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NFL Superbowl XLII Preview

super-bowl-xlii

We’ve finally made it to the University of Phoenix Stadium

in Glendale, Arizona.  Home of Super Bowl XLII. What a journey

this has been.  There was so much

controversy (spygate) and drama (the Pats going 16-0) that this season was

probably one of the most interesting seasons football fans have seen in a long

time. 

 

This Sunday, the mighty 16-0 Empire led by a “new” emperor, and his young Sith, will square off against the most unlikely of Rebel

Forces.  The winner doesn’t get the control of the

galaxy; instead they receive something more precious than the stars in the

sky.  The winner gets their hands on the

Lombardi

Trophy and the right to call

themselves The Champions my friends

 

With this week’s

preview being the last “meaningful” preview for the remainder of the season. I

decided to give you guys and added bonus. 

Here is my pick for the 2008 Pro-Bowl:

 

 

February 10, 2008

2008 NFL Pro-Bowl

FOX

 

NFC

vs. AFC

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI

 

This game has two very good teams.  This will make for a very interesting game and somebody will win

in the end.

 

My Pick: Who cares.  It’s the Pro-Bowl.  Tell

me who wins when it’s over.  I’ll be too

busy watching paint dry.

 

Now that we go that

out of the way, let’s pick our 2008 Super Bowl Champs.

 

 

Super Bowl XLII

February 03, 2008

6:30 pm, FOX

 

Game of the Week

NY Giants (10-6) vs.

New England Patriots (16-0)

Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

 

3 hours and 15 minutes south of Glendale is Tombstone,

AZ.  It’s the home of Wyatt Earp and the

infamous Gunfight at the

O.K. Corral.  We’ve heard the stories, read the books, and

seen the movies about Mr.Earp, his brothers and Doc Holiday and how they took

out the McLaury/Clanton clan in the gunfight. 

Now back then, that was considered a Super Bowl.  It was definetly about the “team” concept in

that situation and it’s the same for this Sunday’s big game.

 

Both the Giants

and the Pats have had their fair share of “issues” this season.  For the Pats, it was “spygate”.  For the Giants, it was starting their season

0-2 and their annual second half of the season “brain farts” that have haunt them

for the past three seasons.  Through it

all, both teams pulled through to get to this point.  It’s going to take the team with the biggest understanding of the

“team” concept to win this game.  

 

Let’s look at

the underdogs first:

 

The Giants are a

team who look and feel like a team who’s riding on destiny.  Their run to the Super Bowl is somewhat

similar to the Pats when they won their first championship in 2000.  Throughout their whole run, the Pats were

said to be “playing with house money” and were “a team of destiny”.  Well, with the way the Giants have been

playing football for the past month, the same can be said about them.

 

Some people may

say that the Giants have been playing “conservative” football.  That’s not the case.  They have been playing “smart”

football.  They have been putting

numbers on the board with evey chance that comes their way and have found ways

to stay in a game no matter the situation. 

The Giants like to play a close game and keep their opponents thinking

their still in the game.  What’s so

great about that is it allows their opponents to let their guard down and opens

up a opportunity to attack when they least expect it.

 

What’s been

impressive throughout their run to the Super Bowl, is the play of Eli Manning. Manning,

who’s been know to get as rattled as Charlton Heston getting interviewed by Micahel

Moore, has been the steady hand of this Giants team.  Manning 

has completed 62% of his passes with 4 TDs and no interceptions in the

playoffs.  He has learned that he can’t

carry the team by hinself and has utilized all of his options when the offense

is on the field.  That’s what you call

“smart’ football.

 

The Gianst

offense has to continue to play that kind of football if they want to compete

against a very solid Patriots defense. The have to have a balanced offense. The

Giants have to continue to use their two man rushing attack of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to wear

down the Pats D-line  and use a number

of “dump and dink” passes on the field. 

 

Using short

passes to move the the ball up the field will allow the Giants to tire the Pats

defense and it helps to open up the offense to mix-it up.  The “dump and dink” passes and controled

running game will also help the Giants control the clock and keep the ball

offense.  That will help in keeping the

Pats’ offense off of the field. 

 

The Giants’

defense likes to rush the passer.  In

doing so, they like to look for the sack. 

That’s all well in good, but if the Giants’ defense can’t get the sack

in rushing the passer, it’s fine.  As

long as they disrupt the flow of the offense by getting to Tom

Brady, the Giants will be able to drop the hammer on the Pats

offense.  Look for a number of pass

rushes from the outside and up the middle with Micahel Strahan or Osi Umenyiora on the end and Kawika Mitchell or Antonio Pierce up the middle.

 

 

Now, let’s

look at the favorites:

 

It’s has been a

task all season long to find a flaw in the Patriots.   Their offense and defense has been on point since the first snap

of the season and it shows with an 16-0 record in the regular season.  But with games against the Eagles, the

Ravens

and the Giants;

a few flaws have been brought to light.

 

The Pats realize

that they can’t always got to Randy Moss

for every play, so they have to continue to use all of their options on

offense.  Wes

Welker, Donte

Stallworth, and Laurence

Maroney  will have to be the key to the Pats

offense.  These players will have to be

the guys Brady will have to look for when plays start to collapse on offense.

Also, the Pats’ O-line has to protect Brady at any cost.  One slip up and Brady will be on his butt or

eating grass for the whole game.  The

Pats’ offense is flowing through one vein; Brady is the heart that

runs the flow through that vein.

 

The Pats’ defense has

somewhat of a difficult job at hand. 

They have to try to stop a Giants’ offense that’s running on

momentum.  The Giants offense is on

another level right now and with momentum on their side, they feel they’re

unstoppable.   The Pats’ defense has to

make Eli Manning “beat” them. 

 

Like Brady, Eli is

the heart of the Giants’ offense for the playoffs.  If the pats defense can get to Eli and rattle him in Sunday’s

game, it’s going to him to over-think his role on the offense and force him to

do too much.  That will lead to big

mistakes on offense and big turnovers. 

They Pats’ D-line also has to stop the run game in the backfield and not

allow themselves to get tired out with the Giants’ rushing attack.  The Pats defense is older, yet

experienced.  That experience will help

guide the Pats defense if or when the game gets close.

 

Bill

Belichick and the Patriots have

been running through the NFL with a Hannibal type train of

thought.  With a season of perfection

and a Super Bowl titled added to their campaign for the 2007-08 season, this

team could be considered the best team in the history of the NFL.  That’s if they win on Sunday, and they will.

 

 

Once again, I have

reached a crossroad where I am forced to think with my head and not my

heart.  As glad as I am to see the

Giants in the Super Bowl because I’m a New Yorker, I also have to look at all

of the facts.  And the facts state that

the Pats will win this game.  They have

the better numbers and better personnel to win this game and the

championship.  But…this will be a close

game, similar to the game that was played back in Week 17, and don’t be

surprised if this game goes into OT. 

 

All in all, we are

witnessing one of the greatest, if not the greatest, single season

performances by any team.  The 1972

Miami Dolphins may have been the first team to go undefeated in the regular

season, but the 2007-08 New England Patriots did it better.

 

My Pick: New York Giants 23, New England Patriots 26You can always check out new posts and past write ups on The Rowdy One’s blog at: http://outofbounds-therowdyone.blogspot.com/

 

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