Print Edition: December 6, 2011
The 1998 Denver Broncos, riding an 18-game winning streak stretching over two seasons, ran into a hungry Giants team who defeated the Broncos and ended the streak at 18. The 2007 New England Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season and made it to the Super Bowl. Hoping to be the first team to finish a season undefeated and win the Super Bowl since the 1972 Miami Dolphins, The New England Patriots had one last test in the Super Bowl, The New York Giants. The Patriots lost Super Bowl 42 to the Giants 17-14 in the last minute of the fourth quarter, finishing the Patriots season at 18-1. The New York Giants have ended two 18-game winning streaks in their history, and nearly stopped a third last weekend.
The Green Bay Packers came into Sunday’s game versus the Giants putting their 18-game win streak stretching over two seasons on the line. Although the Giants did all they could despite many questionable calls going the Packers way, the Packers prevailed on a last-second field goal by Mason Crosby after Giants quarterback (QB) Eli Manning drove down the field for a score.
Both QBs had similar numbers at the end of the game. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 368 yards on 28 attempts including four touchdowns and an interception. Giants QB Eli Manning completed 23 passes for 347 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The game changing factor was Eli Manning’s interception which was returned for a touchdown by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.
The Giants definitely made a game out of it after being blown out and embarrassed on national television by the New Orleans Saints last week on Monday Night Football. Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks with 58 seconds left which made the score 35-33. Ahmad Bradshaw ran it into the end zone for the two point conversion and tied the score at 35. However, 58 seconds is too much time to give Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers orchestrated the offence down the field and called a time out with a second left on the game clock. Mason Crosby drilled the game-winning field down the middle of the uprights keeping the perfect record intact.
Many are wondering why Giants head coach Tom Coughlin didn’t run big running back Brandon Jacobs on the final drive to take more time off the clock. Brandon Jacobs, who was averaging over seven-yards a carry, saw next to no action on the Giants final drive. Instead, Coughlin opted for Manning to throw the ball, which gained yards but in a shorter amount of time. However, not all the blame can be put on Tom Coughlin. The Giants defence didn’t step up when they were called on. Packers receiver Jordie Nelson caught a 20-yard pass which was key in the game winning drive, as it put the Green Bay club in field goal territory. The Packers will put their undefeated streak on the line next week versus the Oakland Raiders.
Around the NFL: The Seattle Seahawks downed the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday by a score of 31-14. With a 4-8 record, the Eagles are eliminated from the playoffs. This is the same Eagles team that was seen as heavy Super Bowl favourites prior to the start of the regular season. Tim Tebow continues to win games somehow, and Broncos fans are loving it. Tebow rallied his team back in the fourth quarter, tying the game up with just a couple minutes remaining. On the Vikings next possession, QB Christian Ponder threw an interception that set up the game winning field goal for the Denver Broncos. With the win and the Oakland Raiders losing, the Broncos are tied for the division lead and the playoffs are looking more and more likely.