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SuperBowl XLVI; A Closer Look

Rating: 1 votes, 4.00 average.
Posted 02-03-2012 at 08:25 AM by SloMotion
Updated 02-03-2012 at 09:17 AM by SloMotion (spelling)

Ok, it's the Friday before the big game ... snack list filled out? check ... beverage list? check ... sides? check ... main entree? not checked, probably gonna' be a last minute, game day decision. Always have a hard time with this one, do you go with ribs, pizza, wings, subs or just all of 'em? Gotta' get the squares board up and see what oddball wagers are out there this year ...

So, I've talked around, did some research, got a feel from the people and the overwhelming, underlying opinion seems to be that the New York Football Giants are gonna' win this one. I'm a bit confused, so in my effort to understand, I blog.

When the Giants have the ball

Do you realize the Giants ranked last in rushing this season? Hard to imagine considering they won 6 of their last 7. Bradshaw/Jacobs, there's been some injuries and inconsistency there, but some of it is on an O/L who is mainly there to protect Eli. center David Baas, guards Kevin Boothe and Chris Snee and tackle David Diehl are going to have their hands full trying to spring Bradshaw/Jacobs ...

... mostly because they'll be seeing a lot of Vince Wilfork (75), DT for New England. Remember that number, the guy's been an immovable object in the middle of the line all season long and rushes off the edge too. The Patriots have eight sacks this postseason and get pressure from the linebacking corps of Ninkovich, Mayo and Spikes. Linemen Mark Anderson, Shaun Ellis and a blitzing safety at times add to the mix.

But there's Eli Manning, in his best season of an eight-year career. "Big Game" Eli, he made enough big plays against the league's most punishing defense to get the Giants to their second Super Bowl in four years ... despite six sacks. He's the 'hot' quarterback, I think even Terry Bradshaw said it ... and when Terry speaks, you listen ... at least I do.

Where New York matches up best is with WRs Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham against a jumbled New England secondary that, at times, has included WRs Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater. CB Kyle Arrington tied for the league interception lead with seven, but suffered an eye injury in the AFC championship win over Baltimore. If the Giants can get man coverage on one of those receivers, it's gonna' be a long day for New England.

When the Patriots have the ball

The big question is Tom Brady, who has been openly critical of his own play in the AFC Championship Game against Baltimore. But he did lead the winning drive and rarely has two consecutive, mediocre games. He's the 'Comeback Kid', remember? It's his arm the Giants need to be the most concerned with, really no different a matchup then when they met in the regular season (24-20 Giants win) or when they faced off in the 2008 SuperBowl. If he (Brady) gets time, he will find All-Pro receivers Wes Walker and Rob Gronkowski or WR Deion Branch and TE Aaron Hernandez.

The Giants need to pressure Brady, and who better accomplish that task then All-Pro DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora? They'll be facing a line built to protect Brady and anchored by guards Mankins, Waters and tackle Matt Light. This will be a battle to watch, throw in New York sending LBs Mathias Kiwanuka and Michael Boley on the rush and it becomes pretty volatile. If they (New York) can force Gronkowski or Hernandez to stay home and block more then New England wants, it could be game changing. If they (New York) can't, the two tight ends are difficult challenges for the Giants linebackers ... and don't buy into Gronkowski's 'high ankle' sprain ... I think it's a smokescreen.

Being overlooked is the Patriots run game, they've done fairly well in the postseason. Green-Ellis is underrated and Woodhead is a do-everything type of back, but the main thing is still how much time Brady gets to throw. New York's secondary has stood out in pass coverage recently, which makes the Wes Walker (NE)/Corey Webster (NY) matchup even more important for the Patriots. Should the Giants get a decent pass rush on Brady, Walker's going to need to be open.

Look for a lot of 'no-huddle' from the Pats also.

Special Teams

Special Teams ... I really kind of hate Special Teams ... but, just in case ... I remember that one SuperBowl where Bob Lilly chased down kicker Garo Ypremium ... it was ugly ...

New England has Stephen Gostkowkski, who indoors could probably hit a few long ones if needed. He consistently kicks deep into the endzone. You don't see the punter, Mesko, much though, which might be a good thing. The ball comes off the foot of a lefty kicker kind of funny at times. The Giants aren't that dangerous a return team either.

Where New York has been exceptional is in kick coverages, and the two critical turnovers in the NFC championship victory at San Francisco came on punt coverages. Kicker Lawrence Tynes makes the clutch field goals and twice has kicked the Giants into the Super Bowl with overtime winners.

Coaches

Here's an interesting twist ... both come from the Bill Parcell's school-of-coaching. Coughlin (NY) as an offensive guru and Belichik (NE) as a defensive mastermind. New York has been a stronger defensive team under Coughlin and New England has morphed into an offensive juggernaut under Belichik. I guess it's what you would call "ironic"?.

Three Super Bowl titles in four appearances (not including this year) for Belichick. Of course, that one loss was against Coughlin's Giants. Belichick is more willing to experiment in game plans and with his players, using receivers as defensive backs and coming up with a passing attack built on two pass-catching tight ends. If either coach is going to come up with an unusual wrinkle in this Super Bowl, it's gonna' be Belichick ... and considering the matchups, he very well may have to pull something from his sleeve.

The Wrap Up

Want to know what I think? Scored tied, final play of the game, New England lines up for something like a 53yd, game-winning field goal attempt. Brady receives the snap, but instead of placing the ball, comes out of the crouch and wheels to his left ... Chad Ochocinco is streaking down the sideline, uncovered ... Brady hits Ochocinco with pinpoint accuracy and the Patriots win the game, a statement made, Ochocinco retires from the NFL ... and the crowd goes wild!

Hey .... it could happen.
Posted in Sports, NFL
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    saintfan's Avatar
    I differ in your wrap up. I agree they will fake the kick. Brady will throw deep to Ochocinco, but Chad will drop the pass.

    So 85 will retire, but under a different set of circumstances...

    permalink
    Posted 02-03-2012 at 10:52 AM by saintfan saintfan is offline

  2. Old Comment
    SloMotion's Avatar
    Yeah, you could be right ... I accidently watched Skip Bayless for more then a brief second yesterday and noticed, for the most part, he agrees with me ... now I'm worried I could be a little off with my predicitions ...
    permalink
    Posted 02-04-2012 at 07:16 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  3. Old Comment
    SloMotion's Avatar
    ... but now I feel better, "Broadway" Joe Namath has come around to my way of thinking, Joe Namath .... and the Patriots released Tiquan Underwood yesterday, paving the way for Chad Ochocinco to play in the SuperBowl .... it would appear my evil plan is coming along quite nicely ...
    permalink
    Posted 02-05-2012 at 05:48 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Halo's Avatar
    I think that game was played like crap. Mistake riddled, ball dropping hott mess!!
    permalink
    Posted 02-05-2012 at 09:16 PM by Halo Halo is offline
  5. Old Comment
    SloMotion's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Halo View Comment
    I think that game was played like crap. Mistake riddled, ball dropping hott mess!!
    Yeah, it just came down to the Giants making the plays and the Patriots not. I'm seeing a lot of focus on Wes Walker (Pats) dropping the pass with 4-minutes left to play. Thought the 4th qtr Rob Ninkovich (Pats) offsides penalty that gave the Giants new life on third down, deep in their own end, was key. Seemed like the more time both Brady & Eli had, the worse they threw the ball (?). Didn't expect such a low-scoring event ... almost thought I had it called when I saw Ochocinco lining up on the last play of the game for the 'Hail Mary',
    permalink
    Posted 02-06-2012 at 05:52 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
 
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