Let’s start right from the top and work our way down. Two words: Tom Brady. He might not be the most athletic guy on the field come Sunday, but he will be the one that will have to make the most plays for the Patriots to win. I would look for him to cut into the Giants secondary early because of the Patriots’ past success i deep plays.
As far as the running game, the Pats have struggled all year to solidify a starting running back, and have relied on a number of different guys to make it happen on the ground. Ranked 20th in the NFL with 110.2 yards a game, look for New England to make most of their plays through the air. The only Patriot running back that sounded remotely familiar was Kevin Faulk, who at 35 is probably out of his prime. I wouldn’t expect much from the ground game tomorrow.
Defensively this year, the Patriots are far from the days Teddy Bruschi defense, but a strong line has really kept them in most of their games this year when the offense couldn’t get it done. The defensive line headlined by 325-pound monster Vince Wilfork. They have an incredible pass rush that I believe will keep Eli Manning throwing short and off target.
Once again, Eli Manning is still at the helm for the Giants after leading New York to the world championship game in 2008. Although he’s taken a lot of hits this year, Manning has continued to stand tall in the pocket. Eli has proven that he has what it takes to lead a high caliber offense, however he has not been able to get out of the shadow of big brother Peyton Manning. Along with Eli, second year receiver Victor Cruz has been a steady source of exciting plays all year and I expect nothing less in the big game.
There is not much to say about the Giants running game this year, as it has been dismal at best. Ranked 32nd out of 32 teams in the NFL, New York is the worst rushing team in the league. Ahmad Bradshaw and the injury-prone Brandon Jacobs have been non-factors this year, but in order for them to win this game, there will need to be some rushing spark if the Giants want a chance to win this one. Although Eli has done admirably throughout the year, his arm isn’t strong enough to carry the Giant’s offense in such a big game.
Finally, defense. A huge edge for New York here. With the athleticism of the d-line, I might take New York’s defense over any teams. Defensive tackle Osi Umenura and defenseive ends Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul are a force to be reckoned with, and they will be hard for New England’s line to handle.
Tom Brady has been to the big dance too many times to be beat by the same team twice, whether it’s in a super bowl game or a regular season game. Wes Welker, Deion Branch, and tight end Rob Gronkowski, if healthy, are going to wreak havoc on the Giant’s secondary.
Defense: Edge – Giants
New York’s d-line is too athletic for New England’s big men, and are going to cause a lot of problems for Tom Brady. Look out for Jason Pierre-Paul in this game. The man has only played football for seven years, but in two years being pro he has been among the best in sacking quarterbacks.
Both teams have proven that they can kick clutch field goals(the Giants in the NFC Championship with Lawrence Tynes, a former Chief, and New England in what seems like every Super Bowl)..
Ultimately, the team that plays the best on all three fronts will win the game, best said by John Madden. I’m expecting a good struggle in this super bowl. I’m going to pick the Patriots simply because they get it done on offense. Defense wins championships, but if they are able to score more than they are stopped, I like my chances with the Pats.