February 3, 2012 | Leave a Comment
Here we go again. Super Bowl XLVI consists of Tom Brady and The New England Patriots vs. Eli Manning and The New York Giants in a rematch of Super Bowl XLII. When these teams met in the Super Bowl four years ago the Patriots were heavy favorites that were attempting to cap off an undefeated season. No one really gave the Giants much of a chance yet they stunned the Patriots by beating them 17-14. It was an epic game that ruined The Patriots perfect season. This time around things are bit different. The Vegas odds makers have installed the Pats as mere 3 point favorites, but clearly the National Media has jumped on board the Giants bandwagon. The Giants were a pretty mediocre team much of the season but they got hot when it mattered and they have put together an impressive postseason run. They are healthy now, they have a strong pass rush, and Eli Manning has been playing lights out. The talking heads from ESPN and NFL network have bought in on the Giants. The consensus among the league analysts is that this is the Giants game to lose. I am not so sure about that. I see both these teams as having some big holes on defense. The Giants have certainly improved defensively during the postseason and they have the big names like Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul, but the Patriots defense has also become more formidable in post season play. The Patriots pass rush sacked Joe Flacco three times in the AFCCG and the Ravens boast a stronger Offensive Line than the New York Giants. Neither of these teams have very good secondaries. If these QBs get adequate protection they are going to put up some gaudy passing stats. This game is going to come down to which of these teams can protect their elite skirt wearing QBs the best. I have a hunch that with Rob Gronkowski limited with a high ankle sprain the Patriots may use him more as a decoy and an extra blocker. The Patriots have enough other weapons that they can still exploit the Giants secondary even if Gronkowski is assigned as a body guard for Brady. Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez will get their catches, but this may be the game where Chad Ochocinco finally becomes a prominent part of the Patriots game plan. I just have this feeling that Bill Belichick has some huge surprise in store for the Giants. Most teams dust off the old game plans and change little from week to week. But the Patriots aren’t like most teams. Because of the wrinkles they roll out they are hell to game plan for. So I don’t believe the Giants four man rush can simply take over this game like most of the network talking heads do. I think the Patriots will have the answer for it. So if The Giants are to win in the House that Peyton Manning built they will need little Brother Eli to have a big game and outplay Tom Brady. Eli is more than capable and he has some great weapons. The Pats secondary is going to have their hands full containing the Giants receiver core. I fully expect to see Victor Cruz doing his salsa dance in the end zone at least once this weekend. But ultimately I think this game will be decided by which QB has the ball last. I think that will be Tom Brady. My prediction: Patriots 34 – Giants 30.