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Win, Win

Life is magical and full of joy!

Two sweet victories today for my NFL stalwarts.

New York Jets 27
Buffalo Bills 11

New York Giants 24
New England Patriots 20

In the morning game, Gang Green thoroughly whupped the Buffalo Bills. They've been doing that for a few years now, but this year's Buffalo squad was supposedly to be different, and had the home field advantage besides, so I was anxious about this one. And the first half made me nervous, I must admit. The Jets were shutting down the Bills, driving up and down the field, and dominating the time of possession... but none of that was translating to points on the board. That situation ALWAYS makes me nervous. Ten minute, eighty yard drives are well and good, but unless they end in a TD or at least a FG, they count for nothing, and in the NFL the worm can turn at any moment. The Jets enjoyed a 3-0 lead at halftime, not nearly enough considering how they'd owned the half.

Thankfully, the second half was a different story. The D stayed tough, and Mark Sanchez and the offense finally started finishing some drives with scores. Buffalo's last hope expired when Gang Green's defense stopped them on fourth and inches late in the fourth quarter. This victory belonged to Rex's defense, I thought... but Plaxico Burress deserves some kudos as well. Plax has really been coming on these past two games.

The Giants/ Pats game, in contrast, was a real nail-biter. Not the crispest game ever played, no. Both teams committed way too many ghastly turnovers and way too many costly penalties. But you can't say it wasn't exciting, especially the second half.

The first half featured even less scoring than the Jets game, and halftime ended in a 0-0 tie when the Patriots blew a chance to tack on a late field. The G-Men looking like they were taking control in the third quarter, and seemed on the point of pulling away to a two score lead when they had second and goal from the 2 yard line... until an inexcusable delay of game penalty pushed them back five yards. The Eli threw a horrible interception in the end zone, and that worm I mentioned up above turned with a vengeance. Tom Brady drove the length of the field, and instead of being up 17-3, Big Blue found itself in a 10-10 tie.

Then things really got exciting. As the clock wound down, the game took on an eerie similarity to the Giants/ Patriots Superbowl. The Pats took their first lead with a FG, but Eli and the Giants answered, and Eli tossed a TD to Mario Manningham in the corner of the endzone... the same corner where Plaxico Burress caught the winning TD in Superbowl 42. That made the score 17-13; the final score in the Superbowl was 17-14. Echoes, indeed.

Only... when Plaxico caught that TD, there were only 39 seconds left on the clock. Not enough time for Tom Brady to work a miracle (though, damn, he came close on that one long pass). This time, Manningham caught the go-ahead TD with 3 minutes left on the clock. When I saw that, I broke off my cheering long enough to turn to Parris with a frown. "Too much time," I said. "They left Brady with too much time." And then Manningham compounded the situation by getting flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting the Pats defender, a truly bone-headed move, since it gave the Pats great field position after the kickoff.

And sure enough, Brady wasted no time in taking the Patriots right down into the red zone. But maybe he should have wasted some time... when he threw a fourth-down TD to his tight end, to put the Patriots up 20-17, there was still a minute and a half left. "Too much time," I said said. "They left Eli too much time. We have a chance."

And we did. The closing seconds stopped my heart a couple of time, and REALLY brought back that old SuperBowl deja vu. An incredible catch by the new Giants tight end Jake Ballard (who has made me forget all about Kevin Boss) reminded me of the Tyree miracle catch, and when Ballard caught the winning TD with seconds left, it was once again in the same corner of the endzone where Plax made his catch.

And this time they only left Tom Brady fifteen seconds.

Whew!

This was a big, big victory for the Giants. The Patriots had not lost at Foxboro since Calvin Coolidge was in the White Hosue, I think. And the G-Men did it without Ahmad Bradshaw, their best running back, or Hakeem Nicks, their best wideout. But Brandon Jacobs ran like the old Brandon Jacobs, and Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard stepped up big time. I love these guys. Both of them came out of noweher, but they come up big in crunch time.

So the Giants maintain their two-game lead in the NFC East. Now all they have to do is do it again next week... and the week after... and the week after that... and the week after THAT... and... well, the schedule is a meatgrinder, no doubt, but I'll worry about that later. Right now I'll just enjoy this win.

