Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pats & Giants Make 2nd Date!

When the New York Giants sunk to 0-2 and #27 in my Week 2 NFL Rankings back on September 18th of last year, little did I think they would bounce back and be able to salvavge their season, let alone make the playoffs. Nine other teams started the year with the same 0-2 start as the Giants got off to, and none of them managed to make it back to .500 - let alone make the playoffs. In a thrilling game tonight in Green Bay, the Giants again played error-free ball. Brett Favre threw two interceptions for the Packers, the second of which proved costly as it set up the game winning 47 yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes 2:35 into the extra period to give the Giants a 23-20 win. Tynes went from potential goat to hero as he had two chances to give the Giants the lead in the fourth quarter, pulling a 43 yard field goal attempt wide left with 6:43 to go and doing the same with a 36 yarder as time expired - the latter though was more the fault of the snapper as a bad snap threw off the timing of the play.

In the early game, the New England Patriots beat the San Diego Chargers 21-12 to extend their perfect run to 18 games. The Chargers scored one more time than the Patriots and also turned the ball over one fewer time, but once again the Patriots took care of business when it counted. Tom Brady threw for two scores and Lawrence Maroney had a one yard touchdown run to account for the Patriot scoring. The Chargers could never get in the end zone against the "bend but don't break" Patriots defense, settling for four field-goals by Nate Kaeding. The Chargers defense forced three Brady interceptions, including one in the end zone with just under three minutes to go in the third quarter to keep them in the game. The injured TE Antonio Gates and RB LaDainian Tomlinson were non-factors for the Chargers as Gates only caught two passes for 17 yards, and Tomlinson only touched the ball three times before being pulled out of the game early in the first quarter by coach Norv Turner.

What would have a healthy Chargers team done against the Patriots? None of us really knows, but the Pats certainly seem like a team of destiny. One more win and they become the first team to ever go 19-0 in a season. It almost seems impossible to be talking about that! The Giants and Patriots now get two weeks to prepare for the rematch of their December 29th, 2007 thriller where the Pats ran their regular season record to a perfect 16-0. For a second time, the New York Giants stand in the way of this season's New England Patriots making history. Will the Giants be able to make some history of their own this time, or will the Patriots accomplish what many thought was unthinkable in this age of parity in the NFL? In two weeks we get to find out!


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