A Chance for Redemption…Deflates!
Thus far the 2012 football season can be summed up in one phrase – “Expect the Unexpected.”
All the teams that walked onto the field that were supposed to be unbeaten at this point in the season have fallen to teams that were already summed up by the analysts as being ‘out of the race’ before they even began. The issues of replacement QB’s and various ‘legends’ of the game being batted around by the various NFL teams – being traded and/or being offered billions of dollars to play for just one year – are just some of the situations that have already been a part of this odd season.
This past weekend fans were looking at a game of sheer and utter redemption between the Super Bowl defending champs, New York Giants and their rivals, the 49ers, who they beat in overtime last year in order to even get to the Super Bowl. Everyone already assumed that the 49ers were going to win this one. With the exception of one game that looked like their defense was stuck in the “Twilight Zone,” San Francisco has been the ‘best of the best’ on that side of the ball. Not only that, but they were truly looking for redemption and revenge against the Giants for just missing that coveted trip to the big game last year. So what happened? Although the Giants weren’t exactly the ‘best of the best’ in this rematch, they were certainly good enough. And the game wasn’t an instant replay from last year, because this time around the 49ers walked away with barely any points on the scoreboard.
The 49ers QB, Alex Smith, was literally stalked by a Giants defense that seemed to have woken up just to play this particular game – saving the pain and agony for their rivals yet again. Two of his passes were intercepted by Smith, Amukamara stole yet another and the 49ers were held to only three measly points in their first meeting with the Giants since the NFC Championship game.
Now San Francisco in the last two games outscored, outplayed, outlasted (very much ‘Survivor,’ here) and basically showed up both the Bills and the Jets by scoring seventy-nine points combined.
Eli Manning can’t be given the credit for this illustrious whomping. In fact, the Super Bowl defending QB only claimed one of the scores while the defense was literally the stars! The surprise was…it was the wrong defense. Literally none of the analysts even considered that the Giants would win this one, which shows that the analysts are just as confused as all the fans out there right now. At least the Packers fans can be happy, considering their team finally showed up last week.
Now, if you remember, the 2011 NFC Championship Game was absolutely beyond exciting. It was the fifth time in history and the third time in only five years where the game went into overtime. Oddly enough, that time was also played between the 49ers and the Giants where a Giants’ field goal sent them to the Super Bowl – and a whole bunch of fans have been waiting to see if the 2012 NFC Championship will be a carbon copy of last year.
In 2011, Alex Smith threw the ball for their first touchdown in only the opening quarter. From then on, everything from flags being thrown for overzealous celebrations in the end zone to end-around reverse plays that no one expected where the ball was fumbled – each and every second of the game was absolutely engrossing, even for non-fans of the Giants and Niners. These two teams were each fighting for their own reasons and giving their absolute best to the game in order to reach that Super Bowl field.
Overtime was entered and New York won the toss, electing to receive the kickoff but having to punt after just four plays. The game went into sudden-death, with the first score being the score that would win the game. This was grueling. From punting to fumbling – both teams seemed to be facing a brick wall every time the ball fell into their hands
The Giants field goal kicker, Tynes, became the hero as he finally sent a field goal attempt through the uprights. 2011 was truly the Giants’ season, considering they had not won ten or more games during the regular season but went on to win the three consecutive playoff games necessary in order to win the big prize. This was San Francisco’s second consecutive NFC Championship Game loss, where they hosted one of their most-hated rivals (the first one being against the Packers.)
Talk about depressing. In fact, many fans have come to believe that the 49ers reign would never be seen again; that Montana, Young, Rice – no names would ever be seen in the future that could even touch what those ‘5-Star’ players once did for the city of San Fran.
Here’s the thing… Even though the Giants surprised everyone and beat a 49ers team that seems to have the only unbeatable defense in this NFL season…that doesn’t mean that the Giants and 49ers will not see each other in this year’s NFC Championship Game. And, perhaps, the 49ers are saving their ‘best’ day against the Giants for THAT one! After all, the Niners now have a serious score to settle!
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Until Next Time, Everybody,