After days and days of careful thought, this blogger picks the New York Giants to prevail over the New England Patriots 30 to 24. The reasons are these:
1) The Giants style of four-man-front defense matches up well with the Patriot’s passing spread offense. Moreover, the Pats don’t do a lot of the kind of play action that could get them downfield, and they don’t use a lot of the kind of picks and wheel routes that would be effective against the Giants. Now, here’s the catch: New England is one team that has no problem altering its style to do those actions to win a game. That’s what makes this prediction so hard. But I go with the observation that their overall style of offensive play is almost perfect for the Giants Defense, and it hasn’t changed much since 2007.
2) The Giants Defense is playing very well, and it’s a unit that was second only to Baltimore in defense during the NFL post-season. Moreover, the Giants Offense is the real strength of the team, but the defense has improved over the season to become as effective as the offense.
3) Wild cards.
Ok. Here’s some wild cards that could trip up my prediction.
A) Tom Brady playing Tim Tebow. I have the suspicion that New England has installed some quarterback runs out of the spread formation. It’s not something they’re going to do a steady diet of, but if I were the Giants, I would go in telling my defensive ends to watch for any quarterback bootlegs or fakes, have my outside line backers play up to the line of scrimmage, and play man-for-man. That would put the clamps on the Pats running game, and allow the Giants Defense to blitz more effectively.
B) Chad Ochocinco. The Pats have not used Chad much if at all, and he’s due for a breakout game. Why not the Super Bowl so he can play for his late father?