As you all know, this upcoming Sunday February 5th at 3:30 PM (Pacific Time) is the Super Bowl featuring the New York Giants NFC(National Football Conference) Champions and the New England Patriots AFC(American Football Conference) Champions. I’m going to analyze this matchup and make a prediction.
For those of you, who don’t know, this game is a rematch of Super Bowl XLII which took place on February 3, 2008 between the (13-6) Giants and the (18-0) Patriots. Leading up to that game, most thought that it was a forgone conclusion that the Patriots who came in with the most prolific offense in the league, were going to cap off an amazing season by making history. They would’ve become only the second team in history to go undefeated (19-0) for a whole season. [The only other team that accomplished this feat was the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who went (16-0)]. However it was not meant to be, as on that day the Wild Card packed Giants upset the previously undefeated and heavily favored Patriots 17-14. People called this the biggest upset in Super Bowl history for quite some time.
When dissecting this years’ match-up I definitely see similar story lines from their last Super Bowl encounter that will be appearing in this rematch. The first thing is the Giants ferocious pass rush. It is even better this time around, which is a scary thought. This to combat the Patriots high scoring offense, which is explosive and very good, but perhaps not as powerful as the 2007 version.
What about the quarterbacks? If Tom Brady wins he will have 4 super bowl rings in 5 appearances and would be in a tie for the record with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw. Some might consider him to be the greatest Quarterback of all time, and they would have a valid argument. As for Eli Manning, if he were to prevail victorious he would gain his 2nd Super Bowl ring and that might start the comparison to say now he’s better than his brother Peyton. And they would have somewhat of an argument to present there as well.
As I look over the playing match-ups in this game, one stands out more than others, the forementioned the match-up between the Giants Defensive Line and Patriots Offensive Line. This match-up in the last Super Bowl was one of the reasons the Giants won. It will be critical for the Patriots to be able to protect Tom Brady, other wise it’s going to be a long day. The most important player for this game I think is going to be Mario Manningham, (Wide Receiver for the Giants). The Giants like to line him up in the “slot” and he’s been on fire during these playoffs. It will be of major importance for the Patriots to contain him, otherwise, the Giants receivers will have a field day against the Patriots secondary.
Overall, I think this game is going to be close, just like the last one. Even though I have no “skin in the game” (would rather have seen the Ravens and 9’ers go at it), I believe that once again the Giants will prevail in the 28-24 range.