Who goes into the big dance with the most confidence?
New York Giants.
The big blue have won the past two Patriots-Giants matchups – recently in round nine of the regular season and a few years back in Super Bowl XLII.
In round nine, New York travelled to and defeated the Patriots on their home turf 24-20. New England quarterback Tom Brady was shaky at best in this game and he struggled to find rhythm in his game – largely due to the Giants defensive line pressure.
Another who caused Brady trouble was Deon Grant who limited Rob Gronkowski on the mid to long range passes. Another performance like that from Brady would cause concern for the fans from Foxborough. Brady didn’t have a good game last week also against the Baltimore Ravens and he knew it, saying after the game, “Well, I sucked pretty bad today, but our defense saved us.”
Field position was an issue and turnovers were a killer for the Giants however what the Patriots can take away from that loss is as mentioned, Brady was poor and sure to improve and the defense has evolved.
For the Giants, three words sums it up best. Come from behind. New York rallied in Super Bowl XLII and in round nine – both led by quarterback Eli Manning. If, as expected, this game is a close one, Manning and the Giants will know they have it in them to come from behind and once again, beat the Patriots.
All this after just a month ago the Giants were on the verge of collapsing and head coach Tom Coughlin had his job on the line when the Washington Redskins embarrassed them on December 18.
Which team will score first?
New York Giants.
Anything can happen here however I’m predicting the Giants to take the lead through Lawrence Tynes – identical to round nine. New England put the points on the board first last week against the Ravens whereas the Giants were second to score when they took on San Francisco.
The Giants will go long whilst we will see the Patriots more likely go for the shorter option and call some run plays. I wouldn’t be surprised if Manning hits Cruz out wide for the opener.
Will Brady or Manning be sacked the most?
This will be interesting.
This game is sure to be an offensive shootout. New York’s passing game will be in full swing here in an attempt to expose the Patriots average secondary unit. Last week the Giants protective unit let the San Francisco defense through way too many time, sacking him six times.
This will be a focus for the Giants as I’m sure Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will be formulating some ideas for the blitz.
The Patriots average just fewer than 2.7 sacks per game whereas New York gives up around 1.75 per game. I’m going to say Manning will be sacked more in this game. He will most likely drop back further than normal and hold the ball longer than Brady who gets the short to mid-range pass off.
How many points can the Patriots defense give up yet win the Super Bowl?
I’m going to say between 21-24 points that New York will need to score – the game will be tight, however if the Patriots defense allow the Giants to get to 24 then it’ll be tough work to peg them back or hold them off so 20-21 should be fine.
Just remember that Manning is very good at executive last minute winning drives.
What are the chances of going into overtime?
The conference championship games were extremely tight – the Giants went into extra time last week against San Francisco and if it wasn’t for a shanked field goal attempt by the Baltimore Ravens kicker, then the Patriots would’ve played addition time also.
There has never been a game with extra time in Super Bowl history, however, that may change this weekend.