The Super Bowl is upon us. This is going to be a good one as well. This may be the first time the Super Bowl has occurred where such similar teams facing off. The Giants and the Patriots have an abundance of similarities. Great line work on both sides, terrible secondaries, awesome quarterbacks, big time pass catchers, and an old school coach who may both be Canton bound. The only way to do this is a position by position breakdown to see who will have the edge in the rematch that everyone wanted (except for Jets fans).
Quarterback- Tom Brady vs. Eli Manning
This is the high profile match-up everyone will be looking at. One of the best quarterbacks of all time plays one of the most clutch of his generation. Brady didn't show his best work in his last game against the Ravens, but when was the last time you ever saw Tom f'n Brady have two bad games in a row? Eli on the other hand had a helluva time getting friendly with the turf against the 49ers, but still got off fifty-nine passes without a turnover. Definitely one of the better performances of his career coming off a great game against the perceived best team in the league in Green Bay. If an injury did occur, I would rather have Brian Hoyer throwing the ball for me over the ever shaky hands of David Carr. This match-up is much closer than it was in 2007, but I am still going to have to go with the guy who has three rings and all the prolific numbers. Even if it is by just a hair, pun intended. Peyton vs. Brady was always the great debate of our generation. It looks like Eli is set to take over that position in the pecking order. Eli may be elite, but he needs another great couple of years to give me the confidence that he can take down Brady again.
Running Backs- Ben-Jarvis Green-Ells, Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley VS Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, DJ Ware
Both teams are definitely more well know for their passing game over their ground game. However, it is a fact that this game will need to have a good running game so the teams can control the clock and keep the opponents prolific offenses standing on the sidelines. So the question is, who's mediocre running game is better? The biggest question is who can you trust more? You cannot afford a turnover on a running play in a game that is going to definitely be close. Between Jacobs and Bradshaw they only fumbled four times, losing one. Between Woodhead, Ridley, and Green-Ellis they fumbled three times all season, losing one. Although both teams won't have the running game under the spotlight, I feel New England has a very little edge because of the amount of serviceable running backs they have. Depth is what gives them a nose's edge here, but it sure isn't something to brag about.
Wide Receivers- Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Chad Ochocinco VS Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham
Wes Welker may be one of the best receivers in the league, but the Giants may have the best collections of receivers in the game. Nicks is a beast, Cruz is a lightning bolt, and Manningham could easily be a number one on a number of teams in the NFL. Deion Branch is a savvy veteran, but has lost a little more than a step from his Super Bowl MVP days. I am not going to mention anything about Ochocinco except for the fact that watch out, he could be a name we remember out of the blue for his performance on this stage. The fact of the matter is the Giants are just plain better in this position. They are a nightmare for every secondary in the league, and they must be salivating at the fact that one of them gets to be covered by Julian Edelman. They will have a huge day running wild all over this Patriots secondary.
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez VS Jake Ballard, Travis Beckam, Bear Poscoe
This, my friends, is an unfair mismatch. Don't get me wrong, Ballard is a serviceable tight end, but Gronkowski is the best at his position and Hernandez isn't too far behind. Gronkowski broke the record this year for touchdowns by a tight end and he has racked up a total of twenty-three for the season and playoffs. Hernandez had sixty-three RUSHING yards against the Broncos. Ballard made the loss of Kevin Boss a lot easier for the Giants, but the Patriots dynamic duo is the best in the league, high ankle sprain or not I feel the choice is obvious. If Gronkowski isn't 100 percent, expect that to be a game changer.
Offensive Line: Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Brian Waters, Sebastian Vollmer VS David Diel, David Baas, Chris Snee, Kareem McKenzie, Kevin Boothe
The Pats have monsters keeping Brady clean, and the Giants have a decent o-line. Did you notice how different those adjectives were? The Giants definitely have an above average unit trying to keep Manning's jersey clean, but against an intense pass-rush like last week against the 49ers they struggle. The o-line for the Patriots played an intense defensive line last week and Brady didn't get sacked once. Playing against a team that let up five sacks on their play caller is a big difference. Take the Pats here and feel confident about it.
Defensive Line: Vince Wilfork, Shaun Ellis, Mark Anderson, Brandon Deadrick VS Justin Tuck, Chris Canty, Osi Umenyioura, Jason Pierre-Paul
This is where the Giants excel. Most likely the best unit in the NFL. Tuck, Umenyioura, and Pierre-Paul are the scariest front any offensive line will have the possibility of looking at. On the other side, the Pats aren't anything to turn your nose at. Wilfork may be the best DT in the league, and the Patriots have done a great job of taking everybody's trash and turning it into their treasure. However, the Giants as I've said before are the best in the business. There is no one that can top them. Look for Brady to feel the pressure come Sunday. If the Giants pull this out, it will be solely because of this unit right here.
Linebackers: Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Rob Ninkovich, Gary Guyton VS Mathias Kiwanuka, Michael Boley, Chase Blackburn, Mark Herzlich
Linebacker is going to be an underrated position in terms of importance in this game. Who is going to have to cover those underneath routes that both these teams live and die for? Linebackers. Who is going to have to find an answer for the explosive tight ends? Linebackers. Who needs to make the perfect blitz to get pressure on the quarterback before they find the hole they left? Linebackers. This is going to be a big game. It is talent versus experience. The Patriots 'backers are young, fast, and running on testosterone alone. The Giants linebackers have a couple of years under their belt, unfortunately they were never top of their game linebackers. Ray Lewis is someone who's experience makes a big difference,Chase Blackburn not so much. The Patriots defensive spark comes directly from the linebacking corps and Sunday will be no different. Expect Spikes, Mayo, and Ninkovich to bring the heat and bring it hard. Although you never count out a hungry veteran playing on the grandest stage of them all, I am going to go with the talent here.
Secondary: Kyle Arrington, Devin McCourtey, Julian Edelman, Patrick Chung, James Ihedigbo, Sterling Moore VS Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, Aaron Ross, Kenny Phillips, Antrelle Rolle
Honestly, I don't even want to acknowledge these folks as football players, let alone as Super Bowl factors. The fact of the matter is both these units are atrocious. In fact, I didn't even separate the safeties and cornerbacks, they do not deserve it. The only players shout-out worthy are Corey Webster and Patrick Chung, and the one play Sterling Moore made on Lee Evans. Rolle needs to stop talking, Edelman needs to stop covering number one receivers, honestly whoever somehow gets lucky and gets a pick could win this game, and that makes me legitimately sad. It is sad because I can't believe the Super Bowl is coming down to the worst part of each team. I got to go I think I may cry until Sunday, or pray Ty Law and Jason Seahorn come back because they can't be this bad.