Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I rewatched SB 46. I recall how I felt when the Pats scored in the 3rd quarter to make it 17-9. I thought they were going to just unload on the Giants from there on out. Obviously didn't happen, but they were in such a groove. At that point, Brady was 20-23, 201 yds, 2 td, 0 int, and his three incompletions were the throwaway (safety), and two balls that were batted at the line of scrimmage by JPP. That's it. He was absolutely surgical up to that point. Fast forward to late in the 3rd quarter. After the Giants took over in Patriots' territory, on 2nd and 9, Eli hits Nicks for a gain of 17 yards. But he is hit and Mayo knocks the ball out. Fumble. There are *SIX* Patriots players around Nicks. Six. More than half the Patriots defense is within a few yards of him and there are *no* Giants within 6 yards of him. I froze the image and here it is: There are six Patriots around Nicks and not a single Giant in sight. And yet the ball comes out (good play by Mayo forcing the fumble), and where does it go? Directly to Hynoski of the Giants who is trailing well behind the play. That drive ended up leading to a field goal. Then there was the Bradshaw fumble following the Brady INT. He's hit at the 12 yard line of the Giants and fumbles, and again, there are no less than 6 Patriots guys around him and the ball bounces backwards right to Snee, who is trailing the play by 4 yards. And finally there's the final hail mary play. I don't think people realize just how close the Pats were to making that play. The ball is thrown to Hernandez, who is surrounded by 4 Giants. The ball is knocked away, but not directly to the turf. Trailing the play by a couple of yards are Gronkowski and Welker. Gronkowski dives and falls *just* short of making the play. If it was tipped just about a foot higher, Gronk makes the greatest catch in NFL history. I know this is how close games go, but there's no way, after re-watching that game, that I conclude that the Giants were "better" than the Patriots. Sorry, but no way. The Giants got all the breaks in that game (again). They are a good team and getting the breaks doesn't mean they didn't deserve to win. They didn't cheat or anything like that. Breaks happen. But on these three plays alone, literally what determined them (and it would have been most likely a 13-17 point swing for New England) was the bounce of a football. Not hustle (everyone was hustling). Not skill. Not talent or drive or desire. Simply the bounce of the ball. The outcome of the game is almost certainly different if any one of these three bounces goes New England's way, but none of them did. Maybe this makes it worse for you reading this, but for me, while it's frustrating to recall this (hence my glutton for punishment comment), it's actually a bit soothing to know that the Pats didn't just get "beat". It took some remarkable luck for the Giants to win the game.