Sunday, February 3, 2008

I Have To Handicap It, Right? -- by J.O.B.

Today is the biggest unofficial holiday of the year - the Super Bowl. While many big day partiers will be happy to tell you that the following Monday should be a day off, one of the coolest things about the big game is yapping about it at the water cooler with every nudnik in your office that thinks they know something. Being nudnik myself, I figured it best if I play my part before the game gets started and give my take on how today's game between the Giants and Patriots will go.

When the Giants have the ball:
Don't let Plaxico's bumps and bruises fool you - if the Giants are even going to try and be successful, Eli and Burress have to connect over and over again. The Patriots are great at throwing different looks at QB's and given two weeks, there is no doubt they will look to disguise coverage. If Plaxico is heavily covered, don't look for Amani Toomer to be the other option - it'll have to be the TE Kevin Boss. Going in, everyone will talk about 265lb. Brandon Jacobs and change of pace back, Ahmad Bradshaw, but the Pats are a very stingy run D, so don't expect that here.
Key Matchups: Pats NT Vince Wilfork vs. NYG C Shaun O'Hara; Pats DB's vs. NYG WR's
Expect a big play from: Either Rodney Harrison or Ellis Hobbs for a potential pick-6

When the Patriots have the ball:
The Giants had a slightly better run defense than the Patriots this year (ranked 8th vs. NE's 10 ranked unit,) and has upped it in the playoffs, giving up less than 84 yards on the ground per, but that wasn't against this sparkling offensive line. As the playoffs have moved forward, the Pats have upped their rushing attack, averaging 147 yards per versus only 115 a game in the regular season. Maroney will get the ball out of a lot of one back sets, meaning they'll line up 4 wideouts. Expect the Giants to have to play nickel to defend this, as their backers can't cover Dante Stallworth or Jabar Gafney. Honestly, they'll need the nickel even if the fourth reciever is Kyle Brady or Ben Watson and not Gafney. Tom Brady will surely look to get Moss the ball, and Welker will get plenty of work, but this offense will see Maroney have a big game.
Key Matchups: NE T's Matt Light and Nick Kaczur vs. NYG DE's Strahan and Umenyiora
Expect a big play from: Stallworth or Gafney on a big YAC play after a Giants secondary breakdown

Final Analysis: Don't let the past 2 weeks of hype fool you. The Giants have played out of their mind on the road, and they gave New England all they could handle at the end of the season, but these Patriots are tried, tested and true. The Super Bowl is where teams get exposed. If there is a weakness, a good coach will find it and a good team will execute properly to attack it. They don't come much better than Bill Belichick when you talk about coaches, and if you can dump a B-list actress who happens to be preggers with your kid, for a hot supermodel, and still be adored by women coast-to-coast, all before embarking on one of the most successful and prolific seasons in sports history, pressure isn't in your vocabulary. Look for Brady to be impeccable, Maroney to carry the load, and Eli to connect with a couple of guys wearing the other jersey.

Patriots 41 Giants 16 - BOOK IT!


Brown Buddy said...

JOB- just so you know, you can actually go back in and edit this post, and adjust the time stamp. I won't tell anyone, I promise

Brown Buddy said...

on the bright almost nailed it with the Giants score! Just one point off!

Damn...we should vote to give JOB a mulligan on this one. Ouch!