1. Giants fans were fooled by randomness. The Giants had three fumbles - one was negated by penalty, and they recovered the other two. As we all know, fumbling is not random, but fumble recovery is. If any of those fumbles goes the other direction, the Patriots win this game. History's winners write the narrative, however, so all you need to know is that Eli Manning is a winner and so is Tom Coughlin. And technically, that's true.
2. Field position matters. The starting field position for the Giants yesterday was 25-yard line. The average for the Patriots was the 16-yard line. That eight yards may not seem like a lot, and it is a small sample size, but from an Expected Points Value (EPV), it's meaningful. The difference in EPV from the two numbers is 3.87 points alone in a game that ended 21-17. No, it's not direct causation, just another way of saying where you start your drive matters--a lot.
3. Gunslingers are still important. Watching Manning and Brady sling the ball all over the field in multiple wide receiver sets while progressing through two and three reads in the pocket was impressive, and it demonstrates again the importance of having a quarterback who can make like Devo--that is to say, whip it. Did I mention Tim Tebow? Do I have to?
4. As always, penalties tend to even out. The Giants had four for 24 yards and the Pats had five for 28 yards. Don't tell that to the millions of first-time viewers who watched Tom Brady take a safety, though. I don't think I've seen that kind of intentional grounding penalty called all year in any game.
5. Tom Brady was only sacked three times, but I'd take the Giants front four in a pinch. It's got to be a joy for any secondary to watch pressure come from the front four. The lesson for Brian Xanders? Draft a defensive lineman (or two) once in awhile, won't you?
6. Perry Fewell, remember him? He was one the finalists for the Broncos' head coaching position a year ago and (still) Giants defensive coordinator. This year, he received exactly zero interviews. That's crazy, man. I'd take him right now over John Fox.
7. The obvious: The Patriots were hurt (or at least severely hampered) by the ankle injury to Rob Gronkowski. Watching Gronkowski run routes yesterday was painful, and a reminder of just how much Bill Belichick had tooled his offense to the 122 personnel grouping (HINT HINT, Denver).
8. If there's an argument over Bill Belichick's decision to let the Giants score, there shouldn't be. Belichick knows the percentages on extra points. They are as good as a guarantee as you are ever going to find, and not even
Tim Tebow Tom Brady can overcome 20 seconds and no timeouts. You think John Fox would have done the same?
9. The Broncos could have drafted Brandon Spikes just like everyone else. Woulda coulda SHOULDA.
10. Four hours Tebow-free--it was pretty nice.