Yes, I’m still bummed because my hometown NFL ballers aren’t here in Indianapolis after a remarkable season, but did watch last Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
In case you missed it, the Texans coached AFC squad beat the Green Bay coached NFC 59-41.
And next year’s Super Bowl will be in New Orleans, so if the Texans do handle their 2012 NFL business, it’ll be only a five hour drive on I-10 east to see my boys play.
The teams that did make it to Circle City as I correctly predicted on Championship Sunday are the AFC champion New England Patriots and the NFC Champion New York Giants.
Mike’s prediction will be here. Here’s Moni’s
This game is not only a Super Bowl XLII rematch we will never forget because of the Giants memorable 17-14 upset of a perfection seeking Patriots squad, but like that 2008 game is a regular season rematch.
The Giants and Patriots met in Foxborough during Week 9 in a game the Giants won in dramatic come from behind fashion 24-20 and at the conclusion of it had them at that point in the season sitting atop the NFC East with a 6-2 record before embarking on the four game losing streak that nearly ruined their season>
The Giants eventually woke up and went 3-1 to clinch the division with two critical wins over the Arlington Cowchips sandwiched between an inexplicable loss to the Washington Redskins and a victory over the New York Jets, the team they share MetLife Stadium with.
The reverse is true for the Patriots, who haven’t lost since that November 6 game, got the number one seed for the AFC side of the playoff bracket and sent the Broncos and Ravens packing.
The Giants got to the NFC side of the playoff party and knocked off in succession the Atlanta Falcons, the number one NFC seeded and defending NFL champion Green Bay Packers and the number 2 seeded NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers in overtime..
So both teams are coming in hot and we’ll have another game in which the NFL and football conventional wisdom will be but to the test. It’s long been said that offense sells tickets but defense win championships.
But a highly ranked offense can put you in position to win a championship.
New England has the offense. The problem is their number 31 ranked defense and a secondary who remind me of the Texans one in 2010 which got toasted more often than Quizno’s subs.
But because teams try to test them, they are capable of and do pick off passes from time to time or make a game saving play when they need to. Ask Tim Tebow and Joe Flacco about that
The Giants bring an imposing front seven anchored by Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul that comes after quarterbacks with speed, power attitude and athleticism. It’s also well known in the NFL that if you can get sustained pressure on Tom Brady and have him get frequently acquainted with the turf, he’s not as effective a quarterback.
Speaking of Brady, as much as he has been saying this week that revenge isn’t on his
mind, you can bet it is. This is a guy who uses the fact he was a
sixth round pick in the NFL draft to motivate him, so I’m not buying
that bull feces.
The Giants aren’t slouches in the offensive department either. Peyton’s little brother Eli has had one of his best NFL seasons at quarterback, has a talented group of wide receivers to toss the ball to and wants to prove to the world he is an elite quarterback.
Eli has to be sitting in the film room salivating as he looks at the video and contemplating the opportunity to turn Victor Cruz and company loose on deep go routes and repeatedly burn this porous Patriots secondary.
Yeah, I expect to see Victor Cruz doing his samba in the end zone in this game at least once.
Okay, enough jibber-jabber. Here’s my Super Bowl pick.
It’s hard to beat a team twice in the same season. Unlike the last Super Bowl meeting, it’s the Giants that come into this one at Lucas Oil Stadium with the regular season victory over the Patriots and being favored because they knocked off the NFL champs.
The Patriots will be motivated to avenge that regular season defeat, but I believe the Giants front seven will be too much for them. Rob Gronkowski’s high ankle sprain takes a major offensive weapon away from that high octane offense and doesn’t help the Patriots chances either.
But it will and should be a close game that may even go to overtime or be decided by the kickers.
Going with the Giants in a close one