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Postgame Comment: Patriots 38, Giants 35 ('No Champagne' Edition)

Dear 1972 Miami Dolphins:

P.S. - Hey, Mercury. We're on your block.

The only undefeated 16-game regular season ever. The most points scored ever. The most touchdowns ever. The league's No. 1 scoring offense and No. 5 scoring defense (tenths of a point within teams in front). Nineteen straight regular season wins -- beating their own mid-dynasty record. Individual record after individual record.

The Patriots have beaten five playoff teams (as many as seven if Tennessee loses and Washington wins), including four division winners. The took every team's A-game and had comeback wins against three of the best teams in the league -- all on the road. Easy schedule? No intelligent person could honestly suggest such a thing.

They beat two different Mannings. (That's more just sweetness than an "accomplishment.")

They have done, again and again, what no team has done before -- EVER. Never before has there been such a laundry list of accomplishments for any single team in any single season.

How can you not say they're the greatest team of all time?

Sure, you'll always have some poor, pathetic, jealous, hating S.O.B. who refuses to acknowledge the undeniable, the same kinds of people you see on "COPS" saying, "I didn't do anything."

We may know for sure in 5 weeks, but even then someone will insist on maintaining their blissful state.

Here are the game stats:

  • Tom Brady: 32 of 42 (76.2 percent), 356 yards, 2 TDs, zero INTs, 116.8 passer rating
  • Laurence Maroney: 19 carries, 46 yards, 2.4 average, 2 TDs, 2-point conversion
  • Heath Evans: 1 carry, 4 yards
  • Wes Welker: 11 catches, 122 yards
  • Kevin Faulk: 8 catches, 64 yards, (2 carries, -2 yards)
  • Randy Moss: 6 catches, 100 yards, 2 TDs
  • Ben Watson: 4 catches, 38 yards
  • Donté Stallworth: 3 catches, 32 yards
  • Stephen Gostkowski: 3 for 3 FGs (37, 45, 37), 3 for 3 XPs
  • Rodney Harrison: 6 solo tackles, QB hit, pass defended
  • Ellis Hobbs: 5 solo, 1 assist, INT, 2 PD
  • Junior Seau: 4 solo, 2 assists
  • Ty Warren: 4 solo, 1 assist
  • Asante Samuel: 4 solo, PD
  • James Sanders: 4 solo
  • Adalius Thomas: 1 solo, 1 assist, sack, PD

Once again, Brady hit just 5 different receivers.

All of New England points were scored by three players:

  • Maroney scored 14 points (2 TD runs, 2-pt conv.)
  • Moss scored 12 (2 TD catches)
  • Gostkowski scored 12 (3 FG, 3 XP)

More Stats

New York's Eli Manning had a great game, especially in the first half when he threw for several long passes. He finished 22 of 32 (68.8 percent), 251 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT and a 118.6 passer rating.

The Patriots held the Giants to 79 yards rushing. Brandon Jacobs had 67 yards on 15 carries (4.5 avg.). Manning was New York's next leading rusher with 13 yards on 3 carries, but 11 came on 1 scramble.

  • First downs: New England 27, New York 19
  • 3rd downs: New England 6 of 13 (46 percent), New York 6 of 10 (60 percent)
  • 4th downs: New England 1 of 1, New York 0 of 0
  • New England red-zone offense: 3 of 5 (1 TD, 2 FG)
  • New England goal-to-go offense: 3 for 3
  • New England red-zone defense: 0 of 4 (4 TDs)
  • New England goal-to-go defense: 0 of 3
  • Time of possession: New England 36:18, New York 23:42 (was exactly 20:00 to 10:00 at halftime)
  • Average starting field position: New England 33, New York 29 (26 and 27 in first half)
A couple more notes

That "excessive celebration" penalty is the worst call in NFL history. Can you imagine them calling something that ludicrous in a meaningful game? Like the playoffs?

Don't underestimate how big Gostkowski's three field goals were. And you can't tell me there was no pressure on him.

The Giants played a heck of a game, maybe the best of any team New England faced all season. That makes finishing undefeated against them all the more fantastic.

Anyone voting for any coach other than Bill Belichick for Coach of the Year should never be allowed to vote for anything again .. ever .. anywhere .. for any reason.