EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 6, 2012

Shades of Tyree

Mario Manningham's sideline grab will be remembered as the play that beat the Patriots

It may not have been quite as dramatic, or quite as bizarre, but Mario Manningham's amazing catch had shades of David Tyree's game-changing head catch four years ago.

With 3:39 to go in the game, Manningham made a tremendous catch, pulling in the pass and barely tapping both toes inbounds.

The play was reviewed and confirmed, and, of course the Giants scored the game-winning touchdown two minutes later.

It, in many ways, was Tyree but with skill instead of luck.

Four-point play

The stick of the night went to Pats safety Pat Chung. It was not only a huge hit, blasting Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks in the ribs and off his feet, it was also a crucial play midway through the third quarter.

Had Nicks caught the ball, New York would have had a red zone first down. Instead, Chung's hit caused an incompletion, the Pats defense turned in stops on consecutive plays and the Giants were limited to a field goal.

The new Faulk

Most everyone was shocked when Patriots stalwart and consummate pro Kevin Faulk was inactive before the game.

But it turned out Danny Woodhead was more than ready to step into the Faulk role. He turned in a pair of key catches in the first half, including when he snuck out of the backfield, scrambled to get open and caught the go-ahead touchdown just before halftime,

That play had a distinct Faulk look to it.

Perfect precision

When Tom Brady is locked in, everything seems easy, so it hardly seemed a shock when he casually completed 18 straight passes last night.

But that actually set the record for the most consecutive completions in a Super Bowl, shattered the record of his idol, Joe Montana (13)

Eli Manning added a record of his own. His scintillating 9-for-9 passing to open the game set the record for the best start for a quarterback in Super Bowl history.

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