Here are 11 reasons why the Patriots can win.
1. Tom Brady will play better
The two-time MVP said he “sucked pretty bad” in the AFC title game. He was considerably worse in the regular-season loss to the Giants. Brady struggled with an elbow injury back in Week 9 and routinely misfired on makeable passes. I charted 16 poor throws, and he was picked off two times. It was his worst game of the season; that type of performance is unlikely to happen again.
SB XLVI (Giants 21, Patriots 17)
2. They have the better running game
The Giants have the reputation as a tough team, but they were last in the league in rushing in the regular season. They’ve run well in only one playoff game. The Patriots had a significantly better running game all season. The Patriots boast a better run-blocking line, largely because of guards Logan Mankins and Brian Waters. Tight end Rob Gronkowski makes the Patriots run game more versatile than New York. The Patriots offense is more balanced.
3. Queens on a chessboard
That’s what Falcons coach Mike Smith called tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. They force defenses into mismatches.
Gronk is the best red-zone threat in the league and a devastating blocker. (He could work on his acting.) Hernandez runs routes like a wide receiver and made more defenders miss after the catch than any tight end in the league. These two tight ends give New England ultimate flexibility in protection and the running game.
4. They play fast
The Patriots unleashed their hurry-up attack infrequently against the Giants in Week 9, in part because Chad Ochocinco couldn’t handle it. Now the no-huddle is New England’s primary form of attack. (Ocho can watch from the sideline.)
Expect Brady to go without a huddle for much of the Super Bowl so the Giants can’t substitute personnel.
5. Protection stands a chance
During the Week 9 matchup, Brady was only knocked down three times and sacked twice. The protection held up very well, just like it did against the Ravens defense in the AFC title game.
6. The Patriots defense is peaking
The Patriots' defense was never as bad as their yards-allowed ranking this season (31st) indicated. They were 15th in points allowed, 10 spots ahead of the Giants. They were third in forcing turnovers, two spots ahead of the Giants. The Patriots defense gave up only 30 points in two playoff games despite losing the turnover battle in both contests.
The secondary still isn’t great, but the team’s pass rush has come alive. They have played their best two games up front at the right time.
CSN: Tom Brady personally has done enough to be 5-0 in Super Bowls and has never been surrounded by Hall of Fame teammates as the others in the “greatest ever” conversation were.
Off the Bench: New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs reacts to remarks made by Tom Brady's wife Gisele Bundchen, who criticized New England Patriots players after their Super Bowl defeat Sunday.
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