As for the Jets... they're now in a three-way tie for the lead in the AFC East, and next week they get the Patriots at home. Should be intensev.

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Comments

( 29 comments )
Awet M
Nov. 7th, 2011 07:14 am (UTC)
Super Bowl 42
If Randy Moss didn't have alligator arms, he would've caught that long pass from Brady. Tsk.
danbuter1
Nov. 7th, 2011 08:34 am (UTC)
I'm always happy when someone beats the Pats! It was a great game. Major kudos to the Giants.

I did want the Bills to win, though. Mainly because it's been so, so long since they made it to the playoffs and the Jets choke too often for me to want to see them make it again.
smofbabe
Nov. 7th, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)
Thanks for beating the Patriots at home - congrats on a close win. But you didn't mention the biggest NFL story of the day: the Dolphins finally won a game :->
grrm
Nov. 7th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
Yes... and by doing so, they may have cost themselves Andrew Luck.

nycfalcon
Nov. 7th, 2011 06:33 pm (UTC)
The Dolphins aren't the worst team and in the NFL and their remaining schedule isn't grueling. I think they are going to win a game or two more. I don't think they would have 'won' the number one pick.
kongoagon
Nov. 7th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
C'mon Peyton Manning, get well soon!
confused_3l
Nov. 7th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
Fins could still get Luck-y
I doubt it. Indianapolis won't draft Luck, with Peyton Manning still enjoying demigod status there, and probably having at least 5 years of FB left. Well, they might draft him and trade him for a King's Ransom, but either way Miami's in the running.
smofbabe
Nov. 7th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
Well, hopefully not - does mean I have to hold my nose and root for the Colts to win at least one more than we do.
venardhi
Nov. 7th, 2011 09:31 am (UTC)
You have a week to enjoy that sweet taste of victory.
The Niners are up next, and I don't think they're quite ready to give up this streak.
sistercrow
Nov. 7th, 2011 10:50 am (UTC)
I really don't like football (to put it mildly). But I read most of your football posts. You know you're a great writer when you can get me to read your football posts, just because you wrote them.
pulvatory
Nov. 7th, 2011 12:54 pm (UTC)
Association football would drive you crazy
> The Jets were shutting down the Bills, driving up and down the field, and dominating the time of possession... but none of that was translating to points on the board. That situation ALWAYS makes me nervous.

I don't think you'd enjoy watching association football. One team dribbles across the field, passing the ball with the grace of dancers, but hit the post more often than the net. In the end, they get counter-attacked, someone in defense makes a mistake and they end-up losing. It would probably drive you crazy.
starfishchick
Nov. 7th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
My favourite part of either game was Sanchez getting the holding call after lining up as a receiver on the wildcat play. Hilarious.
pilgrim23
Nov. 7th, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC)
life is meaningless and full of pain. -plymouth, ma
indigofan
Nov. 7th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm with you. That just sucked.

I mean, Grats to the Giants and all that, but...

::grumble::
krtwood
Nov. 7th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
I haven't decided whether Eli is just a lucky bastard or he was actually trying to get those pass interference calls throwing the ball short into the defender. A true Lannister move.
Carl Terwilliger
Nov. 7th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
The Giants played well and I think they have solid momentum moving into San Francisco. That game is gonna be tough and then the Eagles. Im looking forward to the rematch. And I have to speak about Mark. You must've seen, well Im not sure what to call it, a shimmy/hold when he lined up wide lol. Classic...

And to add. I'm one of the lucky few who ordered A Dance with Dragons from Subterranean Press. So ecstatic, waking up everyday at 7am checking the email since October. Even glimpsing spoilers. Still, I feel like I'm in an exclusive club. Thanks!
bluekard
Nov. 7th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Go Big Blue!
The Giants win was indeed sweet and you are very correct in noting the resemblance to Super Bowl XLII. Say what you will about Eli, and I constantly feel gnawing worm of anxiety whenever he throws off of his back foot, I would never bet against him in the 4th quarter against the Pats.
It is a glorious day...now on the San Francisco!
boskier
Nov. 7th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're happy with football
My crimson tide let me down. Hopefully I got a copy of the illustrated Dance with Dragons on time. I don't think I could handle two big defeats in one weekend.
lithlyrian
Nov. 7th, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
The first thing I said to my husband after the Giants won (we are a Giants home, too) was "George RR Martin is smiling right now!" haha
Go Blue!!

kayyymen
Nov. 7th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
God I hate the patriots! Congrats on the win *update*. Next week you got the 49'ers, my favorite team, and they are really hot *us* at the moment: they've won their last 6 games! *on winds* So that's going to one exciting match up I am definitely looking *of winter* forward to!!!
dray_prescot
Nov. 7th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
My Chiefs gave Matt Moore enough time in the pocket to look like the second coming of Dan Marino. In fact, Marino's grandmother could have made those pass completions.

