The NFL: It's fantastic—for the final two minutes | Bleader

Monday, February 6, 2012

The NFL: It's fantastic—for the final two minutes

Posted By on 02.06.12 at 03:32 PM

Tom Brady: Save it for the last two minutes.
The NFL is looking more and more like the NBA—the NBA of 30 years ago, before Michael Jordan, when it was commonly said games were 46 minutes of guys running up and down and then two minutes of real basketball.

All right, it's not quite that bad. Teams do prod each other and parry and thrust on offense and defense throughout the game. Yet when Bob Costas asked New England quarterback Tom Brady before the Super Bowl if he'd rather have a three-point lead and his New York Giants counterpart Eli Manning with the ball in the final minute, or have the ball and be trailing by three (and that indeed is the dynamic that developed), that shows just how predictably unpredictable things have gotten.

As it was, the Patriots gave the Giants a touchdown—that's right, literally laid back and surrendered one—just to get the ball back in the final minute. Brady had answered Costas's question by saying he'd take the ball and the deficit, but of course the question didn't posit a four-point lead with less than a minute to play. It was too much for Brady and the Patriots.

Who deserved to lose. They dropped several catchable passes, didn't come close to recovering the two fumbles the Giants put on the turf, and were prone to stupid penalties—worst of them being a critical one for having too many players on the field, and of course Brady being called for intentional grounding in the end zone on the Pats' first play from scrimmage, which resulted in a safety.

Take those two points back, and Brady has his dream scenario where a field goal wins the game on the final drive. Ain't that just poetic justice.

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