With a little over four minutes remaining in the Sunday’s Super Bowl game, The Patriots were up by two points and were driving to put the game away. It was second down and 11 at the Giants 44 yard line. Wes Welker found himself wide open in a seam on the left side. It would have been a first down and much more. As the ball neared the wide open Welker, he suddenly was seen going backwards, body twisting, ball hitting him in the hands, then falling awkwardly. The critics came out of the woodwork after the game and even much more on Monday.
Giants 21 Patriots 17 | Super Bowl XLVI
The first score of the game was a bizarre safety — New England quarterback Tom Brady called for intentional grounding from his own end zone. It made the difference.
At the other end of the game, with the Giants driving inside the Patriots’ 10 yard line, down two points, and the clock nearing a minute to go before confetti time, New York had to score a touchdown in order to force New England to score their own TD instead of a field goal. The Giants indeed did score that TD, with a bit of the bizarre there, too. But, without that safety, it would have only taken a Pats field goal at the end to force an overtime.
Giants 20 49ers 17 (OT) | NFC Championship
In the modern game of football, you can still make a good living with a suffocating defense. But there has to be a semblance of an offense when it is needed. Such as on third downs to keep drives alive. The New York Giants were 7-for-21 in third-down situations. The San Francisco 49ers were 1-for-13, allowing the Giants to have more of their share of possession.
And when you can’t make first downs, these things tend to happen: