What an unpredictable way to end the 2011/12 season with a Giants Super Bowl victory. Who would have thought?
Injuries decimated the Giants defense early on in the season and a lot of "professionals" were predicting that the Philadelphia Eagles (Dream Team) or the Dallas Cowboys were going to make a serious run out of the NFC East, what a gas that was. The Giants went on a hot streak just at the right time and no one wanted to believe it. Despite the fact that Eli Manning was pressured on nearly 40% of his pass attempts, his quarterback rating went from 92.9 in the regular season to 103.3 in the postseason! WOW, that reminds me of his play in 2007 when his QB rating was 73.9 during the regular season (25th in the league) and 95.7 in the postseason.
The Bottom Line:It doesn't matter what kind of pressure he is under, they call him EASY E. His last name is MANNING for a reason folks.
Strange but True: Tom Brady's quarterback rating plummets in the playoffs:
2007 Regular Season - 117, 2007 Playoffs - 96
2009 Regular Season - 96.2, 2009 Playoffs - 49.1
2010 Regular Season - 111, 2010 Playoffs - 89
2011 Regular Season - 105, 2011 Playoffs - 100.4
The Best of the Best
I personally believe that the two best teams in football this season were the Houston Texans and the Green Bay Packers.
It's hard to go against this truth when following both teams this year and admiring their play.
The Texans ranked 2nd overall in defense this year on NFL.com and Mario Williams was on injury reserve for more than half the season. NFL.com ranks the Steelers as the number one defense this year but going beyond the stats, I am going to have to disagree and say that the 49ers had the best defense this season and the Texans were right behind them. The Texans, the Broncos, and the Panthers had the best running game this season but it's safe to say Arian Foster and Ben Tate were the best running back tandem in the NFL this season with 18 touchdowns and an average of 4.5 yards a carry. Matt Schaub's quarterback rating was 96.8 before going down with a season ending injury which ruined the Texans' chances of making a real playoff run.
The Packers, well the whole world knows about the Packers this season but it's hard to stay as hot as they were for so long. Aaron Rodgers's quarterback rating was 122! That beat out Peyton Manning's quarterback rating of 121.1 in 2004 which was the greatest of all time. I could be wrong and I do give the Giants credit for beating them in the postseason but when your in a pass first offense you need to make sure your timing is on at all times. The Packers rested their starters in week 17 of the regular season - when Matt Flynn broke every Packers' quarterback record with 6 passing touchdowns in a single game which there is no explanation for - and the Packers had a bye week during the playoffs, which really hurt their offense.
Remember the 2005 Colts? They lost to the Steelers in the AFC Championship when they were the hottest team in football that season. They had a first round bye in the playoffs and Peyton Manning couldn't get his team in the end zone the whole first half! They settled for 3 points late into the second quarter of the first half and that's all the Steelers needed to have an edge on the high flying Colts, what a game that was.
Either way, Hakeem Nick's touchdown before the half would have been hard to come back against even if the Packers never had a week off.
It was a great season and as you know football never stops. The NFL combine starts February 22nd and the NFL Draft on April 28th, the 2012 season is right around the corner!!!
Teams to Watch out For in 2012: The Detroit Lions, the Houston Texans, The Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Ravens