The 2007 NFL Season brought numerous changes to the NFL helmet landscape since my last article that featured the 2002 season. As mentioned in previous articles: darker colors and some strange, strange, strange looks came about during the first decade of the 21st century.
So today, we’re reliving some of these crazy designs here in this article, as well as a little bit of a historical perspective given as well.
The Browns reverted to gray facemasks starting in the 2006 season.
The Colts reverted back to gray facemasks beginning in 2004.
New helmet for the Chargers with a white shell for the first time since 1973 with a yellow lightning bolt. Both a powder and navy outline is also included in the logo as well.
New helmet for the Vikings with a lighter shade of purple and a more detailed viking horn.
New helmet design for the Falcons introduced back in 2003. This one features a fiercer-looking falcon shaped more in the form of an ‘F’. For the first time since 1989, red appears in the helmet.
The Cardinals changed their lids in 2005, now featuring a fiercer-looking cardinal head.
NFC Championship Game
New York Giants: 23
Green Bay Packers: 20
Do you believe in de ja vu?
If not, this game features one, being 17 years to the day when the Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990 NFC Championship Game en route to a victory in Super Bowl XXV.
While the Packers led 10-6 at halftime, the Giants stormed back to take the lead in the 3rd quarter on a touchdown before the Packers quickly answered, leading 17-13 midway through the quarter.
However by the end of the 3rd, the Giants answered again, leading 20-17 going into the fourth.
The Packers again drove deep into Giants’ territory but the drive stalled and they settled for a field goal, tying the game at 20. After a missed field goal from Giants’ kicker Lawrence Tynes, both offenses hit a dry spell, eventually forcing overtime.
Green Bay won the coin toss but an interception at their own 34-yard-line set the stage for the Giants. After the offense stalled, they called on Lawrence Tynes to kick a 47-yard field goal, just as Matt Bahr had done exactly seventeen years prior. Tynes connected and sent the #5 seeded Giants into the Super Bowl.
The Giants were the second NFC wildcard team since the AFL-NFL merger to make the Super Bowl and the first team from the NFC (third overall) to make the Super Bowl after winning three road playoff games.
The game is known in NFL Lore as The Chilling Championship.
San Diego Chargers: 12
New England Patriots: 21
The NFL’s best offense and first 16-0 franchise struggled in a defensive affair
against San Diego, falling behind 3-0 by the end of the first quarter before putting up two touchdowns in the second, leading 14-9 at halftime.
The Chargers tacked on a field goal in the third to narrow the gap to 14-12 but the Patriots struck gold in the fourth, taking a 21-12 lead and took off the remaining nine minutes of the game following a Chargers’ punt to punch their ticket into their fourth Super Bowl appearance in seven seasons.
Super Bowl XLII
It was a classic David versus Goliath story, featuring the underdog #5-seeded New York Giants going up against the 16-0 and heavily favored New England Patriots, a team that dominated the season and at the time featured the NFL’s highest-scoring offense of all-time.
The Giants and Patriots met in the final game of the 2007 regular season, with the Patriots capping off their perfect season in a 38-35 victory over New York overcoming a 12-point deficit in the second half.
The Giants struck first on a nine-minute drive, where kicker Lawrence Tynes tacked on a 32-yard field goal.
The Patriots struck back after starting the drive with great field position and scored on the first play of the second quarter, taking a 7-3 lead.
The Patriots’ offensive woes from the AFC Championship Game continued, and they struggled to move the ball against the Giants’ aggressive defense. However, Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense couldn’t score, and the first half ended with the score stuck at 7-3.
An uneventful third quarter kept the score at 7-3, but in the fourth, offenses started showing up.
A touchdown pass from Eli Manning to obscure receiver David Tyree gave the Giants a 10-7 lead, their first since the first play of the second quarter.
After another scoring drought which saw three and outs from both teams, the Patriots finally punched through for a touchdown with a Tom Brady pass to Randy Moss, taking a 14-10 lead with 2:42 left in regulation.
On the ensuing possession the Giants faced a 3rd and 5. Manning dropped back and faced intense pressure, with Patriots’ defenders Jarvis Green and Richard Seymour going as far as to grab Manning’s jersey. However, Manning eluded both defenders, where Tyree battled with Patriots’ safety Rodney Harrison. Tyree won the jump ball and made the catch by pinning the ball against his helmet, known today as The Helmet Catch.
Just a few plays later, Manning hit Plaxico Burress on a slant and go, and the Giants again took the lead with 35 seconds remaining. After a three and out, Brady tried one last time to make something happen on a Hail Mary, which fell to the ground and the ensuing kneel down sealed the game for the Giants in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, reminiscent of the Giants’ co-tenant, the New York Jets’ upset over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
New York Giants: 17
New England Patriots: 14