With his team slowly losing its grip on Super Bowl XLVI, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was more concerned with New York Giants receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks than Mario Manningham, telling his defense to be wary of Cruz and Nicks just before the Giants' fourth-quarter scoring drive.
"This is still a Cruz and Nicks game," Belichick said. "I know we're right on them tight, but those are still the guys. Make them go to Manningham, make them go to (Bear) Pascoe. Make sure we get Cruz and Nicks."
Belichick, standing right in front of Manningham's impressive grab, challenged the catch, only to lose a crucial timeout when the play was upheld. Eight plays later the Giants scored the game's go-ahead touchdown on a six-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw.
Belichick's scheming is part of NFL Network's Super Bowl edition of "Sound FX", an insightful and fascinating look into the minds of some of the game's biggest players.
Among the highlights is Brady discussing his first-quarter safety with offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien; Giants linebacker Michael Boley weighing in on the state of Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Cruz nervously watching a video replay of Manningham's sideline grab.
A few of the notable moments:
» Brady to O'Brien following his intentional grounding penalty: "I looked to Gronk, I looked to Wes (Welker), he dropped. I had no place to throw it away. I threw it over his head; I didn't want to throw an interception."
» The Giants defensive line knocked down a number of passes from Brady. After Jason Pierre-Paul's first knockdown, Brady tells a teammate on the sideline: "It's like throwing into a forest, dude. Those guys' arms."
» Pats wideout Chad Ochocinco hauled in a 21-yard catch -- his first reception of the postseason -- to begin a third-quarter touchdown drive. Later on the sideline, Brady embraces Ochocinco and says, "Way to get us started! That's what I'm talking about! That's why we got you!"
» Gronkowski's injured left ankle made him essentially a non-factor in the Patriots' offense. It didn't take Boley long to realize that, and he eventually tells his teammates, "87 is a decoy. He's a decoy. You see him trying to run that route? He's about to be out of here."
» Giants wideout Ramses Barden wasn't dressed for the game, but he probably best captured what the Patriots were thinking after Chase Blackburn's interception. Barden on the sideline: "You know they're going to be watching that and saying, 'What the hell is 93 doing back there?' "
» Two officials understood the significance of the missed connection between Brady and Welker right before Manning's game-winning drive, as one tells the other "that was the game."
» Inside the Patriots' huddle before Bradshaw's go-ahead touchdown run Wilfork instructs his teammates to "let 'em score."