The day has finally come, Super Bowl Sunday! After two weeks of speculation and media hype it’s time to put all talks to bed and watch the much anticipated rematch between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.
Many people across the country are favoring the New York Giants to win this game despite the fact that they are three point underdogs. The Giants have shown what they are capable of doing in the playoffs and have elevated their game to an elite status. After holding the Falcons to just 2 points in the NFC Wild Card game, they beat the Packers convincingly in Green Bay, and went on to beat the 49ers in San Francisco on their second road game in a row, winning themselves a trip to Indianapolis to take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI! It’s hard not to favor the New York Giants in this game when they have already beaten the Patriots twice in the last two meetings, but their 2011 season has a lot of similarities to their 2007 Super Bowl winning season and that’s why many people believe the Giants are going to win Super Bowl XLVI.
“NASCAR” vs. “FOUR ACES”
Is the Giants defensive line just as good as it was in 2007?
2011 Regular Season: 48 sacks, 15 interceptions
2011 Playoffs: 9 sacks, 1 interception
2007 Regular Season: 53 sacks, 15 interceptions
2007 Playoffs: 8 sacks, 5 interceptions
2011 Regular Season Tom Brady: Sacked 32 times
2011 Post Season Tom Brady: Sacked 1 time
2007 Regular Season Tom Brady: Sacked 21 times
2007 Post Season Tom Brady: Sacked 8 times
It is safe to say that the Giants front four may have been slightly better in 2007 than it is right now with Jason Strahan leading the defense but the Giants “Nascar” defense still puts up similar stats. It all depends on the quarterback play of Tom Brady. Brady has only been sacked once this postseason (2 games) but he was still rattled by different looks the Ravens showed in the AFC Championship game that contributed to his 57.5 quarterback rating. After watching the week 9 game between the Giants and Patriots, I noticed that the Giants were showing different looks before the snap of the ball and that was troubling for Brady. It’s all about making Brady feel unsure about the play before the snap of the ball, and at the right time. That remains to be seen but if the Giants do that at a consistent level like in week 9, they can surely win this game.
What about the Patriots defensive line? Vince Wilfork has been the best nose tackle in the business this season and he was tied in leading his team with interceptions (2) by week 8 of the regular season. Pro Football Focus ranks Giants tackles David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie as two of the league’s worst tackles this season and claims Eli Manning has been pressured on 38 % of all his pass attempts which could lead to his demise in Super Bowl XLVI. The Patriots are currently averaging one more sack a game than the Giants are this postseason.
Are the Patriots over confident heading into this game or are the Giants? Before Super Bowl XLII, Brady laughed at a reporter asking if they would put up more than 14 points against the Giants defense, that’s all they put up. I haven’t heard too much talk from the Patriots these past two weeks but I think the Patriots know what they are up against this time around. They have to put up a lot of points from start to finish if they want to win this game.
What about Gronkowski? Sigh, yes he has a high ankle sprain, no the Patriots aren’t worried too much about it. Since the Patriots 2001 Super Bowl winning season, they have changed their offensive scheme several times since then to fit their personal each season. Belichick has his offense ready to combat any weakness they have and they will be fine moving the chains in Super Bowl XLVI. Also, Gronkowski is active for this game and he was put back into the game against the Ravens after spraining his ankle if any of you recall.
Interesting to Know: This is the 6th Super Bowl Rematch. Teams that lost the first meeting are 1 and 3 in the second meeting.
Tom Coughlin is tied with Tom Landry for most post season road wins with 7
The Patriots are 16-5 in the Brady/Belichick postseason era and are one win away from the all-time record
Prediction: Well, I haven’t always favored the Patriots this year and I didn’t think they were going to make it to Super Bowl XLVI, but now that they are there, I think they will win it. The Giants have been playing better football this postseason and they are on a hot streak for a reason I think that hot streak ends tonight. The Patriots dedicated this season to Myra Kraft. In 2001, they dedicated their Super Bowl winning season to Dick Rehbein (Patriots quarterback’s coach). Bill Belichick rarely loses to the same team twice in one season and in 2001 the Rams beat the Patriots during the regular season but not in the Super Bowl. After analyzing their play on both sides of the ball this postseason, the Patriots haven’t played up to par with themselves from the regular season in most aspects and I think they put it all together in Super Bowl XLVI. The Patriots simply can’t play small ball all day and they know that. The Giants offense stays on the field 43 seconds longer than the Patriots this season and they controlled the game clock in each of their last two meetings.
The Patriots need to utilize the sidelines and throw deep. I think Chad Ochocinco has a huge day and helps the Patriots separate themselves from the New York Giants, he is averaging over 18 yards a catch this season on the 15 catches he has.
I like the Patriots to outplay the Giants in every phase of the game and beat them convincingly, 37-28.