Hey remember when I picked both the 49ers and Ravens to two weeks ago?? Well, I forgot to mention I wasn’t counting special teams! So basically I was kinda right!
Anyway…I can’t complain too much about being wrong. Both games really couldn’t have been any better. Both had dramatic endings that kept me on the edge of my seat. As a Jets fan, this is the cherry on top of the worst season imaginable. To see my 2 least favorite teams play? (the second time in 4 years?!) Ugh. Congrats to both fans of the respective teams, though. Has to be an exiting time. Here is the case I will (unfortunately) have to make for both teams about who will come out on top.
Giants: First, let me make something clear. Although, I may have picked against the Giants in these last two games, I feel like I have been pretty fair in my assessment of them. I have given them credit where it’s due, I have talked about their strengths and what they’ve done right, etc. I’m not immature to the point where I refuse to say or admit anything positive about them. The Giants are very good. And I know fans were on an emotional high right after the game. However, just because I’m telling the truth doesn’t make me a “hater” either. The Giants field goal in OT was gift-wrapped for them last game. You know it, and I know it. I’m not sure how I would be shortchanging the Giants by saying an unforced turnover led to their last TD of the game, and then a botched routine punt return led to the FG to end the game. Unless you want me to credit the Giants player for having the football IQ to recover the ball after it hit Williams’ knee or something. There’s no doubt the fumbles set those scores up. That’s 10 points right there. Williams’ turnovers were humongous. And I honestly think if starter Ted Ginn was healthy or backup Kyle Williams knew the basic rules of punt returning, the 49ers come out with the victory.
That doesn’t mean the Giants don’t deserve credit for other things though. First, by capitalizing off the mistakes. Not every team would, believe me. Eli did make a great pass to Manningham on a 3rd and 15, and Tynes did make a clutch field goal after the Giants had given him extra breathing room by picking up more yards. They made big defensive stops too, they shut down Smith and contained Vernon Davis late, and they did this all on the road. So did the Giants get a little lucky? Yes. Do they still deserve to be playing the superbowl? Absolutely. And if they beat the Patriots and win it all, it would have to go down as one of the most impressive superbowl runs in history. I also think they have more than a legit shot to beat the Patriots too. D-Line has to be HUGE. I know it’s been great all year, but even more so with a guy like Brady. You saw what the Ravens did last week, if pressured constantly they can force mistaken panicked throws. The offense will need to pick up a little, hopefully we will see a little more of Nicks this game. After he got hurt, at one point Cruz was basically the only sure target. Jacobs and Bradshaw need to do more too.
Patriots: If someone were to tell me before the game that the Patriots would lose the turnover battle, lose the run game battle, have Brady throw zero touchdowns and two picks, and the Patriots STILL beat the Ravens I would’ve said they’re out of their mind. Everything I outlined last week in what the Ravens had to do pretty much came true, and it still wasn’t enough. The Pats pulled it out. They had a little luck on their side as well. I personally thought the Lee Evans inability to secure the ball after the catch was even worse than Cundiff’s missed FG. Both were bad though. I think Brady was frustrated all day, and missed passes he normally would convert on. Gronkowski’s injury has to be a question. He claims he’s fine, but he also was in a walking boot and had to exit the game a week ago. He is the biggest offensive threat this whole year. I think that Brady will definitely bounce back. They saw the Giants already once this year, and they know what mistakes they made that led to their loss. Plus, picking against Bellichick to lose to a team twice in a season is almost like picking the Generals over the Harlem Globetrotters. It has happened before, but very unlikely. I think their secondary still is a problem, but the run defense has definitely improved over the course of the year.
Prediction: I WANT THE GIANTS TO WIN THIS GAME. As much as it kills me, I’ll take New York over Boston all day (at least for football) Nothing would be funnier to see Brady and Bill fail again in the superbowl going in as the favorites. And to be quite honest, the ego of some Pats fans (even when they haven’t won anything since 2004) is getting a little too much for me. But this is a real tough one to pick. Patriots are really good, and it pains me to say it, but I think they get revenge here in this one.
Patriots: 35 Giants: 30