Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Eli Manning - staying in New York

Eli Manning will be at the New York Giants for at least three more years after the franchise officially established their long-term commitment to Manning by exercising a 'buy-back' option on the quarterback's current contract.

As the top overall pick in the 2004 draft, Manning signed a six-year contract ranging from US$45 million to $54 million. The deal, which included a rookie-record $20 million signing bonus, contained an incentive clause that allowed Manning to void the final two years.

To guarantee Manning's future with the team, the Giants added the 'buy-back' option, a clause which permits the team to buy back the 2008 and 2009 seasons for a reported $5 million.

Manning's contract was scheduled to end after the 2007 season, when he could have become a free agent, but the Giants decided to stick with the 26-year-old, who is coming off an inconsistent 2006 campaign.

Despite leading New York to an 8-8 record and a second consecutive post-season berth, Manning struggled in his second full season as a starter, passing for 3,244 yards, 24 touchdowns and 18 interceptions to finish with a 77.0 quarterback rating.

Manning showed flashes of brilliance in 2005, throwing for 3,762 yards and 24 TDs to lead the Giants to the NFC East Division title.

The San Diego Chargers initially selected Manning with the first overall pick against the wishes of his family. Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi jumped at the opportunity to acquire the quarterback but paid a steep price.

As a result, the Giants sent quarterback Philip Rivers - the fourth overall pick - and three other draft picks including a 2005 first-round selection - to San Diego.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Super Bowl XLI

The Indianapolis Colts won Super Bowl XLI after beating the Chicago Bears 29-17 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida.

The Colts, who dominated throughout, recovered from conceding a touchdown straight from the kick-off to take a 16-14 half-time lead which they would not relinquish.

Bears' Devin Hester got the match off to an explosive start with a 92-yard kick-off return for a touchdown but the Colts hit back when quarterback Peyton Manning picked out Reggie Wayne with a 53-yard pass less than eight minutes later.

However, a fumbled snap meant Indianapolis missed out on the extra point and Chicago extended their lead when Muhsin Muhammad collected a four-yard touchdown pass from Rex Grossman to go 14-6 ahead.

In the second quarter an Adam Vinatieri field goal and Dominic Rhodes' one-yard touchdown run put the Colts 16-14 ahead but Vinatieri missed the last kick of the half which would have increased his side's advantage.

Midway through the third quarter, with the rain continuing to fall, Vinatieri was back on target with a 24-yard field goal and he added another from 20 yards but it was only small consolation for Indianapolis failing to turn their territorial dominance into touchdowns.

Robbie Gould reduced the deficit by drilling over a 44-yard field goal 74 seconds before the turnaround.

However, the critical moment came four minutes into the final quarter when Grossman was picked off by Kelvin Hayden who ran the ball in for a 56-yard touchdown interception to put the Colts 29-17 ahead and on their way to a first Super Bowl victory since the franchise relocated from Baltimore in 1984.


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