yards in 2:07. A remarkable job by Eli commanding the troops.

13 - yards between the Giants and the Goal Line with 39 seconds left in the game before hitting Plaxico on the Sluggo route.

14 - final score for the Patriots, 3 less than Plaxico predicted for the Pats which Tom Brady, and most of the world, scoffed at.

15 - out of 16 regular season games the Pats score 21+ points, in 2 of the 3 post-season games they scored 21 or less, including last night.

16 - their own 16 yard line is where the Pats season ended after 3 incomplete passes and one 10 yard sack of Brady.

17 - Points the Giants scored to beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

18 - seconds left in the 1st half when Brady was sacked and fumbled the ball in Giants territory giving the Pats no chance to increase their lead going into halftime.

19 - :27, Time New York had possession in the first half. Holding the ball for 2/3 of the first half was one of the big reasons the Giants took down the Patriots.

20 - dollars in a bet that I should have taken up with my boss, from Rhode Island.

When all is said and done, last night's game was one for the ages. And the Perfect end to an Imperfect season in New England. And on a side note, listening to Mike and Mike this morning Tom Jackson was on and he said that statistically the Patriots were the best team in NFL history. Well I would disagree I can think of 42 teams that were better in the most important End of the season Statistical Category. That would be a W or L next to their name in the Super Bowl.