Tom Brady always wins…except vs. the Giants

Tom Brady always wins – except against the Giants. That adage will be put to the test on Sunday when the unbeaten (8-0) Patriots visit Met Life Stadium to face the 5-4 Giants.

“We’ve always had a hard time beating these guys one way or another,” Brady said. “So hopefully we can get over our struggles and finally go out and play well and beat them”

Super Tom Brady, the quarterback who squeezed the air out of the NFL in Deflategate and won, has lost his last three meetings against the Giants, all decided by four points or less. In 2008, the Patriots came into Super Bowl 42 unbeaten (18-0) and huge favorites, only to bow to the Giants 17-14. That Super Bowl, one of the most famous in history, featured David Tyree’s helmet catch and Plaxico Burress’ game-winning TD catch with 35 seconds left – both on passes by Eli Manning.

Years later, Brady told Gary Myers of the New York Daily News, “I remember after the game I was trying to think, ‘Man, am I dreaming?’ Let me wake up and then start the day over. I just didn’t think we could lose.”

Four years later, the Giants again beat the Pats, this time 21-17 in Super Bowl 46. Manning led the Giants to another last-minute, go-ahead touchdown drive that featured an amazing pass and catch by Mario Manningham.

The Giants also beat New England 24-20 in a 2011 regular season game at Foxboro, a game the Giants won on a Manning touchdown pass to Jake Ballard with 15 seconds remaining.

Brady has a pair of wins against the Giants in his career. The Patriots edged the Giants 38-35 in the final game of the 2007 campaign to finish the regular season unbeaten. And in 2003, Brady led the Pats to a 17-6 win over the Giants and QB Kerry Collins when Eli was still at Ole Miss.

Overall, Brady is 2-3 against the Giants, averaging 226 yards, 1.4 touchdowns and 0.6 interceptions per game. Rather pedestrian numbers for one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

G-Men Have Been Giant Killers Before

Plaxico Burress and the Giants ruined the Patriots’ unbeaten season in Super Bowl XLII.
Been there, done that. Just ask the New York Giants.

As they get ready for the unbeaten Packers on Sunday, the struggling G-Men can take solace in their Giant killer pedigree.

At least three times in their long and glorious history the Giants have taken out unbeaten opponents — twice in championship games.

As recently as four seasons ago, the Giants spoiled the undefeated dreams of the New England Patriots in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.

The Giants, a number five seed and 12-point underdog, rallied in the final minutes to upend previously unbeaten (18-0) New England and alter the course of NFL history. Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with just 35 seconds remaining to give New York the monumental 17-14 win.

The Giants, who lost six games during the regular season, avenged a 38-35 loss to the Patriots in the final game of the regular season.

Sneakers Game
Nearly 75 years earlier, in December of 1934, the Chicago Bears waltzed into Manhattan with a 13-0 record, a record-setting offense, and high hopes for an unbeaten season and an NFL championship.

The Bears took an early lead over the 8-5 Giants in the second NFL Championship game ever played. But the Giants then made a surprise move as reported by the New York Times, coming out in the second half “with basketball shoes replacing the cleated football shoes. The solidly frozen ground made cleats useless, and the basketball shoes made all the difference.”

Trailing 13-3, the Giants rallied for four touchdowns in the fourth quarter and an improbable 30-13 win in a contest, shown at right, that became known in NFL lore as the “Sneakers Game.”

In December of 1998, the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, led by John Elway, took a 13-0 record into a December game against the Giants at the Meadowlands.

Denver went up 16-13 in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard touchdown run by Terrell Davis. But the Giants, then 5-8, put together a finishing drive. With just 48 seconds left in the game, New York scored on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Kent Graham to Amani Toomer for a shocking 20-16 win.

Can history repeat itself?

Extra Points: The Giants also had a chance to knock off the only undefeated team in NFL history, the 1972 Miami Dolphins. With just two games remaining in the regular season, the Dolphins (12-0) came into Yankee Stadium and beat the Giants 23-13 on the strength of  three Gary Yepremian field goals. Miami went on to defeat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII and finish a perfect 17-0.

Only in New York….

Son of a gun! Plaxico Burress goes from Super Bowl hero to the sidelines.

New York is considered the center of the universe, the Big Apple, the world’s financial capital, the mecca of commerce and culture and bright lights and Broadway. And so much more.

And it’s also the home for talented, high-priced, head-case athletes.

Take Plaxico Burress for instance. Or as the Giants must be saying, “Take Plaxico, please.”

Faster than a speeding bullet, Plax went from being the leading receiver on the best team in the NFL to damaged goods, a man without a job.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot…er make that thigh.

Did Plaxico think this through? Did the thought ever enter his mind that if he needed to carry iron, maybe he shouldn’t go to the Latin Quarter?

For a wide receiver with good hands he certainly fumbled that loaded gun. POW!  He’s lucky he didn’t kill himself, or someone else.

What was he thinking? Who was he listening to? Ever since he signed a lucrative five-year, $35 million contract over the summer, Burress has had all sorts of issues. Time management issues, practice issues. Issues with his coach. Issues with referees and with the league.

Now he’s “Gun and Done” as the New York Daily News reported, suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team” and placed on the non-football injury list. His future uncertain, Burress faces jail time and stands to lose millions

Of course, Plax is not the only head-case athlete who calls New York home, not the only man without a team.

Marbury in Limbo
There are others. Take Stephon Marbury,

“Starbury,” who once proclaimed himself the best point guard to play basketball, was acquired by Isiah Thomas (another head-case) in the deal that was supposed to  bring the Knicks back to prosperity.

Guess what, it never happened. The Knicks floundered, Marbury’s teammates grew tired of his act. The end came last week when he refused to play in a game, even with his team short-handed.

So now Steph, the second highest paid player in the NBA, refuses to budge on buyout offers from the Knicks, who don’t know what to do with him.

The Knicks ordered Marbury note to attend practices or games. So he sits and counts his $21.9 million.

And speaking of head-cases, the Yankees have Alex Rodriguez, A-Rod, a sure-fire Hall of Fame who can’t hit in the clutch.

Perhaps that’s because he’s more worried about Page Six than the sports page, more concerned about hitting on Madonna than hitting with runners in scoring position.

Lately there have been rumors that the Yanks may make a play for free agent outfielder Manny Ramirez. Manny being Manny, he’d fit right in in Gotham.

Only in New York