Some may say the safety on the Patriots first possession was the deciding play. Really? A play in the first quarter decided the outcome. Granted it didn't help the cause, but I don't see that it was the deciding factor. A factor, yes. There were many factors in the end. The safety, too many men on the field on a fumble recovery, an untimely neutral zone infraction that helped extend a New York drive. Really though, minor errors that when added together, equal disaster. Welker dropped a pass that he has caught hundreds of time in the past. A good throw, to the right spot. If the ball was more to his left, and the safety had a play on it. Hernandez getting the ball right in the hands but turning upfield before looking the ball into his hands. Brady's interception, was basically a punt on first down. New York was pinned deep in their end of the field, and nts did nothing with the turnover. The throw was late and underthrown, giving linebacker Chase Blackburn time to recover and make the play.
The Patriots weren't outcoached. They moved the ball against the vaunted Giants defense, 349 yards in total, including a Super Bowl record ninety-six yard touchdown drive. The Giants, with nine more offensive plays than the Patriots, gained 396, 296 in passing. The stat sheet shows some tight numbers, perhaps the most glaring advantage going to the Giants in time of possession, 37:05 - 22:55.
Already it's out there that Brady choked. I have to disagree. Sixteen straight completions at one point, a Super Bowl record. 276 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception. A dropped ball here, a dropped ball there, add up to coming up short once more.
Overall, the Patriots are in good shape going forward. Brady still has a few years left in him. But, I think it's time for the Patriots coach (Belichick) to ask the Patriots General Manager (Belichick) to get at least one outside receiver with some speed and some defensive backs who can cover. If not, championships will be hard to come by.