Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sorrentino: Super Bowl XLII MVP stolen from Giants d-line

February 6, 2008

It's a shame only one New York Giant was named Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLII.

After New York's 17-14 shocker against New England on Sunday, I would have renamed the award to read as follows:

Most Valuable Players.

Six, to be exact.

What's the big deal in making extra room on the MVP trophy to engrave the six Giants defensive linemen who had the biggest impact on the most surprising victory of the NFL season?

What's the big deal in changing the Disney commercial from "I'm going to Disneyland" to "We're going to Disneyland?"

Now replacing Eli Manning with the real MVPs of Super Bowl XLII: Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Barry Coefield, Fred Robbins and Jay Alford.

Congratulations, gents: You frustrated Tom Brady more than any team had all year. It resulted in five sacks and a dozen more times of putting Brady on the ground.

Sure, Manning led the Giants to the game-winning drive. Impressive. That game-winning scenario, though, wouldn't have been possible without the pass rush that the Giants' bad boys put on Brady.

Strahan and Co. were like bullies on the playground. Out of control, ruthless and controlling of their space. It was the only way to beat the Patriots. Put pressure on Brady and introduce him and the turf as new friends.

Before Sunday, Brady was sacked an average of 1.33 times per game. New York sacked Mr. GQ five times, more than any team had all season.

Before Sunday, Brady laughed during a press conference when asked to comment on Plaxico Burress' prediction that New England would score only 17 points. I have no problem admitting I was laughing considerably harder than Brady when I first heard the prediction.

After all, New England averaged 35.61 points before Sunday. New England had scored at least 31 points in 13 of its 18 games before Super Bowl XLII.

We're talking about Brady, who passed for an NFL-record 50 touchdown passes in the regular season, compared to only eight interceptions. Only 17 points? Yeah right.

Giants fans have their defensive line to thank for the Patriots' plummeted 14-point scoring output, their lowest of the season.

I'm far from a defensive line coach, but it was evident that Strahan and Umenyiora's raw speed on the outside created large gaps on the inside for defensive tackles such as Tuck and Alford to apply pressure on Brady.

Tuck, who somehow didn't even start, sacked Brady twice and registered six tackles.

And how about Alford's sack to put away the Patriots at the end? I haven't seen Brady crushed like that all season. Alford, who also appeared to be held on the play, must have driven Brady back five yards in the air.

The Giants defensive line didn't have a gimmick like the Steelers' Steel Curtain or the Vikings' Purple People Eaters. The Giants defense wasn't praised nearly as much as the defenses of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens or the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which featured defense at the forefront of their Super Bowl victories.

This year's Giants defensive line simply put on a relentless show that stopped the most dominating offense to ever take the field in the NFL.

After the game, Burress was asked how it felt to pull off the upset. After expressing his state of euphoria, he asked America a question of his own.

"Can someone give our defense some credit?" Burress asked.

No problem, Plax. Tell Strahan and Co. to have a nice time at Disneyland.


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