Curran: Quick analysis

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Curran: Quick analysis

INDIANAPOLIS -- When the final play of the Super Bowl comes down to a Hail Mary that either team could have come down with, well, I think that's how they're supposed to end.
Quick reaction to the Patriots' 21-17 loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI:
The game-winning touchdown drive by Eli Manning -- highlighted by his brilliant, 38-yard throw to Mario Manningham down the right sideline -- marks him as one of the greatest clutch quarterbacks in Super Bowl history. The David Tyree catch in 2007 may have been lucky and memorable, but the throw to Manningham was majestic.
Tom Brady had a bad miss on the throw to Deion Branch that fell incomplete with four minutes left from the Giants 44. On that play, a third-and-11, Wes Welker had come open in the middle of the field. As brilliantly as he played for a huge stretch of the game, Brady had three game-altering mistakes: That miss, the safety he took at the start of the game, and the pick he threw at the start of the fourth quarter on a bomb intended for Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots had two plays to thank for getting them back into the game after falling behind 9-0. The first was a third-and-4 completion for 15 yards to Branch that saved them from going three-and-out and saved an exhausted defense from going back on the field. The Patriots only got three on the drive, but they perserved their defense. Also, the hold on a third-and-1 play that wiped out a 10-yard Brandon Jacobs run was huge as the Patriots got the ball, drove 96 and scored a touchdown before the break they followed up with another score to start the second half.
The similarities between this game and the way the 2007 Super Bowl played out were remarkable. For the Giants to beat the top two seeds in the NFC and come from behind to beat the Patriots in the fourth quarter shows that when talk of resilient teams starts, the conversation should start with this era's Giants. And the conversation should end with them too.