EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 6, 2012

Two-Minute Drill: Giants 21, Patriots 17

Big Shows

1. Brandon Spikes - His aggressive nature on defense is something the entire team has to learn again. Rip it, strip it, hit it, attack it. Eight solo tackles, on which the Giants gained 37 yards. I love the aggression. Just don't ask him to cover someone.

2. Mark Anderson - Had 1.5 sacks and disrupted Eli Manning most of the night.

3. Jerod Mayo - Eight solo tackles and a strip. A good night, not great, but good.

No Shows

1. Wes Welker - You have to make that catch in the fourth quarter drive for the kill. It's a tough one, but this franchise needed that catch.

2. Tom Brady - 6 of 15 for 64 yards with a sack and an interception in the fourth quarter. He basically tossed his third Super Bowl MVP away.

3. Sterling Moore - That slap at the football when you're beaten that saved your backside against Baltimore doesn't work against a professional receiver like Mario Manningham. Surrendered the 38-yard bomb that set up the game-winner.

Grading the Groups


Line (B-) ... An adequate job against a top-notch front four. Run game produced 4.4 yards a carry. Brady had time. He got hit when he held the ball too long.

Receivers (C) ... I love Deion Branch, but in this matchup he had to beat single coverage. It didn't happen enough. Had three catches for 45 yards. Please tell me the Chad Ochocinco experiment is now kaput.

Tight Ends (C) ... Rob Gronkowski's ankle injury was huge, helping limit him to only two catches. Aaron Hernandez had two drops, two more than a team can afford in a Super Bowl. These guys have been good for 15 catches a game. 10 for 103 wasn't enough.

Backs (C) ... Both David Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis had flashes, but faded late. This team must find some consistency at the position, be it one of these two or Shane Vereen or Stevan Ridley.

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