Cornerback Asante Samuel started for the only team in NFL history to go undefeated in a 16-game regular season. However, he doesn't have a ring to show for it as his Patriots lost in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants to conclude the 2007 season.
On not one, but two occasions, Samuel could have helped put the game away on the Giants' go-ahead drive. Samuel nearly intercepted an Eli Manning pass along the sideline. It would have been a tough grab as Samuel was in the air, but Samuel has the most picks in the NFL since the 2006 season. Then there was David Tyree's one-handed grab with the ball cradled to the helmet. Samuel was in the area as Tyree landed on the ground with the ball secured.
That game was Samuel's last with the New England Patriots. Samuel signed a lucrative six-year deal on the opening day of free agency with the Eagles and has been trying to make the Giants pay ever since. It certainly helps that the Eagles play the Giants twice a season.
In the two regular season games against the Giants in 2008, Samuel had six tackles and three pass knockdowns. However, in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, Samuel helped ensure that another team would win the Super Bowl as he intercepted a Manning pass and returned it 25 yards deep into Giants territory. The Eagles scored on a 1-yard sneak by Donovan McNabb.
Samuel has continued to wreak havoc on the Giants in 2009. In the 40-17 rout on Nov. 1, Samuel intercepted Manning on the Giants' opening drive which led to a touchdown pass from McNabb to Brent Celek to put the Eagles ahead 13-0. Samuel also forced a fumble in that game.
When asked this week whether he had Manning's number, Samuel declined to comment to avoid any sort of controversy. Samuel already has seven interceptions this season. Don't be surprised to see Samuel try to do the talking with his play on the field Sunday night.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:28 a.m., December 12