In case you missed it, I wrote a Super Bowl article for The Washington Post's Website about how Eli and Brady's legacies were affected on two separate throws and catches (or in one case drop). You can check out the article here.
Peyton Manning is bummed out by the current Indianapolis Colts situation.
With coaches being fired left and right, a new general manager, the Colts most likely drafting his replacement (Andrew Luck) and a $28 million dollar bonus deadline looming, Peyton must be irked at the franchise that he revived in the late 90s and made into a juggernaut for the last 13 seasons (not including 2011) for subtlety dismissing him as of late.
Peyton must be secretly fuming if he thinks he can still play…or that’s what Vince McMahon would want you to think---if he was running the NFL of course.
I think their conversation would go a little like this…
Vince McMahon: Look Peyton, your team is back-stabbing you—you need to play this slighted angle up ALOT more.
Peyton: But I’ve been a Colt my entire life. I love them so much that I even pretended to be positive while Curtis Painter was bouncing passes for eight games!
Vince: Yeah—but you want to play still, right?
Peyton: Of course. I love the game, but I’m not sure about this neck thing. What do you have in mind?
Vince: Well, the Super Bowl is coming up, and I arranged it to be the Giants vs. Patriots.
Peyton: Wait, did you say arrange?
Vince: Focus Peyton! It’s your brother’s team vs. your most hated rival!
Vince: Haven’t you ever heard of high stakes? Like the loser gets their head shaved? Or the loser has to retire? You should re-invent your image with putting stakes on this game?
Peyton: Go on…
Vince: I’ll make arrangements for a press conference next Monday. You will announce that your retirement will hinge on the outcome of this game. If the Giants win—you come back because you can’t bear the fact that your brother would have more Super Bowl rings than you. You will then turn heel and play for a Colts rival, like the Dolphins or the Jets, so you can smoke them twice a year for the next few years. However, if the Patriots win--you retire. This way your most hated team will have the chance of ending your career.
Peyton: But I’m leaning on coming back!
Vince: (laughing) Did you see Super Bowl XLII? Don’t worry, I already arranged for the Giants to win in “miracle” fashion again.
Down 23-16 with 3:56 remaining, Ben Roethlisberger threw a 36 yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery to tie the game at 23, and eventually force overtime. However, Roethlisberger had a chance to win the game in regulation at Denver's 45 yard line (needing about 10-12 yards to set up a game-winning field goal), but fumbled on a sack, losing 11 yards, and then took another sack on 4th down. Pittsburgh lost the game in overtime because...
Tim Tebow threw a strike down the middle on the first play of overtime, which Demaryius Thomas took 80 yards for the game-winning score, 29-23
Down 23-17 with under 5 minutes to go, Drew Brees threw a 44 yard touchdpass to Darren Sproles to take the 24-23 lead over the 49ers late in the game.
However, Alex Smith responded with a 80 yard touchdown drive to take the 29-24 lead (San Francisco missed the 2 point conversion). The drive was set up by a 37 yard pass to Vernon Davis. Smith ran the ball in on a 3rd and 8, rushing 28 yards for the touchdown. However, it should be noted that if Alex Smith stopped at the 1 yard line and didn't score--it would have prevented the following drama from happening...
Down 29-24, Drew Brees threw a 66 yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham, and converted a two point conversion to take the 32-29 lead, leaving Alex Smith and co. only 1:37 left in the game.
Alex Smith then proceeded to lead the 49ers 85 yards on 7 plays, capped by a game-winning 14 yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 9 seconds to go, for the 36-32 victory. Smith also completed a 47 yard pass to Davis on the drive.
Down 23-20 with 1:44 left from their own 21 yard line, Joe Flacco drove the Ravens 65 yards to New England's 14 yard line. However, on a 2nd and 1, Flacco's potential game-winning touchdown pass was dropped by Lee Evans-which was hit out of his hands late by Sterling Moore. Baltimore had to settle for a field goal, but the 32 yarder by Billy Cundiff was rushed (no timeout called by John Harbaugh), and resulted in a muffed kick-which sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl.
A special SUPER BOWL edition of clutchness can be viewed here.
Down 20-13 with 2 minutes left, from Baltimore's 38 yard line, TJ Yates threw his third interception, which ultimately lost the game for the Texans. TJ Yates got another chance for a last-second Hail-Mary--but that fell incomplete for the loss.
