So what can the Raider Nation take from watching that game yesterday? Did you take anything from it? For me, I think there was one glaring lessons that I took , and that was that a true TEAM won. You didn't see an individual put the game on his shoulders and carry their team to the finish line. You didn't see a superstar step out of the 106 players and stand out against the rest. Sure you saw brilliant moments and flashes of individual greatness, but the Giants won as a team. No ego. All 53 pulling to a common goal. The will to win! Spoken best by Al Davis.
I often look at stats. A lot of people ask why are stats important. Well, there is one reason why. Tendencies. It shows what players do in situational football. It shows where a player is going to stand out. It shows how players react as a team. How they integrate themselves into the common goal, but from an individuals standpoint. Stats define the players history and who that player will become. They are in a sense, their autobiography.
So.....Were stats important in this game? Not really. Were individuals important in the game? To a degree. Simply put, the most important thing that mattered in this game to me was momentum. Going into the half, New England scored with 9 seconds to go and were going to get the ball back to start the second half. What did they do coming out of the half? Oh...........just score again. You know what was interesting though, the Giants did not give up. They continued to play and trust their game plan, trust each other and drive down the field to get points.
I though it was also interesting that Tom Brady said in an interview that aired before the game, with 2 minutes to go, you have a choice to either be up by 3 and Eli gets the ball or down by 3 and you get the ball, which would you choose? You know what he said? "I want the ball." Funny thing is though, he wasn't speaking for himself, he was speaking for the system. Both of these teams understand something, that with the game on the line, 2 minutes to go to drive down the field, its time to go to work. No penalties, just every man, from the coaches to the players, doing THEIR job. Well, we saw who did their job and they were not on the defensive side of the ball. Eli said it best post game " I'm just happy for the guys, I am happy for everyone in the organization, Coach Coughlin, all of my coaches, all of the players getting a chance to win a Super Bowl.. Some of these guys are getting their first one. I feel great for them. I feel great for everybody." Even Justin Tuck spoke of the team first when he said, "Another team effort. That's how we've been built all year, and we don't really care where the credit goes. It's just another great team effort, through and through."
The Raiders organization and the Raider Nation should take out their notebooks and re-watch the game again. Don't interest yourself in X's and O's, but interest yourself in the teamwork. Watch how players anticipate. Watch how players trust each other. That's a Team. That's a well coached team. That's what we should aspire to be. A fundamentally sound team.
Will Allen lead us there? Only time will tell. The hardware you see in this blog was won by 3 DIFFERENT TEAMS. Different years, same goal. The Commitment To Excellence. Everyone has to be pulling the same way. Including you! Here is to the end of a lesson learned and the beginning of the 2012-2013 football year.