Super Bowl XLII

Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2008 by Travis Cody in
20

Is it my dislike of New England that drives my thoughts toward suggesting that the Giants can win today?

Probably.

But I do think that the Giants can win. They have the players with the right skill sets. They have the game plan...it nearly worked when the teams met in the final week of the regular season. The Giants simply must execute and play the perfect game.

You earned your way to Arizona. You're gonna play the game anyway. You might as well have your best game.

Eli Manning must not allow the pressure of being a first time Super Bowl quarterback to force him into making mistakes. He must execute the game plan, keep his emotions in check, and not try to win the game by himself.

The biggest problem in Manning's short career to date has been inconsistency. But starting with that week 17 performance against NE, and extending through three playoff games, Manning has thrown 8 touchdown passes against only 1 interception. That one pick was against NE and it turned the momentum in the game. The Giants had the Patriots and the game was right there for the taking until that single key turnover.

Having a strong running game has been a key factor in Manning's ability to be a game manager. RB Brandon Jacobs is a pounding runner and has the ability to control a game. The change of pace back is Ahmad Bradshaw, who has emerged in the playoffs to give the Giant's an effective duo coming out of the backfield.

New York's defense has been effective at creating turnovers, mainly due to a combination of one of the best pass rushes in football and an opportunistic secondary.

The Giants are capable of pulling off this upset. In Week 17, NY gave up 356 passing yards and still nearly won the game. The Giants were effective running the football. Manning threw for 4 touchdowns. The key play was the interception Manning threw late in the game.

The New England offense is one of the most talented ever assembled. There's no arguing that point. The Patriots had basically no need for a running game during the regular season. But in the playoffs, Laurence Maroney has rushed for 244 yards in 2 games. A more balanced offensive attack could be bad news for the Giants.

The Patriots have shown that they can win in many different ways. In the two AFC playoff games, Tom Brady was out-gained in passing yardage by both David Garrard and a gimpy Philip Rivers. So if the best offense in the game can win when the best QB (sorry Songbird...I know you will argue for Peyton, but the stats and the circumstances are clear and I hate it just as much as you do) is out-gained statistically, what chance does NY possibly have?

The Patriots scored 67 offensive touchdowns in the regular season to the opponents' 30. The Patriots had 6,580 total offensive yards to the opponents' 4,613. The Patriots scored just under 37 points per game while allowing only 17.

The Patriots are 18-0.

And yet I still think the Giants can win. Mike Celizic, freelance writer and contributor to www.msnbc.com, agrees with me that NY can win. He writes:

The Pats are the favorites and they should be. But the Giants aren’t going to roll over. They believe they can win this game, and that means they can win it.

I’ve already said elsewhere that New England will win, but the predictions of writers aren’t worth the electrons that are sacrificed to bring them to your computer screen. I still think they’ll win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t.

The Giants are that good, good enough to pull off what will go down as an upset for the ages. They’ll have to play a perfect game and force the Patriots into some mistakes. But write this down.

The Giants can win.


Look, I've watched enough sports to see the favorite get beat time and again. NC State in the upset of all upsets over Houston in 1983. The Miracle on Ice when the US beat the Soviets in 1980.

But that's the little guy shocking the big bad bully. I don't see NY vs NE that way. I see it more like Duke vs UNLV in the 1991 Final Four. The previous year, UNLV destroyed the Blue Devils by 30 points in the final game. Both teams returned virtually the same teams to the semi-finals in 1991, and all the talking heads expected a closer game with the same result. Yet Duke believed it could win, and scored the upset 79-77.

That's why I think the Giants can win.

I guess this post is either going to look brilliant or silly by this evening. It's wishful thinking, but here goes...

I'm picking the Giants, 34-31.

20 comments:

  1. Jeni says:

    I've been wondering if and when you were gonna post your pre-game pick post! Good job and I hope you are right. I'm not a Patriots fan, but then again, I'm also not a GIants fan either. Maybe next year -Go Redskins!

  1. Matt-Man says:

    I'm simply kinda rooting for the G-Men because they are underdogs. I really loathe both teams. Cheers!!

  1. There is a guy on talk radio who says that NY will win. His sure fire method of predicting is take two eggs marked for each team, put them in a microwave, the first to explode is the loser. I suppose he did it.

