Last night's big game was intensely fought, undeniably exciting—and a little mystifying, thanks to Eli Manning's unusual brand of heroism. Analysts weigh in on the game's place in football history:
- Last night brought us "the most Eli Manning moment of Eli Manning’s career." During the game-winning touchdown, we saw "a hero shot in which the conqueror looks totally confused by his conquest," with "arms half-raised in quasi-triumph." His quiet humility was the polar opposite of Tom Brady's "aggro posture," but it remains "difficult to understand," writes Josh Levin at Slate.
- Still, there's no doubt he's a become a football hero, notes Bill Barnwell at Grantland. In 2007, "he did not lead his team to a title; he was dragged, kicking and screaming, by a dominant defense. Four years later, Eli Manning stood at the helm and dragged a flagging defense to a second World Championship."
- It was a close game, but that's nothing new. In fact, the "last nine Super Bowls have all now featured seven-point games in the fourth quarter," notes Don Banks at Sports Illustrated. Still, "the Giants' comeback from that eight-point deficit was just shy of tying the largest in Super Bowl history," at 10 points.
- In the end, the Giants "stole" the game from the New England Patriots, writes Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times. As for Tom Brady's team, "Mistakes filled their hands, recklessness rocked their focus, and mortality rumbled in the distance." "It was indeed a night when the Giants were 'Wow' while the Patriots were 'What?'"