Insider: Manning-Manningham play zapped Patriots' energy

Posted Feb. 07, 2012 @ 3:21 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

• "(Giants QB) Eli Manning can zap the energy out of opponents. That is what he does best. He had not thrown a wrong pass all day (in Super Bowl XLVI). After he layed that one in there to (Mario) Manningham — you've got to be kidding me. The problem with any quarterback ratings or measurement of quarterbacks — you could look at Alex Smith's passer rating in the NFC championship game, it was a little better than Manning's. What a computer cannot do is measure the effect certain plays have on a team emotionally — jacking one up or jacking one down."

• "The sleeper for the Giants besides their four-man, interchangeable rush was S Kenny Phillips. He altered two passes in that game — and you can't really see it unless you have the 22-man tape, but (Tom) Brady could not throw down the middle. He fit one in to (Rob) Gronkowski, but Phillips hit the (expletive) out of him."

• "One thing that was really interesting to me was the (Giants') 12-men-on-the-field call at the end of the game. If Tom Coughlin intentionally put them out there, it was a helluva call. The competition committee is going to have to review that. I'll put 15 men on the field late in the game if it's going to run 15 seconds off the clock and only cost me five yards. They are going to need some type of equalizing rule where, if a defense is called for it in the final two minutes, they get the time back on the clock and x amount of yards. I'm not sure the Giants did it on purpose, but it sure worked in their favor. The seconds on the clock were much more valuable than five yards at that point."

• "The Patriots got snookered on Chad Ochocinco. It's imperative for receivers to run precise routes in their offense. If someone thought Chad could do that, they were wrong. I don't think the experiment will last much longer. It's not part of his makeup."

• "For as meticulous and detailed as Bill Belichick is, to give up nine points because they had 12 men on the field and gave up a safety has to be killing him. Bill would rather lose by 50 than to lose a game that way. It's going to eat him up and drive him for a long time."

• "Some people are going to question the sideline call when (Mario) Manningham brought it in. Bill (Belichick) was standing right there. But you've got to challenge that call. It is the home run. There were a couple singles and doubles given up in the game at that point, but that was the first home run. If you get that call, it changes the whole complexion of the game. It was a momentum-changer. He made the right call."

• "Come the beginning of April, every wart on every draft prospect is going to get bigger and bigger. There will be a group of guys that find flaws on every player and will focus on them and concentrate on them instead of the positive traits. They will be talking about how Andrew Luck does not have John Elway's arm. It was like Cam Newton last year. Everyone was ripping the kid until the final three days before the draft when it became clear that (Panthers GM) Marty (Hurney) really was going to take him. "

• "There are a lot of bad guys playing in the NFL. You can't have 53 choirboys on your roster. It has never been that way. Can you imagine if the media back then was the way it is now with Jim Brown? Back in the 1960s and '70s, writers were buddies with a lot of the players. They would cover their (butts). Now, there are just so many (media people) and they need the negative scoop — it's a different world we live in."

• "I think Philly has to think hard about their quarterback situation. Same with Dallas, Denver, Miami and Kansas City. There's no question Washington, Seattle and Cleveland need new quarterbacks."