If I were a betting man, and I’m not, I’d bet the house on the Giants beating the spread which currently has them 3 point underdogs versus the Patriots. In fact, I’m very confident that they will win the Super Bowl. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the Patriots are favored. Okay, I can. Tom Brady.
Brady is a great great quarterback. Quite possibly, he is the dominant 21st century pro football player – although Ray Lewis devotees certainly have an argument. But I’m not even sure he’s better than Eli Manning right now and Manning has more weapons and a better defense.
Bill Belichick is a brilliant coach but is he better than Tom Coughlin. Maybe a little bit. Belichick’s resume is more impressive. Full disclosure, Belichick and I attended the same university and I met him once and liked him. But, Coughlin is a great coach too and has proven he can beat Belichick teams as he did in the 2008 Super Bowl and earlier this season in New England.
Brady has remarkable receivers. Tight end Rob Gronkowski may be the NFL player of the year and Wes Welker is tremendous. But, Gronkowski’s nicked up and Manning has the best wide receiving corps in the NFL to throw to with Hakeem Nicks, the incomparable Victor Cruz, and a great 3rd down receiver Mario Manningham to boot. The Giants’ pass catchers have the edge.
Neither team runs the ball real well but isn’t it obvious that Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are better than Danny Woodhead, Aaron Hernandez, and Julian Edelman?
Both teams have very solid offensive lines. I’ll call them even.
So, the Giants sure seem to have the edge on offense. On defense, it’s obvious Big Blue is better. Their front four can get pressure without taking any linebackers out of coverage. Their linebackers are solid and the defensive backs are playing very well right now.
The Patriots simply are not a good defensive team. They were 31st in the NFL in terms of yards given up and although they played better in the playoffs, the offenses that they faced, Denver and Baltimore, are not nearly as dynamic as the Giants.
I’m not a big believer in the power of special teams to make up for an inferior offense and defense and in this one, the Giants have the edge any way. I’ll call the kickers even. The Giants have the more reliable punter and their coverage has been spectacular.
The Giants should win by a touchdown.