Brady And Moss Opt Out of Pro Bowl

News and Notes on the New England Patriots and the New York Giants after their return from Super Bowl XLII.

New England Patriots:
  • QB Tom Brady was sacked five times and finished 29 of 48 for 266 yards and a touchdown. Brady set a new Super Bowl record for career completions, breaking Joe Montana's old mark of 83.

    Brady pulled out of the Pro Bowl a day after he was battered and bruised by the Giants. The official listed reason was an ankle injury.

  • QB Derek Anderson was named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for the Patriots' Tom Brady.

  • WR Randy Moss pulled out of the Pro Bowl, citing an ankle injury.

  • WR Chad Johnson has no intention to sit out the 2008 season, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus. That followed a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen that Johnson had privately threatened to sit out next season unless traded because he felt betrayed by Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. Johnson was named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster as an injury replacement for Patriots WR Randy Moss.

New York Giants:

  • WR Plaxico Burress only caught two passes, but one was the game-winning touchdown on the Giants' final drive as he left Patriots CB Ellis Hobbs in the dust. "They were basically double-teaming me all night, playing a man press, playing a guy over the top," he said. "We were just waiting for that one time where we could get him over there in single coverage. I gave him a slant fake, he bit it, Eli (Manning) put it up there and I came down with it. I just told myself, 'God, if you could just get me out here tonight, based on what I've been through all year with the knee and the ankle and the back and everything.' I'm just so grateful for the opportunity and I just told myself I can come out here tonight and compete, I would give God all the glory."

  • RB Brandon Jacobs rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries, with a long of seven yards. He also had a critical first down on fourth-and-one to keep the game-winning drive alive.

    "I knew it was imperative that I got that first down," he said. "They tried to give us a bad spot at first, but we weren't going to let that happen. They gave us a bad spot the play before that and they tried to do it again, but the one ref said, 'He went over the top and he got the fist down.' We moved the chains. We continued the drive, went down and scored and sent New England home 18-1."

  • Rookie TE Kevin Boss, Jeremy Shockey's replacement, said that the huge 45-yard reception in the fourth quarter that led to the Giants' first go-ahead touchdown was a play that hadn't even been worked on all week. "Coach (Kevin) Gilbride drew it in the dirt on the sideline," he said. "It was designed to get me away from (linebacker Mike) Vrabel, who had been trying to get his hands on me all game."

  • DE Justin Tuck was so dominant in the shredding of the Patriots that he drew a few votes in the MVP balloting. He had six tackles, two sacks, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. He shared a few on-the-field conversations with Patriots QB Tom Brady. "He told me a couple of times to slow down a little," Tuck laughed, "so I told him to hold the ball a little longer and I could slow down."

  • WR David Tyree, a reserve most of the time but a special teams star, likely saved the game with a spectacular catch on third-and-five on the game-winning drive. He pinned the ball against his helmet briefly while being tackled and managed to hold on for a 32-yard gain. "I thank God for the chance to be in there," he said. "My mother passed this season and we were very close, and I know she saw me do it. I did it for her, and for God, and for this team that gave me the opportunity."

  • QB Eli Manning, the game's MVP as was his brother Peyton in last year's Super Bowl, said he spoke to Peyton briefly before the game. "He didn't tell me anything about the Patriots," he said. "He just told me not to rush anything, to keep a clear head and not press."

    Manning completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards with two touchdowns and an interception off a ball deflected by wide receiver Steve Smith. It was his only interception in four playoff games.

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