The Giants match up extremely well with the Patriots. They’re strong where the Pats are weak. They have an excellent defensive line that can get to Tom Brady. Brady becomes human when he is pressured, and the Giants have the ability to do that. On the other side of the ball, the match up is just as favorable for the Giants. They have three good receiving targets in Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham. New England doesn’t seem to have enough in the secondary to stop them. But even though the matchups favor the Giants, I’m still going New England.
There are a few reasons I believe New England will prevail. First up, I think there are some bad signs for the Giants. I think their players are a little too full of themselves compared to last time. You have guys like Chris Canty telling fans to get ready for a parade. You have coach Tom Coughlin already talking about having more fun than he’s had in the past. It almost seems like the Giants feel they’ve already arrived whereas the Pats still feel they have something to prove.
I really think attitude will be the difference. People are already putting Eli in the Hall of Fame for winning two rings and being ahead of his brother. The Patriots are back to their underdog role which serves them well.
Lastly, the rematch factor should favor the Patriots. And when I talk rematch, I mean the rematch from Week 9, not 2007. After beating the Pats on the road, I think the Giants will probably feel they can do the same thing over again and still win. The Patriots will be motivated to make changes and I think they’ll be able to make adjustments.
Final score: Patriots 20, Giants 17
On paper, this is probably the most evenly-matched Super Bowl we’ve seen in quite some time. As we have learned on multiple occasions in the past, that means absolutely nothing come kickoff on Sunday. It does, however, make the meeting extremely intriguing — not that a New York vs. Boston game ever needs any help.
The Patriots’ chances hinge on the effectiveness of their offensive line. Considering New England allowed 20 points to a mediocre Ravens offense at home two weeks ago, it’s safe to assume Eli Manning and his trio of receivers are going to make a number of plays against a Patriots’ secondary that has been exposed all season. If Tom Brady and company want to keep pace with the Giants’ offense, Brady will need to stay on his feet. Against a pass rush of Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul, that will be no easy task.
The Giants’ defensive line is one of their strong suits, but the Patriots front four will be equally important on Sunday. Everyone expects New York to make plays along the line of scrimmage. New England has to as well. If the Vince Wilfork we saw in the AFC Championship game shows up in Indianapolis, Eli Manning could be forced into making a bad throw that could potentially turn the game around. If Manning has all day to throw, the game is over. New England’s secondary is not good enough to make plays without getting pressure on the quarterback.
Bottom line: This one is impossible to predict. My Patriot fan friends have been crucifying me for two weeks, but my initial instinct was screaming Giants. I’ll stick with my gut and cross my fingers for the opposite. Giants 31 Patriots 27Google+