The Chiefs are the Jekyl and Hyde of the NFL this season.
nycfalcon
Nov. 7th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
Fantastic post George. It made me relive the games.

Next weeks Jets/Pats game is definitely going to be intense. Three losses in a row for Brady and Bill? Talk about a tall order.

I have never felt he was a great QB and I still don't think he's an elite one. I guess he's the equivalent to Phil Simms (I'd still pick Phil). But, he has proven to be good enough. Good enough to beat the best.

As I was watching the Giants game I kept thinking about Eli's comments. They may have mentioned it once or twice.

I remembered that Ernie Accorsi said he liked Eli's intangibles. A quick search led me to your 'favorite' books.google and this excerpt from the book "Eli Manning: the Making of a Quarterback" By Ralph Vacchiano, Ernie Accorsi. "You can call it anything you want -- intangible, magic. But he's got to have some quality that you feel. And it's different than other position because the quarterback position is so different. Athleticism is important, there's no question about it, but the magic to me is more important."

Eli definitely has some magic dust floating around him. That and he's apparently extremely diligent in improving as a QB and is a tough cookie.
coscaram
Nov. 7th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
As a Pats fan, I can bemoan their terrible play. However, I also have to give credit, where it is due. The Giants were missing several key players and were still able to grind out a tough win. I owe Mr. Manning an apology, for wisecracks I made, earlier in the season.

The Jets showed, once again, that Rex Ryan and his staff have some of the best minds, in football. Each week they find key matchups and exploit them.
stark_winter
Nov. 7th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
Nope.. Life is misererable and full of pain!
As a Crimson Tide fan and a Steelers fan, this weekend probably contained the two worst end game scenarios I've ever seen. But to be honest Sunday's loss doesn't hold a candle to how down I am after Bama's overtime loss to LSU. Oh well, roll tide anyways!
cleverkid
Nov. 7th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC)
Prepare yourself for next week! The Niners defense is going to hurt the giants, win or lose.
direpickle
Nov. 7th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Bengals!
How about those Bengals? 6-2 with a five game winning streak! The first half of their schedule was the easy half, and the scores haven't really reflected the fact that they've been losing up until the last few minutes of many of the games, but it's pretty nice compared to last season!
whitewolf6613
Nov. 8th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
George. I love all that you do. You cracked me up in Redwood City. But all bets are off on Sunday.
nutzin94
Nov. 9th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
I'M DONE!
Are you a GIANTS or Jets fan? I grew up in North Jersey outside of NYC, kind of like you and I can't believe you're both a GIANTS and jets fan. Yes, I'm a GIANTS FAN.

WHO ARE YOU ROOTING FOR WHEN THE GIANTS AND JETS PLAY???

GO GIANTS!!!

I know it's a home game for the jets, but it's both their home stadium, originally known as GIANTS STADIUM!!!!!!!!

Please pick who you'r rooting for now.

ps - it just dosen't make sense???

signed: Nutzin94!
gracht
Nov. 11th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
nfl
american football... sigh... as much a mystery as the knight of the laughing tree and why Sam is still overweight after months of forced marches through snow and blizzards, weeks of sea sickness, then no money to buy food etc. Very depressing to all chubby inclined readers on diets... sigh again...

Meanwhile back at Stirling Castle a football kicked around by Mary Queen of Scots is discovered this week proving the Scots invented football 500 year before the English think they invented it. Not only that, the first football game known to have been played was the Queen of Scots and her ladies in waiting against the garrison. Arya would get a kick out of that.. no pun intended... I wonder who won? (Now if Cersei had been playing, who would have dared to beat her?)
( 29 comments )

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