Now that Super Bowl XLVI has its two teams, it is never too early to start analyzing the game. Yes, it is a Super Bowl 42 rematch, but the circumstances are totally different this time around.
The Patriots are not trying to become 2nd team in NFL History with an undefeated season. The Giants are not the huge underdogs they were 4 years ago. There is no Randy Moss. There is no Plaxico Burress. There is no David Tyree. This time around, the Pats are just as vulnerable as any other playoff team this season. Despite the always-potent Pats offense, with Tom Brady and his amazing rookie tight ends, New England pass defense is one of the worst in the league (I mean, come on, Julian Edelman is in as a defensive back- and he ain’t no Troy Brown).
On top of that, the Pats are lucky that:
1) Billy Cundiff wasn’t able to send that game into overtime and
2) their defense has not faced a passing offense this postseason of the Giants’ caliber.
Still, the Pats have once and again proven that their offense more than compensates for their defense. New England is on a 10-game win streak and hasn’t lost since Week 9 when they played… The New York Giants. After their Week 15 embarrassing loss to the Washington Redskins, the Giants appeared they had quit on Tom Coughlin once again and were heading for another second-half collapse. After the first quarter against the Jets, it seemed entirely possible.
Then, something amazing happened: third-and-10 from their own 1 yard line, Eli Manning threw a quick curl to Victor Cruz, who then juked his way to a 99 yard touchdown. The Giants have not stopped since. Their offense had been their all year, as Eli Manning has had his best year in the air, but their defense was finally clicking after safety Antrel Rolle called out players for not practicing hard enough. The Giants are on a five game winning streak, including blow-out wins over the Cowboys for the NFC East title, the Falcons in the Wild Card Round, and a big upset over the 15-1 Packers at Lambeau in the Divisional Round.
Then, in a tough, rain-soaked game in San Francisco, special teams proved to be the difference, as the Giants forced two turnovers on punts, leading to a touchdown and the eventual game winning field goal in overtime. Super Bowl XLVI is sure to be a good one. Tune into Rob n Rege next week when I will have my prediction!
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