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Superbowl XLVI Report: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots Showdown
Legacy is the dominant theme of Superbowl XLVI. It’s Bill Belichick versus Tom Coughlin. It’s humble pie versus the perfectionist freak. It’s Tom Brady versus Eli Manning. It’s Boston versus New York. It’s AFC versus NFC. Let’s not waste any more time with storylines and break down what should be an excellent game.
On offense, the New England Patriots will use the triple headed coaching machine of Bill Belichick, Bill O’Brien, and Josh McDaniels to try to frustrate the New York Giants on defense. With two weeks of preparation, the Pats will come out in plenty of formations mostly spread, implement the no huddle offense and play fast to keep the G-Men off-balance.
I expect a heavy dose of dink and dunk throughout the game, so that Tom Brady is not getting hit, builds some early confidence from making completions, and limits the amount of turnovers that the Pats should have during this game.
Expect a lot of receivers to make catches specifically Deion Branch, Julian Edelman, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, and Danny Woodhead out of the back field. The dink and dunk philosophy, which will feature mostly 3 step drops or less will allow the Pats to not feel the impact as much of not having Rob Gronkowski at full strength for this game. The Pats will take what the defense gives them and should have a good game on offense.
On offense for the New York Giants, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has to be excited because the G-Men should be able to run the ball effectively with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. I think Bradshaw may even be the back chosen to run the ball on 3rd and 4th down short yardage situations much to the delight of G-Men fans around the world because he is a more effective short yardage runner than Jacobs.
Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Nicks should certainly have their way with the Pats’ secondary. Eli Manning is rolling and I think why everyone is expecting Cruz to have a big game, it will be Nicks who will use his frame and size to make plenty of big plays for G-Men throughout this game.
Advantage: The New York Giants have the advantage on offense because they have more balance, but I think it will be important for the G-Men to consistently throw the ball on first down and go for big plays, so that they can force the Pats to play from behind throughout this game. If they can the G-Men should have an edge on offense this game.
On defense the Pats have a large front seven led by Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork, which has helped the team improve throughout the season. This game is going to put a lot of attention on secondary coaches Josh Boyer and Matt Patricia who will receive quite a bit of negative attention if the Pats’ secondary does not hold up against the offense of the G-Men.
Kyle Arrington, Patrick Chung, Julian Edelman, James Ihedigbo, and Devin McCourty have all been called out by Mario Manningham and they have to play well during this game, otherwise, the Pats will be forced to draft or trade for some better secondary players before next season.
On defense, Perry Fewell is the hottest defensive coordinator in the NFL right now and has to be extremely confident after handling the offenses of the Falcons, Packers, and 49ers with relative ease. Fewell has to believe he can slow down the Pats’ offense, particularly after seeing the success that the Baltimore Ravens had in the AFC Championship game.
I expect him to call a lot of 2-man coverages during the game with an emphasis on limiting the ability of Tom Brady to complete passes up the seam. The G-Men are one of the rare teams in the NFL who can get pressure with just four major pass rushers with Chris Canty, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and many others great passes rushers on the team at any point during the game.
Advantage: While, the Pats have a done a nice job of improving in the playoffs with their ‘Bend Don’t Break’ philosophy on defense, it generally has not been a blueprint to win the Superbowl. The G-Men have talked big in the playoffs and backed it up, which is why they have a decided advantage in this game. The G-Men defense is simply playing amazing right now.
Special Teams Advantage: Both the G-Men and the Pats have reliable kicking games with Stephen Gostkowski and Lawrence Tynes, so there is no huge advantage for either team particularly since the game is being played indoors.
Analysis: The world will be watching the best sporting event of the year and this game is going to be all about legacy. Will Tom Brady win his 4th Superbowl? Will Eli Manning win his 2th Superbowl? Will Bill Belichick prove he is the best coach in sports? Will Tom Coughlin improve his chances of making the Hall Of Fame and prove that he is the best coach out of the Bill Parcells’ coaching tree?
I expect the Pats to use a lot of quick throws during this game to attempt to neutralize the pass rush of the G-Men, which is certainly not a bad strategy, but I think eventually Brady will some mistakes. The turnovers by Brady will help the G-Men take control of the game.
Momentum should never be underestimated in football and the G-Men are on fire on both sides of the ball. Because this game is indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium, the G-Men will outplay the Pats during this contest. With a limited Rob Gronkowski, no contribution from Chad Ochocinco, not having Albert Haynesworth, playing poor on defense throughout this season, the Pats are bound to be exposed in the Superbowl.
The G-Men will win this game. The NFC will win this game for the third time in four seasons. The New York Giants will beat the New England Patriots in Superbowl XLVI by a touchdown. Enjoy the game!