Fans are the winners!
Fans of my blog will already know that I predicted the Giants to win Super Bowl XLII.
After coming down from the clouds with my reputation restored and a big fat wallet courtesy of the bookies, I've spent the intervening week analysing just why the Patriots flopped and the Giants prospered.
The most cogent explanation I found was on the Chiefs website and I'm happy to acknowledge that this is a quotation and not my own work:
“The Giants are champions because they played Stone Age football, and their furious pass rush took away Tom Brady’s greatest weapon – time to throw. Suddenly, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history had to rush his throws or eat the ball while averaging a measly 5.5 yards per attempt. His running game averaged 2.8 yards per rush. No wonder the highest-scoring offence in league history was outscored 17-14.”
The rest of this article extolled the virtue of great defence. And how true it is. It is the defence that usually wins Super Bowls. Forty-two was no different.
It was my prediction that the NY pass rush would nullify Tom Brady – and it mostly did. I thought the Giants would be able to run on the Pats - and they did, though I admit not to the extent that I had thought they would.
Truth is: except for falling apart on the last NY drive, in no small part due to some excellent throws by Manning and excellent receptions by the NY receivers, the New Englanders might have won – and deserved to.
The Giants just about deserved their win. The Patriots were just about unlucky. The fans were the winners in what was actually quite a good game for the neutral observer to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
One commentator's view should be of particular interest to the Chiefs fans. The Giants won by playing their young players throughout the season. They gave youth a chance.
This makes good sense – particularly at the “monster” positions – offensive guards and tackles. Chiefs must beef up these area in the draft. Chiefs must avoid taking a marquee player early who may, or (worst case scenario) may not be able to contribute to the team for five years!!
Time for the Chiefs to avoid highly paid free agents and develop some players of their own. That's the noises that are coming out of Arrowhead.
When we see who's available as a free agent and whether the Chiefs can resist the temptation to go for an expensive quick-fix, we'll be a long way towards learning whether the Chiefs front office is serious about building a team – or just blowing smoke.
My abiding memory of the Super Bowl was the banged-up and inexperienced Giants secondary shutting out Brady and his receivers. Chiefs can do the same in 09!
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