So the big day is finally here. Beer, chips and dip, wings, blunts and more beer will consume my Sunday afternoon on this lovely national holiday. Go America.
And go NFL for giving us such a great matchup, not only for the storylines on the field, but off as well. Rematch anyone?
With the Patriots, it has to all start with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The scheming duo has already played in four Super Bowls, winning three. And that one loss, you ask? Yup. To the New York Giants.
It’s hard not to see this year’s Giants team as a flashback to 2007’s team, when New York beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. That 2007 team backed into the playoffs as a wild card team with a 10-6 record. After three consecutive playoff wins, a fighting underdog attitude and a miracle play in the Super Bowl, the New York Giants became the first wild card team to win the Super Bowl, defeating the previously undefeated Patriots.
This year, the Giants snuck in by beating the Dallas Cowboys in the last week of the season, winning the NFC East at 9-7. They then went on to win two consecutive road games over the Packers at Lambeau and 49ers at Candlestick after taking care of the Falcons at home in the wild card round. Eli Manning has been leading the way, posting a league-high eight touchdowns with only one interception during the playoffs. Just like in ’07, the Giants are fueled by an aggressive defense led by its devastating pass rush. Yes, the now-healthy Pats offensive line held off the Ravens defense, but New York is a tougher task. The Giants — with the insane defensive end combination of Jason-Pierre Paul, Justin Tuck, and the now-healthy Osi Umenyiora — are able to pressure the quarterback without even blitzing. I smell trouble for Brady and the Pats O-line.
It feels the same. You just knew that the Cowboys would choke (you have no idea how much I love writing that) and that the Giants — with that very same underdog attitude — would sneak into the playoffs. Then the defense began to click, and Eli stepped up once again. And now here they are in the Super Bowl, against the very same opponent.
A less interesting man may say that the similarities between this year’s Giants team and the team from 2007 give the Pats and Belichik’s evil genius ways an advantage.
But I disagree. New York has more talent on its roster top to bottom, and Tom Coughlin will have his guys just as ready as Belichik. That vaunted pass rush of the Giants is scary and will get to Brady at one point or another. If that pressure on Brady results in a turnover or two, it will be New York’s game to lose. Say what you want about Eli and his goofy face, but the man gets it done on the field, especially in the playoffs. He is certainly capable of running up the score and, along with his own weapons Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw, will keep up with Brady, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and the gang.
I’m going with the hot team, the team on a roll and the more complete football team.
Giants win, and Eli gets his second Super Bowl MVP — one less than Tom Brady and one more than his elder brother Peyton.
Final prediction: Giants 34, Patriots 31