Tied at 17 with 5:39 left in regulation, Eli Manning did not look good down the stretch. Eli Manning had five possessions (including 2 in overtime), which resulted in five punts. He was 8 for 13 with 64 yards, and two sacks down the stretch (73.9 passer rating). He was also converted on zero third downs in 5 attempts. However, on the Giants sixth possession, they took advantage of a fumble on a punt return by Kyle Williams, and won the game on a 31 yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes. Eli played no role on that drive, after the Giants ran it 4 times to get 18 yards closer.
However, luckily for Eli & co., Alex Smith was worse down the stretch. With 4:07 remaining in regulation, Alex Smith had 4 possessions (including overtime), which resulted in 3 punts (one possession ended with time running out in regulation). Smith failed to convert on 4 third downs, and finished the game 3 for 8, with 43 yard, and two sacks (55.7 passer rating). However, 29 of those yards was a garbage pass at the end of regulation. Taking that pass out, Alex Smith finished the game with a 34.2 passer rating, which certainly doesn't make him Joe Montana.
Down 41-38 with 2:39 remaining, Matt Flynn, starting in place of a resting Aaron Rodgers, drove the Packers 80 yards, capped by a 4 yard touchdown pass to Jermichael Finley. Flynn threw for 6 touchdowns, ensuring a 15-1 record for Green Bay, as well as a big day for Flynn this upcoming offseason.
Tied at 16 with under 5 minutes to go, Matt Hasselbeck threw a 23 yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington for the eventual Titans victory. However, Tennessee missed out on the last playoff spot due to tie-breakers, even though they finished a strong 9-7.
Down 23-16 with 1:49 remaining, backup Jake Delhomme drove the Texans 64 yards, capped by a 5 yard pass to Bryant Johnson. The Texans decided to go for the two point conversion and the victory, but after a 5 yard penalty, Delhomme received a bad snap for the 23-22 loss.
Tied at 20 in overtime, John Skelton led the Cardinals 71 yards, which led to a game-winning 28 yard field goal by Jay Feely. Skelton was 4 for 4 on the drive for 51 yards. Skelton finished the season strong, going 5-2, leading Arizona to a respectable 8-8 record.
Down 45-41 with 33 seconds on Green Bay's 37 yard line, Matthew Stafford threw the game-losing interception. The loss was important because Detroit will get the sixth seed instead of the fifth seed, and will face the 13-3 New Orleans Saints in round one.
Down 34-27 with less than 3 minutes to go on San Francisco's 40 yard line, rookie Tom Brandstater filling in for an injured Kellen Clemens, threw two straight incompletions for the loss of downs and loss of game for the Rams.
Down 16-10 on Miami's 10 yard line with under 3 minutes to go, Mark Sanchez threw an interception which ended any playoff hopes the Jets had.
Down 17-13 with 1:51 remaining from their own 6 yard line, backup Joe Webb drove Minnesota to their own 46 yard line before throwing the game-losing interception.
Down 24-16 with 1:05 remaining, Andy Dalton drove the Bengals 47 yards to get into range for a Hail-Mary, but his two attempts fell incomplete for the loss to Baltimore. The Bengals clinched a playoff spot nonetheless.
Down 13-9 with 1:46 remaining, Seneca Wallace drove the Browns 52 yards, but his last ditched Hail-Mary attempt fell incomplete for the loss to Pittsburgh.
Down 7-3 in the fourth quarter, Tim Tebow had four possessions which led to 3 punts and an interception for the Broncos loss. Tebow finished with only 60 yards passing, and only scored 3 points in what they thought was a must-win game. However, because of the Oakland loss, Denver still clinched the AFC West crown, despite an 8-8 record.
Down 16-12 with 1:56 remaining, Dan Orlovsky drove the Colts 78 yards, capped by a 1 yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne with 19 seconds remaining for the 19-16 victory. The key play on the drive was a 34 yard pass to Wayne on 3rd down to get the Colts within striking distance for the go-ahead score.
Down 13-6 with 2:57 to go, Kyle Orton led the Chiefs 80 yards, capped by a 3 yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe to tie the game at 13. After getting the ball back with 19 seconds remaining, Orton quickly threw two passes, one for 25, the next for 11, to get Kansas City into field goal position to win the game. However, Ryan Succop's 49 yard attempt was blocked. The Chiefs went on to lose in overtime because...
