Holy Super Bowl, it’s Pats-Giants again!
Who’s ready for 14 straight days of the same boring old New York vs. Boston talk that we’ve been hearing for a decade?!
Kidding aside, Patriots-Giants is a great match-up with a ton of rich, super-interesting storylines.
Is there a more underrated player in the NFL than Eli Manning? Is the old adage that “defence wins championships” dead and buried? Will the Pats get revenge?
That's the One Big Story, right?
The Giants destroyed New England's potentially historic season by upsetting them in the Super Bowl four years ago.
Now, the Patriots have a chance to exercise those demons and win it all a decade after the Belichick-Brady dynasty was born.
But Gronkowski is the most important playmaker in the Patriots offence. Without his ability to occupy defenders in the middle of the field, the windows that Tom Brady has to throw through are much tighter, and the Pats' status as a dominant offence takes a hit.
He injured his ankle yesterday, but all indications are that he'll be close to 100% by the time the Super Bowl rolls around.
Helmet catch replays, get used to 'em.
Eli Manning is not better than Tom Brady.
But Eli is red hot while Brady struggled a bit against Baltimore last week. As a result, born contrarians are going to start arguing that if you could pick one QB in this game, it'd be Manning.
Come on now.
In the long-term, this is the big storyline from this game.
We've heard all year that the NFL is becoming an offence-first league. But no true offence-first team with a terrible defence has actually won the Super Bowl.
If the Pats win, it'll show that you can win it all without an elite or even average defence -- a huge turning point for the league.
Brady is looking to win his fourth Super Bowl and his 17th playoff game -- which would make him the winningest QB in NFL playoff history.
A win against the Giants would propel Brady into the conversation about who is the greatest QB ever with Montana and Elway.
The Giants made the Super Bowl despite a tumultuous regular season that saw them win the NFC East with a 9-7 record.
This comes a year after the Packers won it all by getting hot at the very end of the season.
So this could be a trend -- maybe football is heading the way of baseball, where the team that catches on fire heading into the playoffs has the best chance at winning it all.
The Patriots defence is suspect, and the Giants secondary has been plagued by big plays all season.
So could we see a true Super Bowl shoot in two weeks?
Vegas seems to think so -- bookies set the opening over/under total at a lofty 54 points.
The Giants d-line against the Pats o-line.
New York won in 2008 because they put pressure on Tom Brady. For the Patriots to win, they have to keep T.B. relatively clean.
The Giants secondary against the Pats receivers.
Baltimore's bend but not break defence did a great job keeping New England in check in the AFC Championship game.
The Giants don't have the secondary that Baltimore does, but can they imitate their scheme?
We didn't get the all-Harbaugh Super Bowl that we could have gotten, but never fear, a family-tree storyline still exists.
Here it is: Tom Brady is trying to defeat his biggest rival's brother in his rival's home stadium!
Seriously, people are talking about this.
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