Every year as a PFL tradition the Superbowl winner is asked to do a recap of the superbowl and/or the journey of that season that got them to the superbowl. We constantly update the PFL Superbowl history page here: http://www.paydirtfootball.com/superbowls/1.htm
Sometimes in people's busy lives they don't notice the subtle changes like the articles and history of the league so I enjoy reminding people of all the hard work that goes into writing those articles and the appreciation that we have for those that write them. When I see a great deal of time invested in the article I enjoy posting it here for others to read and enjoy. We have currently updated the super bowl page to reflect all of the write ups except for last season which Omari is currently working on. Here is an article that was recently sent in by Andrew of the Giants who had a ten season stint before returning to the superbowl and I thought you guys would enjoy it.
Super Bowl XXVII
When the Giants played in and won Super Bowl 17, it was a young team with a young QB, young talent, coming off of their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance and with all the potential in the world. Little did they know at the time that it would be the last time in a decade in which they would have a chance to raise the Lombardi trophy. Since then the Giants were consistent playoff participants with only one losing season during that time. However, they had three consecutive years where they were one and done in the playoffs each time losing by 3 points. Additionally, they made the conference championship twice losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion both times. Yet despite getting so close, once again in the 2013 season, the same core group of Giants that consisted of QB Eli Manning, DE's Umenyiora, Tuck and RB Brandon Jacobs came back to try to reach the goal of the Super Bowl once again. Except this season it was known that this would be the last go around as a group for many of the players. QB Eli Manning had already announced that he would retire at the end of the season.
The season for the Giants started out rocky going 2-2 in their first four games. Their next three games would be wins by 3 points each and that kicked off a run of 8 consecutive wins. They finished the season 11-5 but with two consecutive losses to playoff teams the Arizona Cardinals and the #1 seed Detroit Lions to close it out. In summary, it looked like a typical season for the Giants which was a good regular season topped off with a disappointing playoff run.
In the Wild-Card game, the Giants hosted the always tough Minnesota Vikings. Down 16-14, the Giants were driving for the go-ahead score. On the critical play of the game, Manning threw the ball in the endzone which was intercepted in the air by a Vikings defender but then he fumbled the ball into the waiting arms of a Giants receiver for a 21-16 lead. In what almost was another one and done scenario, the Giants escaped with the gift win and moved on to face the #1 seed Detroit Lions. Once again, lady luck was on the side of the Giants. After storming out of the gates to a 20-7 lead, the Lions clawed back to take the lead 21-20 in the 4th quarter. The Giants added a late FG to regain the lead 23-21 but left plenty of time for the Lions to march down. On the Giants 35 yard line facing a third down, the Lions ran a sweep to the outside and HB Javhid Best broke free. However, as he was tackled at the 20 yard line, which would've set up a chip shot FG attempt, he fumbled the ball and the Giants defenders stomped on it to secure the win! In the Conference Championship game they headed to Carolina to face the 13-3 Panthers. In a tough defensive battle the Giants outlasted the Panthers 19-13 to earn their first Super Bowl trip in 10 seasons!
The Ravens had a great season going 13-3 under new coach Dan Kipfer. Prior to that and since then, the Ravens have not made the playoffs. However, in their one playoff berth they made the most of it and made it all the way to the Super Bowl beating the Titans and the Bills along the way.
In preparing for the game, the Giants coach later admitted that going in he was concerned with one particular matchup advantage he saw that the Ravens had. "As we were scouting the Ravens one thing that stuck out to me was the fact that his WR's were 6'4 and 6'3. I knew my CB's were no taller than 6'0 so I thought that could be a huge mismatch and I think I may have focused on that too much" said Coach Torres.
The game was a chilly 57 degrees with a slight wind. "We thought this was our kind of weather being a run first and defensive oriented team. The only problem was that we knew they played the same way" said Coach Torres. The first half played out as expected. The teams had exchanged FG's when suddenly the Giants caught a break. Freshly signed CB Terrell Thomas, who was picked up due to injury just for this game and who had been a long time player for the Giants, picked off QB Blaine Gabbert of the Ravens deep in their territory. "In my mind at this point I was thinking story book ending. The guy who we cut in the offseason comes back and makes the critical play to turn the game in our favor. Unfortunately my play calling put a stop to that" said Coach Torres. The Giants got extremely conservative trying to run the ball and instead of punching in a TD they settled for a FG to go up 6-3. That ended up burning them since before the half ended the Ravens were able to score a TD to go up 10-6 at the half.
In the third quarter the teams once again exchanged FG's to bring the score to 13-9 going into the 4th quarter. The game was clearly still up for grabs but the margin of error had diminished dramatically. The fear that coach Torres previously expressed that he had prior to the game, the Ravens' extra tall receivers, finally came to pass. On the Giants 31 yard line, Blaine Gabbert threw a jump ball to WR Calvin Bailey who out jumped both the CB and FS to haul it in for a TD and a commanding 20-9 lead. The Giants came back on offense and desperately opened the playbook up. QB Eli Manning, in what would be his last game, moved the ball down the field. Deep in Ravens territory, the drive to bring them back into the game, the Giants thought they had scored on a pass down the sideline. But after further review the player, did not have both feet in bounds. On the very next play Manning was intercepted and that ended the drive, ended the Giants hopes of a storybook ending and their chance at winning the Super Bowl.
"Itís the biggest regret I have had. I not only failed myself but I failed guys who worked hard their whole careers like Manning and Jacobs and Osi and Tuck. We tried to keep the game close with the hopes that, as had happened all season, the game would break our way with a defensive play or big run on offense. It just didn't happen and the Ravens made the plays when it counted" said Coach Torres.
The game ended as even as can be. Time of Possession for the Giants 22:57 to the Ravens 24:41; there were 14 first downs completed for both teams; rushing yards was 85 for the Giants and 97 for the Ravens; passing yards was 193 for the Giants and 192 for the Ravens. The big difference in the game was the Giants kicked FG's while the Ravens scored TD's.
In the end, the Ravens hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in their history, tasting the sweet nectar of PFL champions in their first trip to the playoffs. For the Giants, great players sailed off into the sunset leaving behind a rebuilding team looking to the future thinking of what will come ahead while glancing in the rearview mirror thinking of what could've been.