Film breakdown: Chase Blackburn gets all the credit for his Super Bowl INT, but that play was really made by Linval Joseph

Chase Blackburn has reportedly signed with the Panthers, but he will never be forgotten by Giants fans as the guy who picked off Tom Brady in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. What gets lost in that play was that Blackburn could have just as easily have been a goat instead of a hero. If that ball had come out on time, there’s a good chance Blackburn might have been beaten for a TD. The Giants player who really made the play, but rarely gets any credit, was actually DT Linval Joseph.

At the snap, Joseph made LG Logan Mankins whiff, and got a free run at Brady:

Linval Joseph SB

Brady was forced to pull the ball down, messing up the play:

Linval Joseph SB 2

Had Brady gotten even a smidge of protection from Mankins, he would have had Gronkowski streaking (or limping) down the seam, with no safety help over the top, and Blackburn beaten:

Linval Joseph SB 4

Instead, Brady was flushed out of the pocket:

Linval Joseph SB 3

And he tried to get it to Gronk anyway, but simply didn’t have the arm strength to throw the ball 55 yards down the length of the field, and about half the width of the field across it. The line shows Brady’s throw:

Linval Joseph SB 5

Gronkowski had, by then, outrun Brady’s range, Blackburn had the chance to recover, and to his credit, made a play on the football:

Linval Joseph SB 6

But that play was all about Linval Joseph’s initial pressure.

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  1. […] with the Panthers. Blackburn was not a good player last season, and his INT in the Super Bowl was one of the most overrated plays in SB history. This is not really a […]

  2. NYG_Slater says:

    lol. I guess i read your tweets with inherent eagles bias. Ill try harder to read without prejudice. Nice breakdown.

  3. I wish chase blackburn could be the Giants MLB forever.

  4. Thiergow says:

    It’s often the case unfortunately. Football is a team sports so a play is rarely due only to one player only.
    Another example in the same game: everyone talks about the perfect catch made by Manningham (which was really amazing) but only few give credit for Eli making going through his reads and placing the ball in really tight window, and almost no one mentions Kevin Boothe blocking Wilfork on his own.

    1. Tim says:

      I thought Eli was pretty universally praised for dropping that ball perfectly into a really small window on that throw, both on the live telecast and afterward. Never heard the Boothe thing, though, that’s a good example.

    2. Deer Antler Spray says:

      Yeah, poor unappreciated ELI. Winner of multiple Super Bowl MVPs.

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