I suppose I should answer and clarify all the muck and crap that's floating out there regarding the Colts and their win over the Giants. Apparently, the New york media just can't seem to get over the fact that:
- The Colts won, and
- The Giants lost
The answer is simple: because you're not as good as those guys. That's why you didn't win, NY. Your team is inferior to the Colts.
Yes, I know that's hard for many moron pundits and so-called expert media talking heads (like Carl Banks on AOL Sports Bloggers Live) who like to pose as objective media, when really they are nothing more than megaphones for the Giants. Yes, the Giants ran the ball well. Yes, they did a very good job stopping Indy's run. However, there is more to football than just running and stopping the run.
There's special teams, and it was the dominant special teams play of the Colts that doomed the Giants, along with the idiotic penalties the Giants committed and dumb plays at the end of the game.
Actually Bob, it is exactly how we at Stampede Blue figured it. If you know anything about football, especially football played at the Meadowlands, you know that special teams is the ultimate equalizer. Great special teams play is a must in East Rutherford, and if you don't have it you might as well not suit up. Information like this is what you'd think the Star would pay Kravitiz to convey to readers. However, since Kravitiz is a complete moronic fool, he doesn't.
The Colts special teams dominated New York's all night. They shut down the Giants' returners. They opened holes to allow Terrence Wilkins at gain 111 return yards (one was a 30 yard return before halftime). They converted their FGs (4-4). They punted well. They kicked off well, forcing the Giants to start deep in their own territory. Special teams was the one phase where game was truly won and lost.
Add to that the fact that several of the Giants' key players are just plain dumb football players. Now, don't get me wrong. I am a big, BIG fan of Eli, Tiki, and Strahan. However, Giants TE Jeremy Shockey and WR Plaxico Burress both stink. Yes, I said it. They stink. I know they have size. I know they can make big plays. However, for every big play they make they seem to make one or two big plays that help the OTHER TEAM. Examples:
- Plaxico Burress, on one key drive in the second quarter, was called for two big penalties. These penalties nulified big runs that would have set the Giants up to score. And yes, they were legit penalties. One was a crack back block penalty that was completely stupid on Burress' part. Another was a block in the back.
- On the final drive, with less than 30 seconds left, Eli Manning completed a pass to Shockey for about 5 yards. Rather than run out of bounds and stop the clock, Shockey turns upfield or extra yardage, and is tackled in bounds. Result: clock keeps ticking and ticking, because NY doesn't have any timeouts. The Giants eventually run out of time and lose the game.
So, while the NY media and many Giants players feel they should have won this game, the sad truth is no, they shouldn't have nor did they win. When you commit dumb penalties (like Webster's 15 yard face mask penalty that set up Rhodes' TD run) and get slapped around on special teams, 9 out of 10 times you are going to lose no matter what your offense does. And for all the great running that Tiki Barber did Thursday night, it was his fault that the handoff was fumbled in the second half. He took the wrong angle on the handoff; Eli fumbled; Colts recovered; BigBlueShoe happy.
Now, analyzing special teams play and pointing a finger at mistakes are not the kinds of things newspapers like to write about. They are also not the sexiest things for talking heads to make noise about. They prefer to harp on supposedly bad calls, missed INTs, "Manning v. Manning," and other such nonesense.
The reason the Giants lost is because they aren't as good as the Colts, especially in big games. The Colts didn't commit dumb penalties. The Colts played great ST. They Colts converted big time on third down (11-16 on third down). Colts were just better. It is literally that simple. Whether the Giants and their media choose to accept that or not is their problem.