Super Bowl XLVI Preview

One sport, one league, one season, one game. The Super Bowl, one of the world’s greatest events, consistently draws upon millions upon millions of television viewers across the globe. Two of the NFL’s finest teams—the New York Football Giants and the New England Patriots—square off for Super Bowl of the ages, shadowed by the Giants’ SB XLII upset.

Here is your preview for the battle in Indianapolis. What can I say? It doesn’t get much better than this.

Point Spread: Patriots/Slight

Offense-Defense Matchups

Patriots’ Pass Offense vs. Giants’ Pass Defense: The Patriots’ pass offense cannot and will not be stopped. In the AFC Championship, the Ravens didn’t shut down the Pats’ air attack, but they did force enough interceptions and mistakes form Tom Brady to hang in the game. They would lose by a field goal. The Giants need to play press man coverage against the Patriots’ WR’s and medium man coverage against TE’s Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Nonetheless, Tom Brady is poised for a big game on an even bigger stage. He has more than enough weapons to succeed.

Projected Winner: Patriots

Patriots’ Run Offense vs. Giants’ Run Defense: The Patriots use a balance of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead at the Running Back position. Green-Ellis is a multidimensional back, while Woodhead is a gound’n’pound back. The Giants’ front seven are primarily pass-rushers, but are proven to do some damage stopping the ground game. If the Giants’ Defensive Tackles, Chris Canty and Linval Joseph, have a decent game, the G-Men will win this match up.

Projected Winner: Giants

Giants’ Pass Offense vs. Patriots’ Pass Defense: Eli Manning is having a phenomenal postseason. Much of that success has come from WR’s Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, and Victor Cruz. The Patriots’ pass defense was awful in the regular season (31st overall) but in the postseason, they have had the 3rd best pass defense so far (there are twelve teams in the regular season). Despite the Patriots’ improvement, however, the Giants will win this match up because of Manning. He is accurate and always clutch when he needs him step up.

Projected Winner: Giants

Giants’ Run Offense vs. Patriots’ Run Defense: The Giants have two fine running backs: Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. Both have completely different running styles, however. Bradshaw is an outside of the tackles speedback meanwhile Jacobs is an up-the-gut pounder. If the Giants keep Pats NT Vince Wilfork out of the equation, they will win this battle. The Big Blue needs to keep substituting Bradshaw and Jacobs with each other to keep the Patriots on their heels.

Projected Winner: Giants

Projected Stats

New England

QB Tom Brady: 37-46, 329 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 INTs

TE Rob Gronkowski: 8 receptions, 62 yards

TE Aaron Hernandez: 9 receptions, 74 yards, 1 touchdown

WR Wes Welker: 12 receptions, 112 yards, 2 touchdowns

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis:7 rushes, 52 yards, 1 touchdown

FS Patrick Chung: 6 tackles, 1 INT

New York

QB Eli Manning: 32-43, 318 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 INT

WR Victor Cruz: 12 receptions, 85 yards, 1 touchdown

WR Hakeem Nicks: 8 receptions, 115 yards, 1 touchdown

WR Mario Manningham: 5 receptions, 48 yards, 1 touchdown

RB Ahmad Bradshaw: 8 rushes, 62 yards, 1 touchdown

RB Brandon Jacobs: 6 rushes, 45 yards

FS Antrel Rolle: 4 tackles, 1 INT

Hotter Quarterback: Despite the fact that Tom Brady is globally known for being one of the NFL’s all time greats, Eli Manning has been on quite a roll lately. In the wild card round of the playoffs, Manning torched the Falcons’ defense in a 24-2 victory. In the divisional round, Manning tossed for over 300 yards against the reigning Super Bowl champs. In the NFC Championship, once again, Manning threw for over 300 yards. Even with the bye week, Manning is clearly the hotter Quarterback.

What The Giants Need For A Win: To pull of another upset against the same team they battled in the Super Bowl XLII, the Giants need to blitz in all different directions. Brady is as accurate Joe Montana, and stopping him is next to impossible. With their highly-skilled pass rushers—Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Chris Canty—they need to put as much heat on Brady as they possibly can.

What The Patriots Need For A Win: Despite having one of the best Quarterbacks ever to play football, they need to find a perfect tone between the rush and pass. The Patriots have solid Running Backs, and if they keep pounding the ball successfully the Giants won’t be able to stop either their run game or pass attack. They also need to thwart the Giants’ run game. If the Giants have to pass over and over again, they are bound to make a costly mistake.

X-Factors

Patriots: QB Tom Brady, WR Wes Welker, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Aaron Hernandez, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, LT Matt Light, NT Vince Wilfork, LB Jerod Mayo, CB Kyle Arrington, CB Devin McCourty, FS Patrick Chung.

Giants: QB Eli Manning, WR Victor Cruz, WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Mario Manningham, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Brandon Jacobs, LT David Diehl, OC David Baas, DT Chris Canty, DE Justin Tuck, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, DE Osi Umenyiora, CB Corey Webster, CB Aaron Ross, FS Antrel Rolle.

The Bottom Line: Yes, I know the Giants are projected to win 3 out of the 4 offense vs. defense battles, but the one match up that the Pats will win will be the deciding factor in the ballgame. The Giants are going to need topnotch pass rushing in order to beat the Pats in the Super Bowl.

Prediction: New England Patriots, 34, New York Football Giants, 31

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