Super Bowls have often been the scene of rematches. Some, like the Steelers and Cowboys in the 1970’s and Cowboys and Bills in the 1990’s have happened back to back while others have taken many years to come together again. Think Niners and Bengals for that example.
In Super Bowl XLVI we have another rematch between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants four years after they first met in Arizona in Super Bowl XLII. This Super Bowl will lack some of the hype of that game and rightfully so because New Englandwas 18-0 and was pursuing the greatest undefeated season since the ’72 Dolphins. Unfortunately for the chowder-heads the G-Men had other plans and upset the Pats 17-14.
Some of the performers from the game are gone. No more Plaxico Burress or Rodney Harrison and no more Randy Moss or David Tyree. The coaches are back as are the star quarterbacks for each team and while I can’t predict if this game will live up to that one in terms of drama I do believe it will be close. Here are three reasons why the Giants will once again knock off the Patriots.
1. Much like they did in Super Bowl XLII, the Giants will be able to get pressure up the middle just with four rushers. I believe the Pats will counter this with draws and screens but it won’t be enough. Brady cannot handle pressure in his face which means on passing downs the rush will be fierce. If the Pats can win on 1st down they have a shot at being successful, but I don’t see the New England running game being a threat.
2. Eli Manning is hot and Tom Brady is not. Brady said as much in his post-game comments following their AFC Championship win over Baltimore and I know he will play better. Manning however is on fire and continues to make the great throws at the right time. His wide receiving corps is becoming a huge threat with the emergence of Victor Cruz and his tight ends are underrated. Brady will play better than he did against the Ravens but the lack of a home run threat will hurt him.
3. The kicking game will favor the Giants. If this comes down to a kick I like Lawrence Tynes over Stephen Gostkowski. Tynes has booted numerous game-winners for the G-Men under all kinds of pressure and the atmosphere will not bother him. This isn’t to say Gostkowski can’t do it, I just believe Tynes is the more capable guy. The unfortunate thing for Gostkowski is that he has never really had the opportunity to live up the hype of his predecessor Adam Vinateiri. Should he have a shot to give the Patriots a 4th Super Bowl Title it will be very interesting to see his body language prior.
I believe we are looking at another classic championship game that I can see going either way, but I have a sense that Brady will make one too many mistakes especially if TE Rob Gronkowski is not 100%. I like the running of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs to slow down the New England pass rush too. New York 27 New England 23.