Giants vs. Patriots - Well, here we are after a long season it’s time to see if I have what it takes to make the correct pick of the biggest game of the year. I’ve played with fire and been burned on some picks, but I’ve been right 65% of the time as well. And this game is an intriguing match up. Some say it’s a rematch, and some say it’s a quest for revenge on the part of the Patriots for being denied an Undefeated season. Either way this is a match up truly worthy of being called “Super”, so let’s break this one down.
These two teams are very different, and although there are commonalities in their backgrounds the two coaches are different as well. Bill Belichick has relied heavily on his QB to win. Tom Brady has been the one constant that Belichick knows he can count on, and with so much on the line, you just know Brady is going to be ready to play his best game of the season. Brady’s just that good.
Belichick gets so much credit for the Patriot’s success, but take Brady out of the equation and I doubt he’d be known as a coaching legend. But where Brady came to the Patriots with a lucky sixth round pick, Eli Manning came to the Giants as a number one pick. A member of football royalty, Eli is more than living up to his lofty draft status.
But these are two QB’s with two of the biggest chips on their shoulders in the NFL. Brady has used his status as a sixth round pick to fuel his passion for greatness, and continues to do so. And even though Eli has had the best season of his career, and has led the Giants to another Super Bowl, all people can seem to talk about is his big brother Peyton. You just know Eli is dying to use this game as a platform to finally step from out of Peyton’s shadow, and take his rightful place amongst the best QB’s in the game.
And Coughlin has relied on Eli Manning as Belichick has relied on Brady, but he chooses to have more of a balanced offensive attack. You know the Giants can and will run the football. They can and will chew up time of possession, limiting the offensive opportunities for the Patriots. This may be the least talented team the Patriots have brought to the Super Bowl in Belichick’s tenure, and this is why the Giants will win.
They have the best weapons to attack the opposition offensively and defensively. The Giants have a brigade of pass rushers to throw at Tom Brady, and the Patriots can’t counter that. The margin of error for Brady is much smaller than for Eli Manning. The Patriots have no threat in the running game, and their top receiver Rob Gronkowski will be playing with a significant injury. Gronkowski and Welker are good, but they can’t match up with the Giant’s weapons at the skill positions.
Vince Wilfork and Jared Mayo are good players as well, but outside of Andre Carter, the Patriots have no pass rushers. Not the case with the Giants, who are better in the front seven than the Patriots. The teams seem even in the secondary, but when a QB is under duress, a lack of talent there won’t matter. Belichick will dial up all sorts of blitz packages to counter his lack of a pass rusher, where as Coughlin can rely on his front four to do it, giving him a huge advantage.
Belichick got the Patriots to this game by relying on the greatness of Tom Brady and by using smoke and mirrors to make his team seem better than it really is. But no spy-gate and no amount of magic is going to help him here. His team is favored to win because they have the better record, but the Giants are playing the best football between the two teams right now, and that’s all that matters.
Eli Manning is at the height of his powers as a QB, and whatever confidence issues he had in the past are now a distant memory. Tom Brady has never had confidence issues, but he’s just simply out gunned in this match up. Brady’s indomitable will to win and Belichick’s craftiness will keep the Patriots close to the bitter end. But I feel the Patriots are built just to get to the Super Bowl, and the Giants are built to win it.
Giants - 28
Patriots - 24
Conference Championship Week Review - I went 1-1 for the week. If Lee Evans hadn’t dropped that game winning TD, I would have been near perfect in my pick of the Ravens to beat the Patriots, but oh well I got burned.
Year to Date: 148-80, which is 65% correct.