Giants vs. Patriots
WARNING: I'm about to break down my keys to the game, if you don't feel like reading all of that, just scroll down to check the prediction
But the crazy thing is that when it mattered in the playoffs, it wasn't the Giants or Pats offense that outperformed their opponents but it was their defenses that ended up spoiling the Falcons, Packers, 49ers, Broncos and Ravens Super Bowl hopes. Their defenses had the ability to bend but never brake. The Giants were able to hold the Falcons to 2 points while causing the Packers receivers to catch balls no more than 4 times or 45 yards. The Patriots, on the other hand, were able to hold the Broncos to only 10 points including stopping their top ranked rushing attack while also breaking up the Ravens' Lee Evans' game winning TD and causing the Ravens offense to start the game off very stagnant.
The key to this game is going to be about whose defense brakes first. It's going to be a high scoring game just because there are too many weapons on the offensive side of the ball for both teams. But the winner of this game will be Super Bowl champs because they are going to find a way to bypass the defense's strategies while utilizing other factors on offense that usually aren't major factors. I know I sound like John Madden stating the obvious but here is what I mean.
The Giants are most likely going to pressure Tom Brady bringing in 4 or more rushers on any given drive so that he's not comfortable enough to throw to his safe targets i.e. Gronk, Welker, Hernandez. Because of this, BenJarvis Green-Ellis is going to need to have the game of his life in order to fatigue the defense, open up the field for some pass yards and make it easier to get 1st downs. You have to give the Giants something they aren't expecting by balancing the run and throw rather than throw first, run second. Chad Ochocinco is also going to need to step up and get open either through screens or through short yardage because Hernandez is going to get shut down and the Giants are going to be extra physical with Gronk to get him out of the game.
The Patriots aren't necesarily going to focus on pressuring Eli Manning, he's going to have time to throw the ball. But Victor Cruz isn't going to be a factor at all, they're going to double team the life out of Cruz and take him out of this game. Although we know double teams have never stopped Cruz from catching balls in unfathomable spots of the field, it's going to be up to Jake Ballard to switch roles with the Gronk and become the strength of the Giants offense. He's going to need to use his physicality to help the Giants convert on 3rd down situations while the 2-headed running monster machine of Bradshaw and Jacobs is going to need to run collectively for at least 100 yds. if they have any chance of winning.
New York football teams usually don't do well when everyone picks them, they do better as the underdog i.e. Joe Namath's Jets win over the Baltimore Colts way back. This is why I'm reluctantly and shamefully picking the Patriots to win. I'm sure Tom Brady has been thinking all week "I have 3 rings and all the media has been talking about is either Peyton, Eli or Gronk?" Brady is going to have something to prove because of the extra attention the media has showed towards the Giants. The only focus towards the Pats has been about Gronk's injury which probably sits well with Bellichek but not Brady. He's not going to have his best game and towards the 2nd half they are going to focus more on their running game because of it but Brady is going to do just enough to win the game. The attention they've gotten of possibly having the same result as the last SB matchup will play too much into the Giants psyche and ego for them to survive.
|I HOPE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS BUT I DOUBT IT|
But you know damn well I'll be ROOTING SO HARD for the NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS!!!!!!
FINAL SCORE: Patriots 27 Giants 17
This will be a close game until the 4th quarter when the Patriots pull away. The weapons on the Pats offense, revenge, the NFL's gratefulness for Robert Kraft saving the season (don't be surprised if the refs lean the Pats way) and the loss of Myra Kraft will all compelling storylines that put Beantown over the hump. Isn't it funny how we thought the Pats would win the Super Bowl when the season started because of Albert Haynesworth and Ochocinco?
|FAIL SO HARD? I HOPE!|