There's little to say that hasn't been said elsewhere. Some points I'd like to make:
1) People who complain that Belichick left the field with 1 second left on the clock need to first acknowledge that the clock had run to zero before time had been added, and that only later was a second added. Thinking that every possible action a person makes is a revelation about that person's black heart, thinking that every gesture or word is a sign of inner contempt: these kinds of things are more revelatory about the people making the "observations" than anything else.
I was hoping the Pats would win more to just shut up the sanctimonious critics than anything else. Now these mouthbreathers are going to be with us for a while.
2) Um, KSK? You guys really need to get a grip on your hate orgy.
3) The Pats Oline played like crap. But with that in mind, the Patriots' offense was more productive than people realize. What happened is that, in the second quarter, the Pats had two sacks in a row, and that kind of immediate reinforcement of a phenomenon makes it appear more significant that it really is. The Pats gave up 5 sacks on 69 plays. The Giants gave up 3 sacks on 63 plays. That's not as much of a difference as people are making it to be.
4) Luck played a huge role. Namely, the three fumbles lost were all recovered by the Giants. And the scrambling pass from Eli to Tyree has no business being successful. The Pats had no similar lucky plays.
5) Penalties played a huge role. The Pats made a lot of stupid penalties. The Giants made few, and also got away with a couple egregious ones, most notably when Toomer pushed his defender in the face to catch a ball.
With all that said, the Pats did not play well enough to deserve to win. The luck that had carried them against the Eagles and Ravens was not there. The coaching was suspect: the refusal to attempt a FG on 4th and 13, the abandonment of the running game, and the decision to cover Burress with Hobbs in single coverage on the biggest play of the game were all bad choices. McDaniels is a good offensive coordinator, but I don't like the decision to abandon the running game altogether in favor of the short passing game. Maroney ran well in the 3rd quarter, and then only one rushing play was called in the 4th.
Basically, everything went wrong. This does not mean "good defeated evil" or that the Patriots got their comeuppance for "running up the score" or that God hates a cheater or anything like that. (If the last theory were true, we wouldn't have had 8 years of W in the White House.) Problem is that it all happened at the wrong time.
People who think the Pats peaked too early must have forgotten the game against the Jaguars, which was easy as pie.
The Pats' D is starting to get old, which makes me fairly certain next season won't go as well as this one did, esp. if Assante Sammuel leaves. The idea of Hobbs and Gay being the starting CBs scares me. They need help at linebacker, too. The only upside for next season is that the schedule will be relatively light.
For people worried about the impact: I would say this rates about the level of the loss by the Celtics in the 1985 finals. It's nowhere near as bad as the really bad Sox losses in 1978, 2003, or esp. 1986. It's not as bad as the thumping the Pats took in Super Bowl XX. It's disappointing, but I'm not of the mind that the only way to enjoy a football season is if your team wins the Super Bowl.