How the Patriots Win:
This was lot easier to figure before Gronkowski got hurt. Now I am not sure how the Patriots will compensate for the loss of their best playmaker. One thing is for sure though, Bill Belichick knows he must slow down the Giants pass rush and because of that look for a lot more running plays than usual from the Patriots. I know people are clamoring for Ochocinco to make an impact but I wouldn’t count on that happening at this point. I expect a lot of short passes and screens to both Green-Ellis and Ridley to make up for the loss of Gronk. Of course, Welker and Hernandez will have to step up as well.
When the Pats are on defense I think they try to mix up the looks they give Eli Manning. Staying with one particular look will get them carved to shreds so look for Belichick to mix up some sneaky blitzes backed by some complex zones schemes. The Patriots best defensive game plan is to tackle well and limit yards after catch because the Giants receivers (Nicks, Cruz, Manningham) are very explosive after the catch. Wilfork is also a huge factor and must play well in order to slow down the Giants run game.
How the Giants Win:
Eli Manning has to continue to play well. He has been the glue that has kept this team going when nothing else was working and so the team will feed off of his play. Look for the Giants to throw on early downs to see where the best match ups. If Julian Edelman is on the field the Giants will likely go after him but, I also look for the Giants to run the ball a lot as well. Brandon Jacobs could end up being a huge x-factor as his punishing running style could provide dividends for the Giants as the game wears on.
On defense it’s kind of simple, the Giants know they have to get to Brady. The Giants seemingly catch a break in that Gronkowski won’t be 100% so look for New York to single cover him for the most part. Corey Webster is also a huge x-factor for the Giants defense. He has played well all season and will need to continue to do so as he will probably be alone on the outside against Deion Branch or Chad Ochocinco.
And the Super Bowl XLVI Winner is…
When it is all said and done Eli proves he is truly elite (again) and out duels Brady for his second and the Giants (4th) Super Bowl Title.
Giants 28 – Patriots 20
|Last Week: 2 – 0 (1 – 1 vs spread)|
|2011 Playoffs: 9 – 1 (5 – 5 vs spread)|
|2011 Season: 41 – 27 (36 – 28 – 4 vs spread)|