Superbowl Matchup and Predictions
In direct rebuttal to PeteAbe's similar post
Coaches: Tom Coughlin’s changed attitude has been all the talk this season. Bill Belichick plays juvenile games with the NFL injury report and has yet to prove he could have gone undefeated without the benefit of breaking the rules. However, the referees will have his back as always.
Last meeting: The Giants were up by 12 points on the vaunted Patriots in the 4th quarter. Yes, they scored a touchdown on special teams. Should we just discount special teams? Is that not a part of the game? This would be like saying that defense doesn’t count in baseball. It’s a part of the game. The Giants were rolling until Sean O’Hara got hurt, then two muffed snaps and poor blocking caused the offense to shut down. One could easily make the case that if O’Hara remains healthy, the Giants score another touchdown.
The quarterbacks: Tom Brady is great in his execution. There is no denying that. Part of it has to do with the system, of course, but Brady’s got the record for TDs in a season. Montana comparisons are silly, of course, because the game has changed greatly since the Montana days.. back then 35 TDs was considered a great year. Eli Manning was Alex Rodriguez earlier in the season. The media liked to put all of the blame for anything that went wrong with the Giants on him, and he hadn’t won in the postseason. He became the easy target, and back page whipping boy. He was “too robotic” and “didn’t show enough emotion.” Manning’s numbers suffered in the end of the Patriots game once backup guard Gary Ruegamer was forced into duty.
Key matchup: Giants C Sean O’Hara vs. Patriots NT Vince Wilfork. If O’Hara can handle Wilfork without having to constantly double-team him (and avoid getting his eyes gouged) it will free up guards Chris Snee and Rich Seubert to handle the Pats linebackers Junior Seau and Tedy Bruschi. Both Bruschi and Seau are “downhill” linebackers who love to dart in and attempt to stuff the run. Freeing up the guards will open up more lanes in the soft middle of the Patriots defense for Manning to hit receivers like Kevin Boss and Steve Smith on crossing patterns, as well as open up holes for running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. The Pats safeties will also be forced to fill the middle and open up single coverage on Buress and Toomer. All of this centers around O’Hara’s ability to contain Wilfork.
How the Patriots can lose: Brady gets hurried, hit, and sacked.
How the Giants can lose: Inability to establish the run.
Intangibles: The Patriots have been making “fake funny news stories” for their resident cheerleaders in Bristol all week. Brady’s been to New York to visit his famous girlfriend (no word if they got margaritas) and despite what the Patriots will say, has a hurt ankle. Should the Giants hit him early and often, they can take away his plant foot and force the Patriots to become a run-only one-dimensional offense.
If you hear this guy's name a lot, the Patriots should win: Randy Moss. If Moss is getting lots of catches, the Giants aren't executing on defense and are in big trouble.
If you hear this guy's name a lot, the Giants should win: Brandon Jacobs. If the Giants' big back is getting a lot of carries, New York isn't concerned about quick scores and is controlling the clock and able to move the ball down the field. This also would mean the play-action pass - a major Manning weapon - is in play.
Biggest Patriots question mark: How good is that ankle, Tom?
Biggest Giants question mark: How are the nagging injuries, Plaxico?
Final score: This Super Bowl reminds me of the 2001 World Series. The Patriots are the Yankees. They’re a powerful, seemingly flawless team facing a scrappy bunch of underdogs. This is the game to cement their dynasty, as they’ve recently won three world championships. Like the Diamondbacks, the Giants have done well to get as far as they did. When it all comes down to one game, anything can happen. Giants 28, Patriots 24.
Labels: nfl, predictions
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:45 PM