  1. i just came by for some of that cake on your sidebar! thanks...

    smiles, bee

  1. Linda says:

    To be perfectly honest even though I live in New England, I just don't care who wins this game. I lost interest in football a few years back as well as most other professional sports due to the ridiculous amount of income so-called sports stars pull in. It's insanity to pay a man millions upon millions of dollars to play a game but I guess it's not much crazier than paying an actor or actress the same thing for merely playing a role.

    Tell ya what, when they start paying doctors and other people who can save lives this kind of money, I'll start watching football again.

    In the meantime, I'll watch the game at work tonight for the commercials and secretly hope that the Giants win it for you!

  1. Shelby says:

    I'm an Eli Manning fan myself.. it'll be fun to watch.

  1. Gail says:

    Don't care who wins...I'm in it for the commercials..

    Kidding, LOL

    Enjoy the game!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Unless David Beckham is playing I don't like football. :)

  1. Yawn....Have fun watching the game Travis. :)

  1. I'm not a pro-sports fan at all these days. I'm with Linda. Can't reconcile paying these conceited losers millions to play a GAME while people are hungry, sick & homeless. In particular I think of the poor kid a few years back who died of an infected abcess because his family couldn't afford the $80 to have the tooth pulled. So freaking sad...

  1. I loathe the Patriots too Trav. Tom Brady is the Fem Bots of Quarterbacks and he isn't even that cute. And Beleskeez....don't get me started. They are cheats. Just like baseball players who juice they don't deserve to be called "the greatest" anything except perhaps "poor sports."

  1. Villager says:

    I suspect that the Patriots have more talent ... however, I will be in front of my television rooting wholeheartedly for the NY Giants.

    I truly dislike Belichek and as such, I dislike his team. I live in Cincinnati, OH and my dislike was cemented a few years back when our star running back, Corey Dillan, left to go to New England ... and even worse, he won a ring with them (sigh).

    I look for Giants to win on last-second field gold, 24-23.

  1. It is 12:38 pm in the south. People should be eating fried chicken at the buffet after church. But no. Where are they?

    Probably reading this post!
    And a thousand others about the game (which by the way, is well written although I have no idea what you're talking about)
    So, I've decided to pencil skirt the Super Bowl and settle these questions once and for all.

    I'm on it.
    I'm watching the pre-game of the pre-game pre-game right now.

    Pass the salt.

  1. Travis says:

    Jeni: It took me a bit of time to get my thoughts together, and then to decide if I really wanted to make NY my pick. I finally decided that in the grand scheme of things, it didn't matter so I went for it.

    Matt: I loathe NE much more than I'm indifferent to NY.

    Sarge: Well at least he has a method! LOL!

    Bee: Help yourself my dear.

    Linda: When they resumed playing the games after 9/11, I can admit that I cried. Sports are endemic to American culture. Yes, salaries are out of proportion to those of people who make a real difference in people's lives. But there is an importance to sports, over-stated at times, but still very real.

    Shelby: I hope it's fun. I'd like it to be a close game at least, rather than simply a crowning.

    Gail: Lots are only in it for the commercials...absolutely nothing wrong with that!

    Akelamalu: Understood.

    Sandee: Yes ma'am!

    Charles: Oh I hope not.

    Lana: Sports don't solve the world's problems, but they do give us a momentary escape from some of life's horrific images for an afternoon.

    Starr: Well, I endured the rein of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970's and the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990's, I guess I can get through this too.

    Villager: I've got my fingers crossed that you are correct.

    Mimi: Oh this should be good! A pencil skirt blogging Super Bowl Sunday. Can't wait!

  1. Danielle says:

    This Boston gal is going for the Patriots, but I think it is not going to be a boring game.

    If the Patriots do win, they will have to fight every step of the way.

    Much Love

  1. the108 says:

    I'm hoping for thr giants based solely on my hatred of the pats.

    I used to have the biggest crush on Christian Leightner. Is that how you spell his last name???

  1. Jeff B says:

    Skill, luck or food posioning. I don't care how the Giants might win as long as they knock off the smug little Pats!

    All in all I just hope it's close so it stays entertaining.

  1. Travis says:

    Danielle: Good luck to you!

    Kyra: Laettner.

    Jeff: Me too. Otherwise it's an entire off season of TB commercials.

  1. JohnH985 says:

    Gotta go for the hometown boy. I hope the Giants win today.