Carson Palmer threw a 53 yard strike to DarriusHeyward-Bey to set up the game-winning 36 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.
Up 27-24 with 1:35 remaining, Tom Brady converted a 3rd and 5 pass to Wes Welker for 6 yards to ice the game for the Patriots over the Dolphins.
Down 17-16 with just over 5 minutes remaining, Alex Smith threw a 41 yard pass to Michael Crabtree to set up what would be the game-winning 39 yard field goal by David Akers.
Down 23-16 with under three minutes to go, John Skelton threw an incomplete pass on 4th down for a loss of downs. Skelton got another opportunity with 48 seconds and no timeouts, but ultimately ran out of time, throwing the last play over the middle, instead of a Hail-Mary attempt.
Down 20-14 with 2:24 from their own 8 yard line, Mark Sanchez was sacked for a safety for the loss to the Giants.
Down 33-26 with 55 seconds and one timeout from their own 36, Rex Grossman got Washington into position for one last Hail-Mary attempt, but it fell incomplete for the loss to the Vikings.
Down 20-13 with 4:03 remaining on 4th and 5, Seneca Wallace threw an out-pass to Peyton Hillis, which had no chance of converting of a 1st down for the Browns loss.
Down 19-17 with just over a minute remaining, Tarvaris Jackson fumbled the ball on San Francisco's 48 yard line. Jackson got another opportunity with 41 seconds left from their own 26 yard line, but Jackson threw an incomplete pass on 4th and 2 for the loss of downs and game for Seattle.
Denver (-2.5) over BUFFALO: Tim Tebow on Christmas Eve? With a win most likely ensuring a playoff spot? Even the devil would consider this is a lock.
NEW ENGLAND (-9.5) over Miami: The Patriots need two wins to ensure home-field throughout the playoffs. Translation: They will try to run up the score.
Arizona (-4.5) over CINCINNATI: Do you know John "Helter" Skelton is 6-3 career starting for the Cardinals, while Arizona is 6-15 when he doesn't start? This game could go either way, but I like the points.
NEW YORK JETS (-2.5) over NY Giants: Homer pick.
San Diego (+2.5) over DETROIT: After blowing out Baltimore, Philip Rivers is now 23-2 in December. Both teams need a win desperately, but I trust Rivers more than a Jim Schwartz coached Lions.
Atlanta (+6.5) over NEW ORLEANS: In the Matt Ryan era, this game has always been close. Out of the 7 games played, Atlanta has only won twice, but they have only lost by more than 7 once. Expect another close one.
TOTAL PICKS: 125-99* (7-9 last week) MY VALUE PICKS: 48-43 (3-3 last week)
Down 27-21 with 2:14 remaining, Matthew Stafford led the Lions 98 yards, capped by a 6 yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson. Stafford threw for 391 yards and 4 touchdowns, and overcome a late 13 point 4th quarter deficit to put Detroit in great shape to make the playoffs.
Tied at 17 in overtime, John Skelton threw a 32 yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald to set up the game-winning 22 yard field goal by Jay Feely. Skelton is 4-1 as a starter this year, and Arizona is back in the playoff mix at 7-7.
Down 28-27 with about 20 seconds left and one timeout, Carson Palmer took an awful sack, forcing Oakland to use their last timeout. Because of that, Oakland wasn't able to get legit field goal positioning, and Sebastian Janikowski's 65 yard attempt was blocked. Also, on the previous drive, Carson Palmer could've sealed the win for Oakland but overshot his receiver Chaz Schilens on a 3rd down.
Tied at 17 with just over 5 minutes remaining, Seneca Wallace had three possessions (including one in overtime) to win the game, but punted on each possession. Wallace finished the game 2-7 for 33 yards, but more importantly 0-3 on 3rd downs.
My name is Sean Moroney and I am a sports writer from Montclair, NJ. In 2009, I wrote a book entitled, "Pro Quarterback Manifesto: Enter The Fourcade" -which details the importance of the quarterback position through an original formula in which I created.
After skipping last season for this blog, I am re-purposing my QB Formula, the Fourcade aka ("4CR") to see if it will work for gambling purposes. Bet at your own risk.