INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants celebrates with his teammates after his a two-yard touchdown against the New England Patriots in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Giants had no turnovers once again. Against the Packers, Eli Manning air mailed a pass in the middle of the field that was intercepted by S Morgan Burnett. That turned out to be the only turnover the Giants allowed in four playoff games. The Giants deserve a lot of credit for being careful with the ball, but they got some fumble luck against the Patriots.
Forcing a fumble is something a defense can do, but recovering a fumble is a 50/50 proposition. It's hard to predict where a football is going to bounce. WR Hakeem Nicks had one fumble that luckily bounced backwards and away from multiple Patriot defenders. RB Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled deep in Giants territory, and I don't know how that one Patriot defender missed it, but OL Chris Snee fell on the ball instead. And the Victor Cruz non-fumble that never happened due to a penalty, but actually bounced in favor of the Patriots.
The Patriots best starting field position was their own 29 yard line. You hear talk about winning the field position battle, and the Giants got it done. One of the hidden keys to the Patriots victory in the AFC Championship game was that the Ravens had lousy field position throughout the game. The Giants didn't have great field position either, but the two drives with their best starting field position (their own 35 and 48 yard lines) led to field goals. The Patriots started three drives inside their own 10 yard line, including one that led to a safety.
There were other key plays such as the Mario Manningham catch that was just barely in bounds or the Wes Welker drop. Both teams made each of them work for everything they got. And the Giants made just a couple more big plays to come away with the victory.
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