Monday, February 04, 2008

The Giant Drive

Arizona (INEPT) - As we bask in the glow of the Giant upset, we here at INEPT have decided to relive this past game in all of its gory detail. We begin with what will from now on be known in Superbowl lexicon simply as this: the Drive. Move over, Elway.

Our Graphical Depiction of Giant Drive (Click on picture to enlarge). Play-by-play here.

The graphical depiction shows the beautiful drive, unfolded in time (vertical) and space (horizontal). Two minutes and four seconds of blood, sweat, and at the end, Plax's tears. So many turning points, each of which could have changed the outcome. As much as we would like to believe it, the win was not inevitable. Because of that, though, it is sweeter. This victory was earned.

It began so simply: a pass threaded to the sure-handed Amani Toomer. 11 yards, first down. So many last-minute drives fail to even get that initial first down. Right off the bat, we can see, there is fight in these Giants. Eli is not rattled; rather, he is preternaturally cool. The only problem (as you can see in the graph above): time is ticking. Already, thirty precious ticks, gone.

Easy E: Cool from the Start

Trouble begins brewing. Two quick incompletions (both hoping to connect with Burress), and we are at the two-minute warning. Third down. Tension is high. The evil team, just two plays away from perfection, and Hater Nation, two plays away from endless agony.

But Eli is up to the task. He zips a pass to Toomer, who catches it, falls, and is quickly touched by Rodney HGHarrison. But, Toomer didn't make it. Another test coming: 4th and 1. In come the heavies. Jacobs in the backfield. Everyone knows who is getting the ball. If Belichick had videotapes, he might even know the exact play call. But he doesn't. The ball is hiked, Jacobs plunges forward. He falls. And he converts. First down!

Jacobs: Needs one, gets two.

Eli scrambles for five, nearly losing the ball in the process. Another moment where the game could have turned. Another sign: the Football Gods might be on the right side (finally). If that play didn't convince of you that divinity favored the team from New York, the next two will. These two plays are the turning point of the drive, the game, the season, and history. Two little plays, one Giant outcome. Here we go.

The Football Gods: Fickle, but Just.

2nd and 5. Eli throws a bad pass out to the right side. Did the receiver run the right route? Was it a bad throw? We might never know. What we do know: the ball was in Asante Samuel's hands. In his hands. If he catches it, game over. If he catches it. If. The ball slips through his hands. The game continues.

Asante "Butterfingers" Samuel

Now play number two. Of course, by itself, this play will live on in football lore. This play, so special, amazing, spectacular, miraculous, that it will have its own name. Thus, we name it: the Catch. Sorry, Dwight, it was that good.

What used to be the Catch; sorry, Dwight.

You know the play by now. So ridiculous, in fact, that there are two components. First, Eli avoids three different Patriots, somehow stumbling his way to freedom. He will not be tackled, he will not be denied. A sack, and it's fourth down and a ways to go. But no sacks are to be found here. Instead, Eli scrambles away, and flings one up there. It soars ...

Eli: Tackle me? No thanks. I'd rather chuck it downfield.

The second part is the stuff of pure legend. The hero: little-used received David Tyree. The foil: none other than Rodney Harrison. The ball wobbles through the air. They leap. Tyree grabs it, but experienced, (artifically) strong, all-pro Rodney gets his arm in there and rips. Rodney has Tyree's arm, Tyree's right arm and head have the ball. How does he hang on? As he hits the ground, he puts his other hand back on it, securing the ball. An unbelievable, how in the world, what the F---? catch. In a moment, the game changes. The Giants are now threatening. But threatening doesn't win games -- they have to get in.

How did Tyree do this?

We know how the Patriots have excelled here. Against a strong Chargers team just two weeks ago, numerous red-zone stops turned touchdowns into field goals, turned defeat into victory. They have done it many times. Would they today?

Trouble: Brewing one last time. In the picture, replace coffee with Trouble. Then, it works.

Despite the Catch, the Giants get into third and long again, thanks to a sack and an incomplete pass. But a new hero emerges. Rookie Steve Smith catches a quick pass towards the sideline, keeps his balance, and side-steps towards the marker. He leans: first down!

Smith: Converts

So here we are. It started off on the Giant 17, but now it is on the Patriot 13. First down. This is where Belichick and friends usually shine. But no more tapes, now, Bill. Just your guts. And your generous, wonderful, red-hoodied gut was telling you: blitz.

Red-hoodied Belichick's Gut: Blitz!

At the line, Eli smiled the smile of a Cheshire cat. Looks like Blitz, he is thinking. Where is Plax? Single with Hobbs. Eli is almost too anxious, almost too excited. Come on and blitz! Blitz! Bring it! Bring it, and we will score. Bring it, and we will win. Bring it, Eli implores. They bring it.

Patriots bring it...

Earlier in the game, in the walk-through, Eli is tossing seen tossing fades to Plaxico. Wobbly, slow, knee-hurting, high-ankle spraining, Superbowl-predicting Plaxico. Each pass falls gently into Plax's hands, a simple yet portentous audition. This is just like the walk-through, just like those many hours of practice. Eli lofts it, Plaxico fakes a slant, turns outside, and cradles the lofted pass. They brought it, Eli threw it, Plax caught it. The Drive, now over. The game, nearly so. And history, sweet record of what has happened, will write: these Giants won the game.

Plaxico cradles Victory

So there it is. So many points where things could have gone wrong. So many chances for 19-0. Instead, we are left with 18-1. And that, dear Haters, sounds like perfection to us.

18-1: The Perfect Ending. Celebrate with a T-shirt!

Coming soon: Some new thoughts on all that is wrong with Patriot nation, and why this loss might have more impact than they would like to let on.

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Anonymous steelerfan4life said...

An excellant recap of an excellant drive....
You tell it so well and with such enthusiasm

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im still ecstatic with the Patriots Loss. Finally, they didnt win by a fucking field goal.

Though, I wish the Giants won by more than 3 points. It reminds me of what the Patriots did those three bowls.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Can't wait for the offseason preview, they're gonna be screwed if Samuel, Stallworth and Moss leave.

They might wanna stock up on guys that can block Justin Tuck, too, hahahahaha

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah true

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting they get caught for cheating in SB vs Rams theyre not considered a dynasty lol.


10:16 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Hehe, that's great!

I will forever associate Strahan and his gap-teeth with Hakuna Matata.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

This is another funny one, done before the Super Bowl. NFL Films parody entitled "Those F*cking Patriots"

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Patty "the best thing to ever happen to the NFL" Pat said...

Aw, dangit. They Lost. Now maybe the haters will crawl back into the sphincter they came out of.

But wait. I hear that an unnamed source from the Rams says that the Gints had a copy of the NE gameplan.

And for the record, Eli still sucks. Michael Strahan and the Gints defense deserved the MVP award. Eli's performance was average. Heck, the HIC coulda played that game.

To wit - the only record the Gints came away with is the oldest kicker. The record audience came to watch the Pats. Who had a record setting season. Yeah, ending with disappointment.

Wonder how many games Prime Time Pats will have next year?

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Patty "Good Night and Good Luck" Pat said...

HIC - See ya next year.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous steelerfan4life said...

I love to hear you whine. You are right though the Pats were a pretty good 2nd tier team---not up to the level of a SuperBowl team but hey they'll still rank in the top 100-150 teams though. Take pride in that. Oh and when you imply the Giants were a mediocre team that got lucky---that just says your pats were sub mediocre so welcome aboard the Patriots hater express.
Oh and as for the Pats having all these great records--- that's great. They're playing a great record now...."loser" by Beck
I for one will relish this for a LONG LONG LONG time

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Drew said...

ahh, sweet victory. When the clock hit :00 (for the 2nd time), fireworks went up. A great moment, as i will always remember beating the 18-1 GAYtriots.

2:33 PM  

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