It’s Super Bowl XLVI week.
For the non-NFL fans that tune in one day each year to watch the big dance, enjoy the commercials.
For those passionate followers of the game, enjoy the Brady v Manning matchup.
From Monday through to Sunday, I will analyse several components that make the championship Bowl the awesome event it is.
Today, let’s look at the field generals under the centres – the QBs.
The Brady/Manning matchup will be just the third-time that there has been a rematch of QBs who lined-up against each other in a previous Super Bowl – the others, Bradshaw/Staubach and Kelly/Aikman. Also, it is the first time in NFL history that two Super Bowl winning MVP QBs have lined-up against each other in the biggest game of the season.
Brady is a three-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) and a two-time Super Bowl MVP. He has seven Pro Bowl selections and two First-Team All-Pro selections amongst a range of many awards.
2011 was one of Brady’s best seasons – his best arguably was the 2007 season and interestingly, that was the year the Giants defeated the Pats in the Super Bowl.
The 199th draft pick out of Michigan finished the regular season with a completion percentage of 65.5. Brady threw 39 TDs, second only to the ’07 season when he connected with receivers on 50 occasions, recorded his highest number in yards and average yards per attempt with a rating of 105.6. Brady also rushed for three TDs and 109 yards.
His 39 TDs put him 4th in NFL TD rankings, 4th in completion percentage, 2nd in yards and his rating placed him 3rd in the NFL.
Brady wasn’t at his best last week in their win so he will be aiming to have a Denver Bronco’s type game in which he was simply awesome.
Unlike Brady, Manning was highly sought and was drafted by the Giants with the first overall selection. Since 2005 onwards, New York haven’t had a losing season including the ’07 Super Bowl.
A two-time Pro Bowl selection in ’08 and ’11, Manning too like Brady is a Super Bowl winning MVP.
Eli threw 10 fewer TDs for the year that ranked him 6th in the NFL, 4th overall in passing yards and completed the regular season with a 92.9 QB rating (7th overall).
Manning and the Giants have the one-up on New England due to a last minute win – a drive that Manning led and executed superbly. With 1:36 minutes remaining on the clock, Eli went 3-7 and 77 yards ending in a game-winning TD with only 15 seconds to go.
For New York fans, Manning’s execution on November 6 in Foxborough was akin to another final drive comeback against the Pats – that game … Super Bowl XLII. In the championship game, this time with 2:39 remaining in the final period, the Giants QB went 5-9 and 48 yards, a TD and picked up the ring.
Both Manning and Brady will only be as good as their O-line in the Super Bowl however. New York and New England are two of the poorer defensive teams however if the blockers aren’t up on the day, then the blitzes will be key.
Manning was sacked several times last week against San Francisco but the Pats didn’t sack him once when they met earlier this year. What can he expect from coach Belichick? We will have to wait and see.