Friday, February 1, 2008

"The Big Game"

So let's talk about Tom Brady's ankle, shall we? Or how about Gisele?

Yeah, right. Enough about all that nonsense and let's get down to some real football talk. Let's break down the Super Bowl.

The Giants offense vs. the Patriots defense.
Firstly, it is imperative that the Giants run the ball, run it well, and run it up the middle. The Giants running game, while good all year has suffered in the playoffs, where they have lost 1 YPA. It won't get any easier against the Pats. The Giants are going to try to zone block gigantic Vince Wilfork with a double-team so they can try to run up the middle. And the Giants truly need Jacobs and Bradshaw to run well up the middle to draw the ILB of the Pats in for play action. If you remember the Giant-Buccaneer game, you remember it was short inside passes that Eli threw for such success. That's because the short inside lanes were open because linebackers had been drawn in due to successful running by the Giants. Team have to respect the Giants running game. And all we've heard from the "experts" and "prognosticators" this week is how old and slowed down the Pats ILB are. But let's not forget, the Pats faced a similar running threat in Jacksonville's Drew and Taylor and all the Pats did was shut them down for 66 yards. Seau had 10 tackles, Bruschi had 7.

If the Giants can get the inside running game going, Eli will have the ability to play-action. The Pats, unlike the Packers, will play off coverage, standing up to 7 yards off Plaxico and Amani. Also, with Shockey not playing all over the field, setting up as a WR, FB or TE, Rodney Harrison can abandon some of his TE-shadowing duties and blitz Eli from a number of places and times. Also, Jacobs and Bradshaw aren't much for screen passes, thus freeing the OLBs of the Pats, Vrabel and Thomas, to blitz Eli once he drops back.

Overall, the Giants offense has surprised me these playoffs. They ran against a Packer team that had completely shut down the Seahawks and have passed efficiently and well. If Eli can keep himself error-free just one more game (which may be up to how well his offensive lineman can keep him upright—after doing very well during the regular season, Eli has been dropped 6 times in 91 dropbacks.) and not give the Patriots easy chances, the Giants have a chance.

The Patriots Offense vs. the Giants Defense
As this blog stated before, after a stupendous regular season, The Giants front four has had only one sack in the postseason. Also, they have a shocking 50% third-down conversion, which makes one wonder how they won those three playoff games. On the other hand, the Giant front four has been lockdown against the run in the playoffs, giving up only 3.63 YPA, which they'll need to keep up, as Maroney has been awesome in the last month and a half. Expect some audibling at the line by Tom Brady when the Giants send Justin Tuck in as a pass-rushing DT so that Maroney can take advantage of a smaller interior line.

Another thing to expect is multiple wideout sets by the Pats. The Giants secondary having been banged up, on paper, is no match for the Pats receivers, especially if they plan on double-teaming Randy Moss with a safety over the jam. Expect Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney to have big days against the 3rd and 4th CBs of the Giants, R.W. McQuarters and Corey Webster.

One last thing is Ben Watson, the New England TE. With safety help focusing on Randy Moss, especially near the end zone, Watson will be left freer more often than not. He had two TDs against the Jaguars., and while he didn't have a great game against the Charger's, San Diego's safeties are a better lot than Gibril Wilson and James Butler. Expect Watson to be checked down to by Brady, especially near the end zone.

The Score:
The official super computer has been percolating overtime on this one to bring you the most accurate prediction available, and now, just in time for Super Weekend, it has spit out an answer. The Patriots 31, the Giants 15. The Pats will spread out the Giants defense and take a quick lead on them. Eli will hand off early and often which will bring them down the field, but only result in field goals. The Pats defense will bend but not break. on the other side, Donte Stallworth will catch two TD passes and take the Pats to a 21-9 halftime lead. After a nice runback by the Giants that results in a field goal, the Giants will get the ball back after a fumble and reduce the Pats lead to 6. That will be as close as they get. Methodically, Brady will put up 10 points and end the game for all accounts for the Giants.

That's it folks. no need to watch the Super Bowl. You just heard what's gonna happen. Enjoy the weekend.

1 comment:

Pete S said...

I'd be happy with 31-15, because at least it's not 55-10 or 39-20, like in other Superbowls. This Patriots team has so many ways to score quickly, that I'm afraid this one will be over early.