PETE PAGUAGA — Sports Editor
Here we go all over again. As many analysts have been saying its Déjà Blue all over again.
Giants and Patriots in the Super Bowl again, pretty boy, Uggz wearing Tom Brady vs. dumbfounded, questionable reading skills, Eli Manning.
Before the season started Eli said he was in the same elite class as Tom Brady. I had always agreed with that statement because on the biggest stage four years ago Manning beat Brady and the 18-0 Patriots. Now he gets another chance to do it and not only solidify his spot as an elite quarterback but also tell the boys in Canton to start making his bust.
This is going to be the hardest test this postseason for the Giants. The Falcons were a breeze. The Packers, for a team that was 15-1, laid down very nicely even though they were handed 14 points by the referees. The 49ers game was tough because of how tough the Niners defense is, but the Patriots are coming into this game wanting blood.
Four years ago the Jedis (Eli and the Giants) beat the Dark Side (Brady and Belichick) and ruined their shot at perfection. After not winning a playoff game since the 2007 AFC Championship, the Patriots are back atop the AFC, just like the Dark Side rose back to power in The Empire Strikes Back. And the Jedis are here to restore power back to the good guys. The Emperor (Bill Belichick) and his minion, Darth Vader (Brady), are going to try and end the Jedis for good.
The way the Giants are going to beat the Patriots is simple. Put Tanya Brady, sorry, I mean Tom, on his butt. Plain and simple, get in his face and knock him down; make sure he gets very comfortable down there. When he throws the ball, hit him. If he holds on to the ball try and take it away from him.
Also, the Giants will have to throw the
ball down field often. Manning should have no problem topping the stats he had against the Patriots this season, which were a mere 250 yards and two touchdowns. This is especially true now that the Giants have found the running game that was nonexistent the first time they got together in Week 9.
Even though every analyst and fan wants to talk about Manning vs. Brady, it’s going to have to come down to the defenses. If the Giants are able to wreak havoc on
Brady and not give him time to find his tandem of stormtrooper tight ends, the Giants will win the game.
Final Score: Giants 28 Patriots 14.
RYAN FLYNN — General Assignment Reporter
Following the Patriots and Giants both notching 3-point wins in their respective championship games, we have the matchup the majority of NFL fans in the northeast had been hoping for. This is the rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl, a game the Giants won 17-14 in a stunning upset. This time around, though, I see things going a bit differently.
We all saw what Vernon Davis did to the Giants defense last week, despite being the 49ers only real weapon in the passing game. With the Pats, the Giants won’t be able to key in on one guy as they did with Davis. I don’t see anyone on the Giants roster who can stick with tight end Rob Gronkowski, or Aaron Hernandez for that matter. Gronkowski didn’t do much last game, but he was banged up for most of the day and also drew coverage for the most part by a future hall-of-famer in Ed Reed. Even the most devout Giants fan will admit they don’t have a player like that on their roster.
The Giants greatest strength is their pass rush. However, this is not the 2007 Pats who got all of their big plays off of slow-developing deep routes to Randy Moss. Instead, these Pats can work their quick, short-yardage passing game out of the no-huddle, something they’ve done all season long. This will at least slow down the pressure the Giants can generate from their talented front four.
Along with this, I see the Pats having an edge at both coach and the quarterback position. Belichick remains one of the best in the game, and after seeing countless Coughlin blunders like the one this past Sunday where he cost his
field goal unit five yards on a delay of game, I simply can’t put them in the same class. As far as the QBs go, Eli Manning may compare himself to Brady, and may have outdueled him the past two times they’ve met, but I still have to go with the three-time champ and two-time league MVP. Remember, the last time Brady went up against a defense ranked outside of the op five, he just happened to hang 45 points on them.
Last, and maybe most importantly, is the revenge factor. The last time that these teams met in the big game, the Giants were playing with nothing to lose against a perceived juggernaut. The bulletin board material wrote itself. This time, it is the Patriots coming in with the bad taste in their mouths and I see Belichick taking full advantage.
This one is setting up to look like a shootout, given the weapons both offenses tout. Despite this, most Super Bowls start slow offensively and I don’t see a whole lot of scoring until the second half. I see a tight game throughout, but ultimately, redemption for New England.
Final Score: Patriots 30 Giants 17.