Super Bowl XLVI

Notwithstanding the Eli Manning v. Tom Brady hype, it is teams, not players, that win Super Bowls, and the team with more playmakers tend to win them.  It’s also axiomatic that the team that turns the ball over more times almost always loses the game. Why?  Because they either make mistakes early and have to play catch-up, or they fall behind and have to take more risks.

So who has more play makers?  Unless what’s meant is the literal play “maker”, which may mean Bill Belichick, the Giants have more playmakers, at least healthy ones. The Giants have the most ferocious defensive line in football, with all four of their D-lineman potential game changers. The Patriots have one:  Vince Wilfork. Granted, his the “largest” playmaker on the field, but he is only one guy (even if barely).

 

On the offensive side, the Giants have perhaps the best WR-corps in football, and certainly Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks are playmakers.  True, the Patriots have (had?) the best two-TE set in football, but Rob Gronkowski, who just had the greatest statistical year by a Tight End in NFL history (and scored more TDs than any two other Patriots combined), is recovering from an ankle he sprained in the Patriots last playoff game.

 

When completely healthy, the Patriot offense is built to exploit the Giants biggest defensive weakness: tight ends who can stretch the field.  However, with “Gronk” hurt, even though sure to at least start the game, the Patriots may have a hard time getting a tight end deep.  While the other half of the great TE duo, Aaron Hernandez is also a downfield threat, and should see plenty of throws his way, he may be less of a force when the focus is not on Gronkowski.   There is still Welker, a pass-catching machine who should find openings in the middle, but unless Ochocino finally get the playbook under his belt, there’s no WR threat to find deep openings, even if Brady can stay upright long enough to toss the pigskin deep.

 

Eli Manning probably won’t have the same difficulty launching balls to Cruz, Nicks and Manningham.  They’ll be open, it’s just a matter of whether Belichick’s coaching staff can find enough ways to pressure (or trick) Eli into interceptions or at least not finding the open man.  Twice in the SF game, Eli put the ball up and two SF defenders collided with each other rather than corral the football for a turnover.   The Patriots do not have the defensive prowess of the 49ers and may not be able to pressure (and hit) Eli as well as the 49ers did. But, IF they do, it’s likely they can eke a turnover or two out of Eli.  That’s what the Pats need, because it’s unlikely they’ll force too many Giants punts.

Without turnovers or a kick return TD (which may take a heroic game from quarterback-turned-punt-returner-turned-wide-receiver-turned-defensive-back, it’s unlikely the Patriots will be able to develop enough pressure to keep Eli and Company off the field long enough to support the weak Patriots secondary.  Of course, if Rob Ninkovich can force an Ahmad Bradshaw fumble, or if Rutgers -product Kevin McCourty can snag an interception or two, things could change in a heartbeat.

But unless the pride of Tom Brady can effectively utilize the Patriots running game and Bill Belichick can summon a surprise method of slowing the Giants’ WR corps before they spread the Patriot secondary thin, the Giants may win this one going way.

Giants 37-24

 

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Article by Roysaidit

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