SUPER BOWL XLVI
NEW YORK GIANTS vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
What a matchup this figures to be.
The Patriots stormed their way to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the AFC.
The Giants caught fire at the end of the season and defeated the top two teams on the road in the playoffs.
The memory of the Giants’ 17-14 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII is still fresh. That defeat spoiled New England’s bid for the second undefeated season in NFL history.
This most recent Giants-Patriots matchup is as compelling as the one four years ago.
It is impossible to ignore the impact of Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady. The guy finds ways to win, even when he doesn’t play his best. Ask the Baltimore Ravens about that. Brady has been on this stage before and performed at the highest level.
But beyond Brady, the Giants are more impressive in virtually every area. On defense, the issue isn’t that close. New York’s front four has controlled the line of scrimmage in the playoffs. They have pressured quarterbacks without having to blitz. As an example, the Giants rattled Aaron Rodgers of the Packers and made him look ordinary. They did that without a steady diet of blitzes.
The Giants have allowed an average of 13 points in three postseason wins. While the Patriots have given up an average of 15 points per game in their two playoff wins, the Giants have played better teams.
While Brady is always tough to slow down, it is hardly impossible to do so. The Ravens proved that in the AFC Championship game. The Giants have also showed they can limit Brady’s explosiveness. In a 24-20 win over the Patriots on November 6, the Giants allowed only three points through three quarters.
While Brady tends to grab the headlines, Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning has put together a stretch of terrific play. He has been the better quarterback on the field in all three of New York’s postseason wins.
Furthermore, he engineered an 8 play, 80 yard touchdown drive, capped by a scoring pass to Jake Ballard with 15 seconds to go in the road win over the Patriots in November.
Plus, Manning was the winning quarterback when these teams met in the Super Bowl four years ago.
Beyond all the stats is the fact that the Giants are the hot team right now. They are brimming with confidence after road wins over the top two seeds in the NFC. They pulled out critical wins in the final weeks of the regular season just to get to the playoffs.
Their quarterback has lived up to his claim of being an elite player earlier this season.
New England is talented, to be sure. But they won’t have enough to get by the G-Men.
The Giants have put together another memorable playoff run. That run will continue on Sunday when they win Super Bowl XLVI.
NEW YORK GIANTS 27, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 24