AFC East: Rich Seubert
One of the most magnificent highlights in NFL history was David Tyree's miraculous ball-on-helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII. The play, which began with a sack-defying Eli Manning scramble, propelled the New York Giants to the title and left the New England Patriots one game shy of an undefeated season.
ESPN.com has put together "Inside a Moment in Time" to revisit Tyree's catch. Patriots fans might feel as nauseous as Thomas when they check out the feature, but the feature is an impressive look back at history.
Editors and reporters began the process in June. They spoke with 12 players and one official involved in the play. It's broken into two photos, Manning's scramble and Tyree's catch.
Patriots defenders Richard Seymour, Jarvis Green, Mike Vrabel and Thomas recall what was going through their minds at the time of the first snapshot, as do Manning and Giants linemen David Diehl, Kareem McKenzie, Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara.
Patriots defensive backs Rodney Harrison and James Sanders and back judge Scott Helverson share their on-the-spot memories of Tyree's catch.
The package also includes:
- A comprehensive photo gallery of the play.
- NFL editor Sheldon Spencer's feature story on how the play changed Tyree's life.
- ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton's top 10 plays in Super Bowl history.
- A click-and-drag survey for you to rank the greatest Super Bowl plays.
- Another "Inside a Moment in Time" of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison's 100-yard touchdown return in Super Bowl XLIII.
- A debate over which play was better, Harrison's or Tyree's, with senior writer Greg Garber and ESPNewYork.com columnist Ian O'Connor as litigants.
Joyner, for the New York Times' NFL blog, "The Fifth Down," recently attempted to determine which Meadowlands squad had the better O-line group.
In the process, he came to the conclusion the Jets were better than the Giants up front and might be the class of the league.
"Going into this, I would have thought the Giants would have won this hands down, but the metrics show that isn't the case," Joyner writes.
Joyner conducted a position-by-position comparison based on point-of-attack win percentage and yards per carry (run blocking) and a formula that factors sacks allowed, quarterback hits, holding penalties and batted throws (pass protection).
Jets left guard Alan Faneca is a perennial Pro Bowler, but Rich Seubert's numbers were better last year. Jets right guard Brandon Moore is a serviceable starter, but he didn't stand a chance in matching up with All-Pro Chris Snee.